For the second straight year, emo, post-hardcore, pop punk, and other alternative varieties will be alive and well in San Bernardino on a sweltering Saturday. Rockstar Energy Drink Taste of Chaos festival will bring back the sounds of the mid-2000s (and the Get Up Kids) and make plenty of the struggling young adults look back fondly on their high school days. This Saturday, the mantle is passed down to Saosin.
Originally formed in 2003, Saosin’s been through it all over the last 13 years. Before even releasing their self-titled full-length in 2006, the guys from Newport Beach had already lost two original members – including singer Anthony Green – and stirred up quite the internet buzz with their first couple of EPs.
After a decade apart, Green returned to the band two years ago – but it remains a balancing act along with his solo career and more recent band, Circa Survive. Two years later, the question still remains as to what the future holds for Saosin.
“As of right now, it’s kind of up in the air,” says bassist Chris Sorenson. “For those who don’t know, our singer is in a multitude of projects, so it kind of depends on his schedule. I think we’re definitely looking forward to exploring what we might’ve missed when Anthony was not in the band. We’re going to see what we can do creatively, and we’re going to make sure that we’re still having fun.”
Aside from sharing the festival stage with the bands they’re currently touring the country with – such as Taking Back Sunday and Dashboard Confessional – the festival will give Sorenson and the other members of Saosin an opportunity to look back on their history both as a band and as fans. With bands like Hot Rod Circuit and the Starting Line performing at the festival as well, every band will have stories about seeing another act perform a decade or two ago.
“I saw the Starting Line at a backyard party in Fullerton or Downtown Orange in like the year 2000,” Sorenson says. “It’s just cool to come full circle. Some of us got married or have kids, so we’re all kind of in that adult phase. But we’re all coming back and doing it with the energy that we started with.”
Although Taste of Chaos will be quite a bit bigger than that backyard show about 16 years ago, most of the bands on the bill would’ve been just as comfortable in that scenario as they are at a giant festival these days. The lineup for Taste of Chaos may look like a mid-2000s Warped Tour bill, but most of the bands are enjoying lives as grownups now.
“The priorities are different,” Sorenson says. “It’s just a different perspective. There’s not as much drinking, although there was never a lot of that. We’re just out here and stoked to play. We’re not worried about the little things. We’re just going out there and doing our thing and being stoked to do it.“
But for anyone who’s expecting Saosin to bust out a set full of greatest hits and older material, prepare to be pleasantly surprised. You’ll get a heavy dose of their newest album, May’s Along the Shadow, and a cover of a track that helped bring the band together in the first place. After all, if you’re going to have Anthony Green sing a song he didn’t contribute to, why not make it something that influenced the entire band?
“We’re playing a lot of new songs in the set, and we’re working on a very very special song for the festival,” Sorenson says. “Hopefully a lot of the people who are there and in our age group will recognize the song. It won’t be a Saosin song, but it’ll be something that we grew up being inspired by and we’re excited to play.”
Saosin performs at Taste of Chaos at San Manuel Amphitheatre, 2575 Glen Helen Parkway, San Bernardino. (909) 880-6500, festival.tasteofchaos.com. Saturday, July 16, 2 p.m. $42. 50. All ages.