I left home around noon figuring that puts me in Minneapolis around 2:30, so I could eat and hang out with Amy and Brian before the show, since gates opened at 4:30. Unfortunately, that didn't happen and I ended up getting to the bar closer to 3:30 because as it turns out, it was bumper to bumper traffic the entire way and I was surrounded by RV's and boats. Oh yes, and the one random asshole driving a SmartCar, which apparently cannot do 70 mph, so it holds up everyone.
I shake my fist at you, SmartCar driver.
So I get there, end up parking kind of far away and having to walk past a few sketchy businesses to get to the Whisky Junction where Amy and Brian were. Thankfully they ate before I got there, otherwise I would have felt terrible. I ended up not eating, I wasn't feeling it and figured worst case scenario, I'd stop on my way home if I got hungry.
After hanging out in there, watching the rain and winds pass by, we went outside to see the bands. Augustana was first and they were actually really great. I've never seen them play live, but I'd see them again. Unfortunately, they only played a short set, but it was good anyways. The next band to play was Dashboard Confessional, who was the band I wanted to see the most.
And it pains me to say it, but they were terrible. Absolutely terrible.
Here's the thing. If you haven't been around for awhile, there are a few things you should do before you come out on what is basically a comeback tour, so you don't look like painful has-beens:
- You need to practice. And if you have a band who hasn't played together in awhile, or new members, you need to practice a LOT together. Otherwise you sound like a really bad garage band where nobody knows the material and you sometimes sound like you're playing different things, or the same song at different parts of the song.
- If you're the singer, re-learn the words. Seriously. I know you wrote them and you feel confident you remember them, but you don't. A really terrible cover of this is when you ask the overly drunk crowd to sing for you. We don't pay for a giant sing along, we pay for tickets to hear YOU sing. Try it.
- I know when you were at the height of popularity, your main crowd was ages 13-20. Well, we've all grown up. Which means we aren't all throwing f-bombs around to sound cool anymore. The nice thing is that we've all aged with you, we all know we're cool without swearing like we would when our parents dropped us off at the mall.
- STOP TALKING SO MUCH. This isn't VH1 Storytellers, this is an actual concert in which we want you to play your music.
It was like an hour long set and easily, the longest hour of my life. I couldn't even tell you what songs were played because the sound system was so terrible that when Chris Carrabba did sing, you couldn't really hear it if you were in the back avoiding the drunks. The really sad thing is they did play two classic Dashboard anthems, "Screaming Infidelities" and "Vindicated" and he wanted the crowd to sing and literally, I heard one person. Oh, and "Hands Down" was supposed to be this epic sing along and nada. Nothing.
The other thing that made it special was being surrounded by a crowd of hippies who forgo showers and basic grooming. Normally, while unpleasant to look at, I don't care. You want to look like a homeless person? Cool. On a day where it's kind of warm and we're under direct sun? I really don't want to smell you. Seriously. I bath frequently and take every grooming practice so I am not offensive to other people. But nope, that's not common anymore, apparently. All I could smell was sweat, body odor, and the unexplained smell that comes from dreadlocks. It makes for an unpleasant fun night out.
We didn't even stay for Third Eye Blind because I didn't have it in me to stand there and listen anymore. A large amount of people around us must have felt similarly because as we were leaving, quite a few left with us and I saw even more as I pulled out of my parking spot. Also, on Facebook I'm seeing equally terrible reviews and it's sad. It's sad when you realize bands you adore and were a critical part of the soundtrack of your youth age as well and not always gracefully.