2014 Winter Meltdown

First… lets have a Flashback Friday Morning to 2013…

One year ago was the 2013 Winter Meltdown presented by 96X. I went with my friend Kaila to see Capital Cities, Kaila was most excited to see Fall Out Boy. Honestly, I didn’t know they were still a thing until the concert was announced, oops. We didn’t know the opening acts very well; MSMR, The Last Bison (replacing The 1975 who got stuck in bad weather), New Politics, and The Neighborhood. We didn’t get there in time for MSMR, but we enjoyed a great show by The Last Bison. Following TLB, was this band called New Politics. I had heard their song Harlem, and enjoyed it. But I didn’t really take the time to listen to anything else by them. From the moment they took the stage I was hooked. Their energy was addicting. The lead singer danced and crowd walked. I had never seen anything like them. It was just a blast. Since Winter Meltdown I have seen those three guys of New Politics 8 more times, and even had the opportunity to be in their music video. They were the first band that I wanted to see badly enough to go alone to a show for. Now I go to probably 75% of my shows alone, because I learned I really don’t need anyone to come with me. This Fall they had an incredible band, SomeKindaWonderful open for them. If you have talked to me more than 20 minutes in the last two months I am sure I have found a way to bring up SKW. At the last NP/SKW show the guys (and gal) of SKW were even sweet enough to make me feel like their friend for one night. It was an experience I will always be thankful for.

So yeah, before I make this ANOTHER SKW post… THAT is why I love the 96X Winter Meltdown. I was introduced to New Politics which gave me some amazing concerts and also introduced me to SomeKindaWonderful.

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It’s 2014!!

When the date for this year’s Winter Meltdown was announced I immediately made plans to purchase tickets. It didn’t even matter who the lineup was, I was going. Fortunately the line up was AMAZING!! Banks, Bleachers, HAIM, Neon Trees and Rise Against. Love (or at least really like) all of them!

I have become a barricade girl, so I knew I wanted to get to the venue early. Kaila didn’t like the line up this year and her husband just came home from a 9 month  deployment so she didn’t join me. I probably could have found someone, else, but I didn’t bother. I really have started to like going alone. I was talking to a girl in line about it and how it eliminates the risk of bringing a friend who can’t keep up in the first few rows of the pit. I nicknamed this hypothetical stereotype Stacey, rather Fucking Stacy. As I was talking about “Fucking Stacy” two guys from Richmond joined the conversation. I love meeting people at concerts, you obviously already have one common interest! Right before doors opened the bottom fell from the sky and it started pouring. That was pretty unpleasant, but we all had a good sense of humor about it. I mean after all what could we do?

When doors opened I dashed to the front of the pit. They had us all sit down criss-cross applesauce. I use that term, because it really felt like we were about to have some kind of reading rainbow experience. It was weird. I am thankful that isn’t a normal concert thing. I ended up in the second row of the pit. Everyone around me seemed younger, I am used to that after all the New Politics shows I have been to. (Their average fan is usually ten years younger than me. ) I was glad that I exchanged twitter names with the two guys I met in line, it made things entertaining when the kids around me wouldn’t talk to me lol.

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I hang on everything that you say
You know I can see all the things that imply
You secretly are in love
And finally when I let myself fall hard for you
I see you trying to pretend
Like I’m making it up
This is what it feels like.

The first performer in the line up was Banks. In the weeks leading up to the show I posted a few things on Instagram with her tagged.  Everytime a Banks fan chimed in telling me how much I will love her! And they were right, she is… well… a Goddess. She is just stunning on the stage, Her voice is amazing. I would love to see her at a smaller venue with better acoustics. This was in a sports complex. I don’t think it did her justice. She commands attention with every word and movement. It was almost hypnotic. She doesn’t have the style that I can listen to for hours straight, but I wouldn’t hesitate to see her live again.

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And I know that they have hurt you
And I know the love you gave feels cheap and used
And I know it’s getting harder
And I know the lights have all gone dark on you
Still I will love your shadow
When the love you gave feels cheap and used
Yes I will love your shadow
When the lights have all gone dark on you

Next up was Bleachers, this is who I was most excited to see. Mr. Jack Antonoff and his crew did not disappoint! What musicians and performers they are!! I have never seen someone with the same style of stage presence as Jack Antonoff. It was unique, I don’t know how to describe it. I totally fan girled for him though. They played all my favorite songs from Strange Desire, including “Shadow” which is one of my all time favorite songs. Nothing to me beats being right by the stage and hearing one of your favorite songs life. Except for maybe holding Jack Antonoff’s hand as he sings “I Wanna Get Better.” Yeah it happened, and it was awesome. Again, I was such a fan girl, not like myself at all. There is something about that man. Maybe it is knowing that is the closest I will get to Lena Dunham LOL. But yeah, incredible set from Bleachers. Loved the saxophone solo! I can’t wait to see them again in Richmond next week! They also just announced they will be coming back to Norfolk in March! I am going to try to wait to get tickets until after SomeKindaWonderful announces their tour. I have full intentions on following them to as many dates as I can (cough cough SKW please hire me to sell Merch LOL)

