Fearless Friends Tour
Nov. 14, 2010
House of Blues Anaheim
When The Beatles came across the pond to the United States, Americans witnessed a mass hysteria, amongst mostly teenage girls, called Beatlemania. At this time in their career, concert attendees recalled barely being able to hear The Beatles' music over the roaring squeals of the uproarious fans.
On Saturday, Anaheim experienced a very similar fandemonium at the Fearless Friends Tour show at the House of Blues. The venue was at maximum capacity and was mostly filled with young girls who screamed like they were on the first drop of Supreme Scream at the mere mention of any band on the bill.
The singers of Mayday Parade and Breathe Carolina purposely didn't sing key lyrics of the chorus of a few songs to let fans fill in. The girls didn't fumble a word, and so many joined in, the crowd sang louder than the microphones. It's clear to see from the concert that the Fearless Records crew have a die-hard following. However, it's music that doesn't quite cater to a wide age group, which perhaps may be precisely the point of the music.
When The Beatles first rose to fame, many of the adults didn't see the intense attraction the youth had to the Mop Tops. So can be said of the pop punk genre. At the risk of sounding like the nurse at the retirement home needs to put me down for a nap, I just don't get the appeal of the bands on this tour.
The show sounded like listening to the same song on loop for about four hours. It's hard to write a band by band review of this show, because after talking about two bands, it would become redundant. Most of the Warped Tour veterans that played Saturday have extremely formulated songs. The majority of the songs have power chord heavy riffs, treble-driven bass and high-pitched vocals.
But it must be admitted, they've got a musical formula that works. The Warped Tour, which is now dominated by bands on the pop side of the punk spectrum, just finished it's 15th year and the Fearless Friends tour sold out the House of Blues.
One band did break the mold slightly. Though the formulated pop punk sound was an underlying sound, Breathe Carolina, encorporated electro beats and screamo vocals into the mix. They even had a keytar which was cool for kitsch effect. They had some danceable tunes that were a welcomed break in the routine. They played an amusing cover of Down by Jay Sean from the Pop Goes Punk Volume 3 album.
Mayday Parade finished off the evening with an energetic set. They had two platforms on both sides of the stage, that most of the band stood on and jumped off of them. For the most party, they didn't let down the energy and even asked the audience's permission to play right through the encore. The best part of their set was “Miserable at Best.” They invited ex-bandmate Jason Lancaster to join in on the song, which was a soft, pretty piano song. Then they invited the audience to sing along. The lyrics “I can live without you, but without you, I'd be miserable at best,” was an interesting juxtaposition to the prior song called “If You Can't Live Without Me, Why Aren't You Dead Yet?”
It wasn't called the Fearless Friends Tour for nothing. Several band mates from many of the bands on the bill joined in on the other band's sets.
The show was, I imagine, a good refresher for the Warped Tour 2010, where half of the bands on the bill had played in 2010. The show ended at 10:30 p.m.; just in time for all of us to be home by curfew.
Critic's Bias: When I was the audience's age, I only listened to hardcore and early English punk sub-genres.
Crowd: High schoolers with sore throats in band tees and jeans.
Random Notebook Dump: I would rather listen to these bands all day that continue to see this 16-year-old couple lick every inch of each other from the neck up three feet away from me.
Mayday Parade's Partial Setlist:
Kids in Love
When I Get Home You're So Dead
If You Can't Live Without Me, Why Aren't You Dead Yet?
Miserable at Best
Three Cheers for Five Years
Champagne's for Celebrating (I'll Have a Martini)
Anywhere but Here
You be the Anchor that Keeps My Feet on the Ground, I'll be the Wings that Keep Your Heart in the Clouds
When not running the OCWeekly.com and OC Weekly’s social media sites, Taylor “Hellcat” Hamby can be found partying like it’s 1899.