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BAMBOOZLED!!!! day one

Posted by livefastpartyhard on 05/12/2010

Bamboozle 2010 hit Meadowlands Stadium in New Jersey the first weekend of May. The two day festival had an amazing line-up, – Angels & Airwaves, Weezer, Paramore, Girl Talk, MGMT, – and those were just the headliners!

Saturday morning dawned and all my prayers were answered – sunshine, clear skies and perfect 80F weather. You really couldn’t ask for a better day to start the festivities. Jules and I left early to meet up with other people and made our way over to Jersey courtsey of a Jersey Transit bus. For some reason the bus we took didn’t drop us right at the stadium, but down the highway a bit so we got stop at Mr. Hamburger for drinks and then trek over the highway to where the music awaited!

This is what we look like in New Jersey

We got a bit carried away with photos with Bamboozle signs

The line to get into Bamboozle was kinda crazy and it stressed me out a little since Title Fight were one of the first bands on and I really wanted to be able to see them again, since it would mean I’d seen them in 3 different states in just over a month. We ran as fast as we could across the asphalt and got to the Zumiez Stage just as Title Fight started. Despite their early spot, it was rad to see so many people out to support Title Fight. Maybe it was the midday sun, maybe just the excitement of seeing Title Fight AGAIN, but I’m pretty sure I did my fair share of shouting out and singing along a bit too loudly.

Title Fight ARE STARTING!!!!

Title Fight are rad, you should listen to them

He's in mid-air!!!

He's kinda a babe

After Title Fight, we walked around to the main stages just in time to catch a few songs from the band Versaemerge. They sounded like a bad rip-off of headliners Paramore, which isn’t saying a lot really. Bamboozle got a dose of Gossip Girl next up though when Taylor Momsen (Little J guys!!) took the stage with her band, The Pretty Reckless. I’d heard they’re not that good so I was pleasantly surprised when Momsen actually managed to carry a tune (she really does have a good voice). She had on aviators and when she took them off her eye make-up was so thick around her eyes that it looked like she still had her glasses on. Nice to see some things crossover well from TV to real life.


The Pretty Reckless

Taylor Momsen and her heinous looking band of old men

Four Year Strong played straight after Taylor & co, and ripped up the stage. Not only did they play my favorite song, Heroes Get Remembered, Legends Never Die, but also songs from their new album Enemy of the World. A definite highlight was their new song Wasting Time (Eternal Summer).

Four Year Strong

More Four Year Strong

One of the bands on the line-up that I wanted to see was Relient K. When I was a teenager I really liked them and even went so far as to enter (and win) a contest to win one of their CD’s back in the day. I was disappointed though because they only seemed to play new songs because I didn’t recognise any of them. Kinda boring really. How could they not play ‘Sadie Hawkins Dance’?!

Relient K being boring and not playing songs I wanted to hear

Random cute dude with huge plugs

The Aquabats in their matching costumes, no wonder Travis Barker left..

So the next band we spent our time watching was (long ago) teen heart throbs Hanson. They’re all grown up now, Taylor doesn’t look like a girl anymore and apparently they don’t play ‘Mmmmmbop’ or ‘Where is the Love’ anymore either. Again, I was disappointed due to lack of songs I loved but it was still pretty cool to see a band I really liked when I was 13, all the way back in the 1990s!!!

Yes, that's Taylor Hanson

All of Hanson, in all their glory

So to get over the disappoint I felt in Hanson, we went back over to the Zumiez Stages to watch the surprise guests of the day Against Me! I’d never seen them before so it was totally awesome to be able to finally see them live. Pretty sure I’ve danced/sang along to their songs SOOOO many times at Hot Damn.

Secret/surprise guests Against Me!

More amazingness

While Against Me! were on I had to sit down in the shade near the stage, I could still hear/see them playing so I wasn’t missing out on anything, my feet just really needed some rest! Saves The Day were playing the Main Stage so we caught them as well, finally getting to hear the song ‘At Your Funeral’ was a memorable experience to say the least.

