Miss May I had a lot of work to do to win me over. The last time I saw them they completely turned me off. It wasn’t that their music was bad or that they didn’t have enough energy. My disappointed was solely based on the fact that they had their own merch on while playing on stage. I know this sounds small and stupid but for me it is a big deal and something that I find disrespectful in a way. You can read all about my thoughts on the matter in my blog post “We’ll Fight Until We Die“. I told Miss May I that they were more than welcome to try and redeem themselves the next time they were in town… they redeemed themselves and then some.

The amount of energy that singer Levi Benton had was off the charts. He never stopped moving and was constantly getting the young crowd involved. The crowd pushed and shoved as Levi hopped between the three risers that had been set up at the front of the stage. The other members seemed to stay a bit more stationary but honestly, I think if they would have started running around it would have been a bit much. It was hard enough for me to keep track of Levi and keep my eye on the crowd at the same time.

The music, although a bit too mainstream sounding for my liking, was clean and crisp. It was nice to be able to hear almost every word and all of the guitar parts. Each drum hit was precise and without hesitation. I feel like last night was the first night I have ever given these guys a legitimate chance and they completely blew me away. I don’t know why I held so much against them musically. So maybe I’m still a little bit bitter about the shirt thing from last time, and yeah, Levi had some words to say about streaming music that I definitely didn’t agree with but when it came down to it, Miss May I’s music and live performance were great. They truly redeemed themselves which is a hard thing to do with me.

Sirens & Sailors was the second band to play and the band that impressed me the most (although all of the bands were generally pretty good). I had heard of these guys in passing but never really took the time to listen to their music. That was a huge mistake on my part and I look forward to truly listening to their music and digging deeper into it. These guys seemed to be a bit heavier than the rest of the line-up but they didn’t let that stop them and they didn’t go soft because of it.

I’ve seen line-ups like this before where one band is a wee bit heavier than the rest but they try and mesh onto the line-up by polishing up and going soft. Not Sirens & Sailors. These guys stayed true to their heavy, almost hardcore at times, sound. Seeing a band change their music to fit a line-up makes me so angry, sad, and disappointed at the same time. Part of me feels bad for them because I understand why they feel the need to soften up. In the end, it’s all about how many fans can you get and how much merch can you sell at a show. Obviously you have to play off of the other bands’ audiences and try to gain their love and affection… I get it. At the same time it really pisses me off. If you’re a heavy band, I want to see you play heavy music. Stop changing what you do to fit onto a line-up. It makes these young, impressionable kids fall in love with you under false pretenses. I think Sirens & Sailors is a perfect example of how to handle being the “different” band on a line-up. They stayed true to themselves and when I was outside in-between bands, they were the main topic of conversation.

I was more than disappointed in The Plot in You’s set. When they left the stage, you could feel the defeat radiating off the stage. These guys may have been a bit too heavy for the line-up but that didn’t seem to affect Sirens & Sailors. I have seen them before and have always loved them live but something was off about last night. Maybe it was the line-up, maybe it was the terrible sound that the bands had to fight with majority of the night but something was off. I get that people have bad days and some days things just don’t work out and nothing goes right so I’m just going to chalk it up to that. I hope to see these guys again soon and I hope they bounce back from whatever was going on last night.

The headliner of the night was Blessthefall. Unfortunately, I was too impressed by Miss May I and Sirens & Sailors to really pay attention to these guys as much as I should have. The music sounded fine and the crowd was definitely eating it up but for some reason it just felt to formulaic after Miss May I’s set. Blessthefall’s singer seemed to disappear off stage when he wasn’t singing and left the work of amping up the crowd to the other members. The lights and smoke also made it extremely hard for me to see much of anything. This is fine and it worked just because majority of the crowd was there for this band but I would much rather a set like Miss May I’s where every member is visible at all times. I like being able to see everything that is going on. In my mind they just kind of got up, played their songs, made the girls in the crowd swoon over their skinny jeans, and then got off. There was really nothing to it for me but then again, I’ve never been a huge fan of theirs.

Last night was a night where one of the openers did a cover of “Larger Than Life” by the Backstreet Boys and I was one of the few people in the crowd who actually knew the words. I’m always one of the oldest people at shows like this but that has not and will not stop me from enjoying nights like last night. So maybe it wasn’t my favorite show of the week and maybe the line-up was nothing to write home about but I still had a great time, made some new friends while hanging out with some old ones, and went to bed with a smile on my face.

Line Up:

A War Within

Sirens & Sailors

The Plot in You

Miss May I



Venue: Mill City Nights

Sausage Fest Meter-  7 out of 10

Broken Bones- None Noticed

Average Age- 17

Spotted Flying Through The Sky- Bodies

Level of Moshing- Huge Range from “What The Hell Is That?” to Heavy

Crowd Surfers- 17

Selfie Sticks- 1

Drink of Choice-Water

Celebrity Sightings- Jerrid of Royal’z; Eric of Blue Felix

Overall Score- 6.8 out of 10

Show On Deck- Silverstein/ Emarosa/ Being As An Ocean/ Rarity