A Day to Remember thrills the sweaty masses at the Vogue

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      At the Vogue Theatre on Sunday, August 18

      Metalcore is really confusing to me. Maybe that is just a sign that I am getting old, because when I walked into the Vogue Theatre on Sunday night to see Florida’s primary emo metalcore band A Day to Remember perform with their tour mates (and newbie stars), Pierce the Veil, I felt like I had aged about 20 years.

      Surrounded by a mob of sweaty teenagers wearing everything from spiked, belly-exposing bras to cut-up black Ts to no shirts at all, I watched as San Diego’s Pierce the Veil entertained to an ecstatic crowd. With the rows of seats removed from the front of the Vogue, all the kids were getting their $56.50 worth whirling themselves around and screaming along to Pierce the Veil’s hits “Hold On Till May” and “A Match Into Water”. Frontman Vic Fuentes swapped his sweaty hands from the neck of his guitar to his microphone, reaching out to the fans as he belted out fastspoken, emotive lyrics with MTV pop swagger. Bassist Jamie Preciado made good use of the monitor speaker in front of him, jumping back and forth, swinging his bass like a pendulum, and shamelessly singing along to every word.

      That’s the thing about emo metalcore: it’s shameless and kind of nerdy. All Pierce the Veil’s songs rise with a pop-punk, sing-along chorus and then drop down to a murderous metal chug-along in which all the members (except the drummer) spread their legs and thrash their heads to the beat in a choreographed routine. It’s a confused genre. Somewhere along the line hardcore went from bands like Negative Approach and Discharge to this regurgitated Hot Topic mall punk. The kids love it. Pierce the Veil are performers. But unlike Discharge, Pierce the Veil lacks the unpredictability of macho '80s hardcore. It’s not dangerous. It’s Disney. It’s MTV–appropriated posthardcore and everyone is getting so paid.

      After a quick set change and a DJ interlude (which ignited a full blown audience sing-along to System of A Down’s “Chop Suey!” and Limp Bizkit’s “Break Stuff”), A Day to Remember took the stage. Before it kicked off the set with a “cyro” explosion (which just means a blast of red confetti to the pit). I listened as a group of pre-teen girls beside me bubbled, sweaty and excited from moshing.

      “Oh my God,” one girl squealed to her friend. “I kissed the side of the tour bus!”

      “We are not leaving until we meet one of them,” another chimed in. For all the feminist progression of women in the music industry, hardcore is still one genre dominated by men. It’s a style that keeps girls as “fans” and leaves little room for them to become anything else.

      A Day To Remember has been a band for just over a decade, becoming a Warped Tour favourite during that time. Frontman 27-year-old Jeremy McKinnon might strut like a posthardcore heartthrob, but upon closer inspection he’s slightly awkward and nerdy. The band kicked off its set with “Violence (Enough is Enough)” as the crowd mirrored the metronome-like head bobs of the men on stage. The venue exploded with angry teenage energy. “2nd Sucks” and followed as McKinnon took control of the crowd, every sentence he said littered with the F-word. Swear all you want, but that don’t make you tough.

      The band was tight and the set was loud and powerful, as powerful as emo can get. McKinnon joked around with his bandmates, calling guitarist Kevin Skaff a “humanjukebox” before forcing him to play “Mary Had A Little Lamb” and then an old AC/DC hit, which he sang along to while blowing the lyrics. The crowd happily ate it up. McKinnon stretched his voice from guttural metagrowls to sweetly sung pop hooks while the rest of the band powered around the stage, free from the restrictions of patch chords with their wireless gear. “Have Faith in Me” and then “Another Song About the Weekend” excited the crowd as a kid in a banana costume threw T-shirts into the audience and jumped into a rubber dinghy, crowd surfing atop the sweaty kids. 

      During “The Plot to Bomb the Panhandle” McKinnon carefully smoothed out his devil lock and then demanded that all the men in the audience take off their shirts and swing them around their heads like windmills. A Day to Remember closed the set with an acoustic encore, which gave the half-naked men in the crowd a chance to calm down before exiting into the street.