Saves the Day takes me to my happy place

Check out the mega babe with the fake moustache and the umbrella hat. HAH

To fill in the last hour before I got to see Tom Delonge again (hello Angels & Airwaves) we stopped over at one of the small stages to watch screamo duo I Set My Friends on Fire. I saw them at Warped Tour this past summer and the kids still love them!

I Set My Friends on Fire

6:40pm and it was finally ANGELS & AIRWAVES time!!! It may not be Blink 182, but it’s still Tom Delonge!!! He looks older now and seems to be sporting a bit of a beer belly, definitely still a cutie though. And you got to love his crazy dance moves. They only had 35 minutes to play, and because most of their songs are 4-5 minutes they only got to play 5 or 6 songs. Tom seemed to love extending ‘The War’ to make his introductions to the crowd, and despite it cutting into their other song times, it let a bit of Blink 182-Tom shine through.

Oh hai, Tom!! So nice to see you again!

Show us your moves Tom!

Tom, getting a bit serious

The sun came out from behind the clouds while AVA were playing and it looked really dramatic, like even the Gods loved them

The last time I saw Something Corporate was when I was 19 and one of the girls I went with to see them is now married with a baby. Times change but good music doesn’t. Sooooo cliched, but in the case of Something Corporate, so true. They played ALL their old hits, and even rocked out Konstantine, a song they hardly ever play live. It felt so fun to sing along to Punk Rock Princess, I Woke Up in a Car, Hurricane and If U C Jordan. Singer Andrew McMahon even got up onto his piano at one point and played with his feet!

Something Corporate!! Together!! Again!

More Something Corporate

Pop sensation Ke$ha was the only act to get to play both days of the festival and probably the cheesiest but funnest of the bunch! As soon as she started it was obvious she was singing along to a backing track but it was still a fun set. She was even dressed in an Indian headress and covered in glitter (of course!). I think Ke$ha is one of my dirty little secrets now, you have to give props to someone that sings a song with the lyrics ‘Don’t be a little bitch with your chit chat/Just show me where your dicks at!’.

Drake was up after Ke$ha but a friend of Jules and I got us backstage passes to the VIP Redbull Artists Lounge so after a song or two of his we hit up the lounge instead. Air con, free redbull, free vodka, comfy couches and a chill DJ. What more can you ask for when you need a break at a festival?

This is what we look like after a long day in the sun listening to amazing music

I’ve seen Paramore once before, when they played at the UNSW Roundhouse back in October 2007 and pretty sure I spent most of the show upstairs drinking with the support bands. This time around wasn’t much different, Jules and I watched a few songs, but as soon as Hayley Williams introduced the slow song ‘The Only Exception’ were bailed and headed back to the Redbull Lounge. I don’t know why or how but we arrived at the conclusion we both didn’t like her very much…

The first day of the party was over *sadface*

We got lost on the way to finding our bus back to NYC and ended up walking two miles along highways in New Jersey at midnight before we found a bus. This could only happen to us...


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i buckled over on the cold brooklyn street..

Posted by livefastpartyhard on 05/12/2010

Saturday April 17th was a date I’d been looking forward to for quite awhile. I Am the Avalanche were headlining a soldout show at Webster Hall that night and they just happen to be one of my favorite bands. Like any band I’m excited to see, I’d been listening to them almost constantly for the previous week when I had the chance.

the excitement & anticipation was building...

The day dragged on but 8pm finally rolled around and it was time for me to meet Jules in Williamsburg to pick up some drinks at Turkeys Nest before a short trip on the L train over to Union Square. By the time we made it past the 80s disco upstairs and downstairs into the concert venue there was just enough time to stake out the perfect spot near the stage before IATA took the stage. I have to admit, I was pretty excited and I’m pretty sure I sang the words to every song, bar the new ones they played.

Despite not playing very frequently as a full band, and not having released a full length album since 2005, the fans went crazy. Most of the show the crowd were singing over the top of the band and the crowd surfers didn’t stop the entire set. IATA’s set drew heavily from their self-titled album, including ‘I Took a Beating’, ‘This is Dungeon Music’ and ‘My Second Restraining Order’, as well as three songs that will be on their new album, hopefully coming out sometime this summer.

Check out the video below of ‘Green Eyes’ and the photos from the show below.

