The lyrics to the song “This Is My Life Story” by MXPX run through my head as I hopelessly scramble to the very back of the line. I left later than I had hoped, got caught up in D.C. traffic, and arrived about 5 minutes before doors were scheduled to open. Once inside, I rush to get as close to the stage as I possible. While mashed between about five teeny boppers and their “boyfriends,” anticipation runs through my bones as I eagerly await the first performance.
First up is Further Seems Forever. I was a little skeptical about this particular band. I didn’t know if they could hack it without their former lead singer Chris Carrabba, better known as Dashboard Confessional. With the voice of a broken-hearted angel, Carrabba seemed to express the emotions deep inside himself, his band, and his audience. I didn’t believe that anyone else could ever top such a voice as Carrabba’s. But, I decided that I would give this “new guy” a chance. A little more on the hardcore side than Carrabba, the current lead singer of Further Seems Forever, Jason Gleason, put on quite a show. Although, somewhat drowned out by the music in the background, Gleason seemed to express his feelings just as well as any other punk/emo singer. I wasn’t impressed with his overall individual talent, yet I wasn’t deterred from the fact that he kept the music alive and the audience mildly entertained. With lyrics coming straight from the heart of depression itself, Further Seems Forever has definitely obtained much recognition from many emo fans. Nonetheless, without Chris Carrabba, a part of the essence of the overall sound of the band will forever be lost.
Causing limited excitement among the crowd, Further Seems Forever exits the stage. Up next is Something Corporate. I am literally in love with this band. Something about a piano player in a punk band turns me on. It is kind of refreshing to see a different instrument being used instead of the usual vocals, lead and rhythm guitar, bass, and drums. Not that I have anything against the typical foursome or quintet. The vocals of Andrew McMahon make me melt. Add the bittersweet melodies of a piano to a five person punk band and boom, you have Something Corporate. Although very similar to other bands according to their structure, Something Corporate has their own unique sound. Whoever came up with the idea to add a classical instrument to a punk band should be given a medal. A few favorite songs of the night were “Woke Up In A Car,” “Cavanaugh Park,” and “If You C Jordan” all from their current album “Leaving Through The Window.”
Following Something Corporate was Finch. Don’t ask me how they fit into this punk/emo scene because I truly have no idea. Finch is a cross between Thursday and The Used with a whole lot of unnecessary screaming. I am personally not a huge fan of too much screaming, so Finch did nothing for me. Despite the screaming factor, I won’t hesitate to praise Finch’s stage presence. Jumping, sliding, and running around. These guys were all over the place. The audience definitely responded to the band’s rowdiness. I believe that any band that can cause such ruckus amongst such a massive group of human beings deserves to perform on a stage. Of course, “Letters To You,” the band’s most popular song off of their album “What It Is To Burn” was a huge favorite. The album was a follow up to a previously released EP titled “Falling Into Place.”
Finally, the moment has arrived. New Found Glory is about to hit the spotlight. The crowd boos the until-the-band-comes-out-this-is-what-you-have-to-listen-to-music playing on the overhead speakers. The time lapse has been outrageously long. I begin to wonder if New Found Glory found something better to do. The NFG banner drops open, the lights dim, the show begins! Unfortunately, I was not in the front of the crowd for New Found Glory’s set. I had enough of those kids trying to push, shove, and punch their way to the front. So, I got out of there fast. I had to watch the show from atop Nation’s balcony, in the back. But, nonetheless, it was extremely enjoyable. NFG, without a doubt, has caused a revolution in the world of punk music. With hits such as “The Glory Of Love,” “Hit or Miss,” and “Head On Collision,” NFG has truly set the standards for all punk rockers who follow in their footsteps. In between wildly dancing around and mingling with his band mates on stage, Jordan, the lead singer of NFG, professed his undying emotions about love-gone-bad, cheating hearts, and of course as the saying goes, “bros before…” well, you get the idea. The overall favorite of the night was their last encore song: the recent single “My Friends Over You” from their new album “Sticks And Stones.”
The bottom line: great show, great bands with great talent. This concert was definitely worthy of the sold out crowd. My advice to you: none of these bands’ CDs do them enough justice so try to see them all LIVE!
November 7, 2002 – Washington DC – Nation