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Never thought that I would grow so old of seeing the gold
Still I never want it to go
I would hold it up to my cold heart
Feel the way it used to start up

Take me back, take, take
Take me back to the way that I was before
Hungry for what was to come
Now I’m longing for the way I was
You say you will, say you will save me

I was just BLOWN AWAY by HAIM. The day before the Grammy nominations were announced. Their nomination is WELL deserved. These girls just rocked from start to finish. They had the same captivating performance that I saw in New Politics last year. I had an absolute blast during their set, it left me wanting more. This was also their last show until after they release another album. Glad I got to see a full set of the “original” songs. I will definitely see them again next time I have the opportunity. My favorite moment from their set was when they just rocked out. I am not a big enough HAIM fan to know if that was instrumentals to one of their songs, if it was improvised, or what. It was just amazing though! Then they also had a drum part where they rocked out there. Gah, it was just so good! The girl I was talking to before the show drove from New Jersey to see HAIM specifically. I hope she got to meet them after the set like she hoped. Really though, I feel like I need to say it again, these girls ROCKED! A few months ago my friend sent me a pic that said “Girls twerk, Women headbang.” That was written for HAIM. Period.
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I don’t believe making out is a dead romance.
I miss the days being kids simply holding hands
I’m sick of wondering if you would ever call me back
I check my 4 different accounts just to end up mad.

I want to start off by saying that I love following Tyler Glenn on Twitter. Just the right amount of real life and rock star. One of the friends I made during my New Politics journey has met him a few times and I was very disappointed that I didn’t get to see him after the set. (I will get back to that in a minute)They were fabulous though! The energy through the whole set was amazing. I totally have a lady crush on the drummer too, she is fierce! The main song that had me fan girling was Love in the 21st Century. I was so glad they played that. It was Brandon’s birthday, I love when I am at those special shows, makes it more memorable for them and for me. Tyler came down to the barricade and keeping in theme, I also got to hold his hand when he came down. Fortunately, I remembered that he is a human and I did remember to let go of his hand in a reasonable amount of time. (Totally had the death grip on Jack Antonoff, my bad bro) Their set was everything that I hoped that Neon Trees would be. It was bright, energetic, and electric. Please come back to Norfolk soon!

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That’s why we won’t back down
We won’t run and hide
Yeah, ’cause these are the things that we can’t deny
I’m passing over you like a satellite
So catch me if I fall
That’s why we stick to your game plans and party lives
But at night we’re conspiring by candlelight
We are the orphans of the American dream
So shine your light on me

SO I like Rise Against. I was really at the show for the first four bands though. My plan was to leave after the Neon Trees set to try to meet them. The people in front of me on the barricade had the same plan, I couldn’t turn down barricade. I just couldn’t. I am so glad I stayed. What an AMAZING set! I have never rocked so hard at a show. It was pretty intense in the pit, I was glad I had the barricade to hang on to. I still got kicked in the face, beadbutted, and just knocked around. 100% worth it. They are just amazing live. Gave me a new love for their music for sure. (Yes Ialso got to hold Tim Mcllrath’s hand for a moment. I mostly awkwardly touched his leg, because he was standing right on top of me on the barricade.) The show was amazing from start to finish though. I especially liked when he went acoustic for a song before returning to rock out for a few more songs. Will I see them again if the come to the area HELL YEAH! At the end the crowd dropped the drumstick that was tossed. The security guard picked it up and me and the girl next to me grabbed it at the same time. Yeah, I pried it out of her hand by twisting her arm slightly. Not my classiest moment, but I have a pretty rad drumstick souvenir. I wanted to get him to sign it after the show, but the bus area was gated and it was cold and rainy. I didn’t want to risk them not coming out.

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The whole experience was incredible from making friends in line to getting slightly aggressive over a drumstick. The crowd had great vibes and it had that community feel that I love feeling in the pit.

I discovered 96X after living in the area for a year, because my old Honda didn’t pick it up. It was instantly my favorite. They bring two incredible shows to the area (Summer is 96X Fest) every year. They play new music as it is released, but also play old favorites. I have a special love for their Sunday Morning Hangover Brunch. They have some amazing acoustic versions that they play. If you are in the Hampton Roads area, definitely give them a listen! Yesterday they even played The Griswolds, my favorite Australian band who will be opening for Walk The Moon next year!

My final concert of 2014 will be this upcoming Wednesday. Stay tuned, after that I am hoping to have a pretty epic recap of my year in music. What a year it has been….

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