They finally took the stage!

Oh hai there I Am the Avalanche

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one night we took a trip to astoria & san dimas…

Posted by livefastpartyhard on 03/12/2010

Our night began at Bennys Burritos in the West Village catching up over Mexican food and $3 margaritas. With one last margarita in hand, we made our way over to Webster Hall worried that we would miss the one band that brought us all together that night. We caught the tail end of the third-to-last band and impatiently waited through the next band as well.

This is what we came for

The merch desk was hidden in the back corner of the room and apparently The Ataris had already sold-out of their merch this tour so there was no temptation to spend money. I’m not sure if having their merch sell-out so quick into the tour (there are still 30+ dates left on the tour) is a good sign – either they’re still really popular or they didn’t bring enough merch with them. Anyway, lack of merch aside, the second last band finally finished and the band began setting up.

This is Kris Roe, being a skilled multi-tasker. He sets up AND he sings!

Getting excited at the prospect of seeing Kris Roe & co. PLAY!!!

They had no roadies (they cost money yo!) so they did it all themselves and started playing pretty soon afterwards. They opened with the title track off the 2003 album ‘So Long Astoria’ and my worry that Roe and co. would play a stack of songs from the two most recent albums (both of which I don’t have) were unfounded as they got deeper and deeper into the set. Of the dozen or so songs they played I only didn’t recognize three, one which was a cover.

Just play a song already

The Ataris Setlist:
So Long Astoria
Unopened Letter to the World
Summer Wind Was Always Our Song
The Hero Dies in This One
In This Diary
New Song
Take-offs & Landings
Eight of Nine
Your Boyfriend Sucks
New Song
Broken Promise Ring
Cover Song
San Dimas High School Football Rules

So emo with their flannels

The cute drummer

All in all, it was an awesome night, the only disappointment was when the crowd shouted for ‘Teenage Riot’ and was met with the reply “You’ll have to come to Jersey tomorrow night to hear that one” from Kris Roe.

Mareesha wants to marry Kris

This one was for me

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set your goals & motion city soundtrack at the fillmore NYC

Posted by livefastpartyhard on 02/23/2010

Motion City Soundtrack, Set Your Goals, This Providence & The Swellers 02/03/10

After the whole Jimmy Fallon debacle I did end up getting to see Motion City Soundtrack play the next night at the Fillmore at Irving Plaza, just a few blocks away from Union Square. I transferred my pent-up excitement from the night before and was extremely happy to know I was seeing two of my favourite bands that night.

The opening band was The Swellers from Michigan and because I thought that This Providence (a band I don’t really have any interest in) would be opening I missed half of The Swellers set before I realized my mistake. The couple of songs I did see were really impressive and the melodies, combined with the lead singer Nick Diener’s vocals reminded me of No Use For A Name. They definitely have that late 90s Fat Wreck sound. I felt guilty for missing most of their set so I hit up the merch table afterwards and bought their 2009 album Ups and Downsizing for only $10. Since my purchase, the cd has been on almost continual rotation on my stereo, – my favourite tracks so far are Fire Away, Sleeper and 2009.

As I mentioned before, I wasn’t very interested in watching This Providence but I decided to give them a go. Their flawlessly straightened bangs and tight pants were something that would have made me swoon a few years ago (but then again, back then wasn’t every band trying desperately to be the next Panic! at the Disco?) but hardly made an impression on me this time, apart from the fact it made me even more cynical toward their generic blend of pop/rock/indie/nothing special music. Apart from the singer of the band hailing from Australia, the most memorable thing I’ve heard about This Providence is the controversy surrounding one of their recent music videos.

If I was completely disinterested in This Providence, then I was completely, whole-heartedly passionate about the next band on the line-up. Bay Area hardcore kids Set Your Goals are a band I love and that I’ve written about on here before but this was the first time I’d seen them play in New York. I was also hoping that they might have Brooklyn band I Am the Avalanche vocalist Vinnie Caruana (another one of my music obsessions) make a guest appearance (he appears on the title track on their most recent album, This Will Be the Death of Us). From the second the band set foot on stage I was rapt and the smile never left my face. AND the third last song of the set was preceeded by the announcement they were going to have a little help from none other than Vinnie IATA! The show could have finished after SYG’s set and I would have gone home happy, that’s how much I love them.