      Posthardcore is teenage music. It’s the gateway drug to the good shit. The whole time, I just wanted to walk up to all the young girls in the audience and pass them Hüsker Dü, Discharge, or even an L7 record and say, “Look, A Day to Remember is like pot. It’s the gateway to the good shit. Take these records. These records are heroin. Pretty soon the high is going to get so much better.”



      Elitism Is-so-unbecoming

      Aug 20, 2013 at 8:41pm

      "If for one minute you think you're better than a sixteen year old girl in a Green Day t-shirt, you are sorely mistaken. Remember the first time you went to a show and saw your favorite band. You wore their shirt, and sang every word. You didn't know anything about scene politics, haircuts, or what was cool. All you knew was that this music made you feel different from anyone you shared a locker with. Someone finally understood you. This is what music is about."
      That quote by Gerard Way about says it all.

      I've been to a couple of ADTR's gigs...definitely a well rounded group of guys and ladies not only in their teens but early 20's. Maybe you are getting too old for pop/punk.


      Aug 21, 2013 at 3:23pm

      I'll be the non-classy one because I don't care. You're a dumbass with irrelevant opinions. Music doesn't need to be defined within genres, it's not "confused". Music can be whatever it wants to be, you pretentious prick.


      Aug 21, 2013 at 6:50pm

      I've been listening to A Day To Remember for a very long time, I've gone to numerous shows, they are a crowd pleaser. Whoever runs this website should not have someone who clearly is not into this genre of music and is already highly opinionated do a review. You had your mind made up when you walked into the building because of all the heart throbbing young girls and the men in bro tanks. Honestly, your opinion is pointless. Over a decade of music and you think that you can pass this "heroine", as you call it, over and people will just take your advice? You are very wrong, their lyrics are meaningful and their passion is in every show they play. You would have known that if you walked in with an open mind.

      Ben Gazarra

      Aug 22, 2013 at 4:29pm

      As a member of the Vancouver hardcore up until the internet finally killed it off. I think it's worth mentioning Mish Way had nothing to do with that scene because she was in diapers. I think it's pretty pretentious of her to not only try and drop knowledge but to make fun of kids for what they're into. What were you into even 5 years ago? Leave the kids alone.

      Metalcore Mike

      Aug 22, 2013 at 4:42pm

      "Somewhere along the line hardcore went from bands like Negative Approach and Discharge to this regurgitated Hot Topic mall punk"

      Yes it did, then youtube came out and hipsters jumped onto scenes they would never in a million years have been involved in when they were happening. Cue entrance of Mish Way.

      Worst Reviewer Ever.

      Aug 23, 2013 at 3:46pm

      This is the worst fucking review I've ever read, littered as you call it with terrible puns and even worst names for things you obviously have no idea about, please for the love of god stop using the word "emo" and "MTV pop swagger?" who talks like that? next time you guys send out someone to do a review of a show, send someone who is into the genre or who isn't a fucking sob who thinks his opinion of music is all that matters, I've read well rounded, sophisticated, and smart reviews from many sites in which the reviewer is not a fan of the genre but is just a well rounded person, which doesn't seem to be the case here.


      Aug 23, 2013 at 5:37pm

      Ironic the author slams these kids for not knowing discharge or Neg Approach, since those are pretty basic when it comes to hardcore- there's always someone who goes deeper than you so why play that pretentious game? Especially when she is some 20 something that just recently found hardcore through art school tumblrs, hahaha

      Your an Idgit

      Aug 25, 2013 at 9:24pm

      My dog could do a better report than this ..I want to burn this and shove it up your ass

      Your an Idgit

      Aug 25, 2013 at 9:58pm

      My dog could do a better report than this ..I want to burn this and shove it up your ass


      Aug 25, 2013 at 11:28pm

      This is bloody stupid. These bands are alternative theyre nothing close to the so called "swagger pop" idiots youre comparing them to. I dont like rap so why would I go to a rap concert? Obviously I'd write a bad review..it doesnt make sence. The thoughtful lyrics put in these band's songs help teens and make them think. So I dont know who the hell you are to bash them.