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Bamboozle Left, 2008: The Tour That Defined Me

by Nicole Abea, Hopeless Records

Back in 2007, when I was 13, I begged my mom to let me see Fall Out Boy at the Long Beach Arena on the Young Wild Things Tour. The band had put out Infinity On High that year and all I wanted was to stand in a crowd and scream along to “Hum Hallelujah” with a bunch of other emo teens in too many layers of tank tops. This is not a story about that tour, because my mom said I couldn’t go. RIP.

She DID let me go to Bamboozle Left 2008 though. The year My Chemical Romance headlined, towards the end of their touring cycle for The Black Parade. I was so excited, I made myself an MCR shirt, put on my best fingerless gloves and military cap, and painted my face in skeleton makeup. I was still a Little Baby Emo, so out of that entire lineup MCR was the only band I knew, but I followed my cooler friends around all day discovering bands that would become regulars on my iPod Nano: MxPx, Armor For Sleep, Anti-Flag, The Bravery, even Flair-era Pierce The Veil. I got tossed into my first ever mosh pit for Chiodos and learned VERY quickly that people could scream in music—I was immediately obsessed. I’ll never forget the moment My Chem hit the stage, the way the crowd pulsed and surged and roared. They opened with “Sleep” and to this day I can’t listen to that song without getting chills. Truly a perfect day in my young life.

Hindsight being 20/20, this was an absolutely BONKERS first show to let me, as a 13-year-old, go to??? An all-day, outdoor show? With at least 100 bands? A merch pavillion the size of a strip mall? Just me and my three best friends running around like idiots, occasionally checking in with our chaperone to make sure we hadn’t been trampled or taken. Absolute madness. I’m so glad that this was my first show though.

I’m sure I would have loved seeing Fall Out Boy in an arena setting, but being thrown headfirst into the unbridled chaos of that festival made me fall in love with shows and new genres of music that I didn’t know existed yet. Music had been my whole world, but this fest showed me that the world was even bigger and wilder than I could have imagined.

I did eventually get to see Fall Out Boy the year after though…headlining Bamboozle Left 2009. 🤘

–Nicole Abea, Hopeless Records

The Tour That Defined Me:
Bamboozle Left, 2008


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