SYG Setlist:
Gaia Bleeds
Goonies Never Say Die
Look Closer
The Fallen
Summer Jam
This Will Be the Death of Us (feat. Vinnie IATA)
To be Continued

Set Your Goals – Echoes

Set Your Goals – This Will Be the Death of Us feat. Vinnie Caruana IATA

After what seemed like an eternity between the sets, but in reality was less than twenty minutes, Motion City Soundtrack finally took to the stage and were greeted by an enthusiastic crowd. They straight away launched into Worker Bee, a song off the new album, My Dinosaur Life. Surprisingly, the second song of the set was the perennial favourite The Future Freaks Me Out. This song choice freaked me out a bit though since every time I’ve seen them in the past (and it’s been many many times) this song has always been close to the end or the encore song. I guess with the release of album #4 they want to mix things up a bit now. That being said, the most highly featured songs were from the last two albums, with just a smattering from I Am the Movie and Commit This to Memory. Even so, everyone in the crowd, myself included, lapped up everything MCS had to offer. I spent the entire set singing along, jumping up and down, and running up and down the different levels of the Filmore trying to get a better view before settling on a spot right in front of the soundbooth upstairs to enjoy the encore. As a special treat Justin Pierre brought out a Barbershop Dozen (not sure if this term technically exists but it was the same as a Barbershop Quartet except there were about 12 guys instead of 4) to perform an acapella version of Fell In Love Without You before the rest of the band came back out for the encore. They’ve sure come a long way since the first time I saw them when they supported MxPx at the UNSW Roundhouse back in 2005 and we shared gum and skittles together at the bar, but they’re still playing with the same enthusiasm and energy and that’s what I love about them.

Motion City Soundtrack Setlist:
Worker Bee
The Future Freaks Me Out
My Favorite Accident
Broken Heart
This is For Real
When You’re Around
Pulp Fiction
Last Night
A Life(less) Ordinary
Even If It Kills Me
Attractive Today
Perfect Teeth
Her Words Destroyed Me
Everything’s Alright

Motion City Soundtrack – A Life(less) Ordinary

Motion City Soundtrack – Everything’s Alright

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a late night at 538 johnson street

Posted by livefastpartyhard on 01/18/2010

The presale tickets for the Hope Conspiracy, Blacklisted and United Nations show at the Cakeshop in the Lower East Side on Friday night sold-out long before the show, and due to the small capacity of the venue, only a lucky few got to purchase tickets on the night. Unfortunately our little group of three were not among those lucky few; luckily though, Blacklisted and opening act Mother of Mercy decided to play a late night show at a loft in Brooklyn.

We ventured out to the Jefferson stop on the L train and after a few wrong turns we made it to the show. I’m not sure what the deal with 538 Johnson Street Ave is, it looks like people live there and also some of the apartments might be studio spaces but the loft that had the show was someone’s actual home. It was a pretty awesome space, two levels, with the entire middle section of the floor on the second level cut away so you can see everything that was going on downstairs.

The band set up so that the pit was directly below the hole in the upper floor, everyone present on the second floor had a perfect birds-eye view of what was going on downstairs without having to worry about getting hit in the face by flailing arms and legs. The hole in the floor also allowed the more brave souls in the crowd to perform a psychotic stage dive from the second floor down into the pit below.

It was a crazy night and full of adventures, some of which I have photographic evidence of below.

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i couldn’t wait for summer and the WARPED TOUR!

Posted by livefastpartyhard on 01/14/2010

So looking back over my photos of the 2009 Warped Tour made me nostalgic and that, coupled with the fact that the line-up and dates for the 2010 tour have recently been announced, I felt like writing down what I can remember…

The lead-up to attending the Vans Warped Tour has been a long one for me. When I was 16 years old Warped came out to Australia and it was the first big festival that I ever attended. The memories I have of that day are fading but I still look back on it and smile. It was a day at Dee Why beach filled with music and sun.

I loved that day in Dee Why so much that in my high school yearbook under my ‘goals’ section I wrote something along the lines of ‘Go to Warped Tour in California’. Obviously, when I was younger I really set the bar high for the future.

Finally, seven years and hundreds of shows later I had come full circle. June 26th marked the San Francisco leg of the the tour. The realization of a dream; the official beginning of my American adventure.

After a false start or two that morning, with my best friend and partner in crime, Jules, we made it to one of the piers down at the wharves in San Francisco. The show was sold-out but luckily we had guest-list spots lined up through Bad Religion Greg.

The smile on my face probably made me look like a crazy person but at that point in time I really didn’t care. With a line-up that included Alexisonfire, Bayside, A Day To Remember, Bad Religion, NOFX, 3OH!3, Senses Fail and many more who wouldn’t be smiling? The day was going to be one big punk rock ‘n’ roll adventure under the Californian sun in the shadow of the Bay Bridge.

Warped Tour brings together a bunch of bands from all genres that can be loosely classified as ‘punk’ (and a few that really can’t) and puts them on the road for the entire summer. Each day, 30 or 40 bands can play so it can be a bit of an ordeal trying to work out what bands to see and where and when they’re playing, as well as trips to the merch and food tents and the port-a-potties.

I have extremely bad luck when it comes to seeing the band Bayside play. They’ve toured Australia twice, first in support of Funeral For A Friend and second as a part of the 2009 Soundwave Festival. Both times I’ve had tickets to see them and both times I’ve missed their set. Because Warped changes the playing times of the bands every day and there is no way of knowing what band is playing when until you get there, I was pretty sure that my bad luck would continue and I’d already have missed them. Imagine my surprise and happiness when I discovered we hadn’t missed them! Bayside were officially the first band I got to see on the 2009 Vans Warped Tour.

Thanks to the passes we’d gotten we were able to watch all the bands from side of stage and wander around backstage the rest of the day. A Day To Remember were playing the same stage straight after Bayside finished so we had a quick trip to the catering tent for some much-needed water then it was back to side of stage. ADTR had recently released a new album so their half hour set had some new songs but it was nice to hear them throw in crowd favorites like Monument and The Plot to Blow Up the Panhandle.

I was only familiar with one of 3OH!3’s songs but Jules was in total obsession mode so we walked over to the main stage when ADTR had finished their set. Even though it was only early in the afternoon the crowd gathered to watch the Colorado pair play their unique blend of punk/rap/dance beats was pretty large. What almost brought tears to my eyes from laughing so hard was the little kid in front of me who looked no older than 12 that sang along to every single word. Hopefully he didn’t understand the meaning behind most of the lyrics (‘Whiskey’s on the rocks while your sister’s on my mouth’ anyone?).

It was a bit funny to watch NOFX take the stage as 3OH!3 finished up, one band represents a new breed of musicians that push the musical boundaries of what most would define as punk, while the other is almost a straight up definition of what you would consider a punk band, albeit a bit older now. Of course NOFX frontman Fat Mike baited the crowd, taking stabs at bands he didn’t think were worthy enough to be on this tour. Standard Fat Mike commentary really. It didn’t stop them from playing a short, fast and fun set, basically a greatest hits collection.

We only caught a few songs of Bad Religion’s set, by that time in the afternoon we were both dying of heat/sun stroke/hunger/thirst. Instead of trying to make it back over to the backstage catering tent we went to find some food down by all the band merch tents. As we sat in the shade of the trash cans eating our food we were serenaded by the sounds of Madina Lake from a nearby stage.

Towards the end of the day the last two bands we were really looking forward to seeing were Senses Fail and I Set My Friends On Fire. Senses Fail are a band I’ve seen countless times but I really love their music. I wasn’t too keen on the fact that the singer Buddy decided their set was the right time to let everyone watching know his distaste for a lot of the other bands on the tour. Sorry, but there’s only room for one Fat Mike on this tour. Apart from his tirades between songs it was a good set though.

Last band of the day was I Set My Friends On Fire. I wasn’t quite sure they’d be able to pull off their sound live but they did a pretty good job of it. The only thing that disappointed me was the fact they didn’t play their cover of the Soldier Boy song they’re so well-known for. In the end it didn’t really matter though, I was still glad I got to see them.

As well as a day filled with music here are a few other things I can remember; within a few minutes of walking into the venue some young teenagers approached us and asked if we were famous; there was an English band we met in the catering tent that were complete babes (if only they had American accents!); the female security guards were psychos, and not in a good way; in every direction we turned there were so many amazing dudes that it was hard to breathe.

There you have it, good-bye to the 2009 Vans Warped Tour. See you again in 2010!

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if life was a movie and death was the ending…

Posted by livefastpartyhard on 01/14/2010

Maybe the cold weather brings out the morbid side of me, or maybe I was in a melancholy mood, but today for some reason I started thinking about songs that would be good to play at funerals. Then that train of thought brought out the narcissist in me and I began thinking about the songs that would play  if my life were a movie. In particular, what songs would play at the funeral/the ending/as the credits were rolling.

A quick search on google reinforced what I already thought would be true – people play really bad music at funerals. According to Creative Funeral Ideas the most popular songs played at funerals in North America right now consist of:

  1. Celine Dion – My Heart Will Go On
  2. Robbie Williams – Angels
  3. Bette Midler – Wind Beneath My Wings
  4. Elton John – Candle in the Wind
  5. The Righteous Brothers – Unchained Melody
  6. Simon & Garfunkel – Bridge Over Troubled Water
  7. Sarah Brightman & Andrea Bocelli – Time to Say Good-bye

These songs would be fine if it was a funeral for someone born circa 1970 or before, or even for someone that is a fan of those late night radio shows where a presenter with a super husky voice takes love song dedications but for your average teenager or 20-something hipster, Celine Dion belting out a ballad ode to a sinking ship is just not going to cut it. And for the soundtrack of my life, I definitely don’t want a 90’s power ballad closing the show.

So what follows is my carefully thought out list of songs that would be good to play at a the aforementioned ending, definitely no Celine Dion or Bette Midler allowed.

Imogen HeapSpeeding Cars: I’m pretty sure the first time I heard this song was when it was used in the television show ‘The OC’. It may have even been used for Marissa’s death scene, don’t quote me on that one though. The slow piano chords and the brooding lyrics are enough to bring tears to anyone’s eyes. It also references angels and love, and the chorus repeatedly says “bye bye baby….none of us were angels and you know I love you yet”.

Brand NewPlay Crack the Sky: Jesse Lacey’s voice in this song is so raw and emotion-filled that I think from the first time I heard it I knew it would be the perfect funeral song. It always reminds me of that movie ‘The Perfect Storm’ that had George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg in it where they were fishermen and died when their boat got capsized by a huge wave but I think that’s probably because Lacey uses a boat metaphor the entire song. The lyric “I wish for one more day to give my love and repay debts” reminds us that life can come to an end very suddenly and unexpectedly.

Jeff BuckleyHallelujah: I was actually pretty surprised the results I googled didn’t bring up some version of Halelujah. I thought that the K. D. Lang version would be up there with the Dions and the Midlers, but it wasn’t. I think this song is the closest I would go to cliched because it’s a beautiful song and a classic, so why not include it in this list?

LCD SoundsystemSomeone Great: The first couple of times I heard this song the lyrics really stuck with me, I thought they sounded sad but I liked the way it was juxtaposed with the seemingly happy dance beat. It wasn’t until a few weeks later that it came on the radio and the DJ mentioned that the singer actually wrote it about someone they knew that died.

Rise AgainstSwing Life Away: I can actually picture Tim McIlrath sitting on his porch with an acoustic guitar singing this song. Its a jaded stripped-back song that has lyrics that ring true to any person that has grown-up a music-lover.

Jimmy Eat WorldHear You Me: This song reminds me of forgotten promises and words left unsaid. The soft guitars and distorted piano keys build on each other to a musical climax with sweet melodies that guarantee not a dry eye in the house.

Honorable Mentions:

Straylight Run – Existentialism On Prom Night

Bloc Party – SRXT

Death Cab for Cutie – I Will Follow You Into the Dark

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