29.

That’s how many times I have seen Motion City Soundtrack live.

Unfortunately, that might be the final count.

Last night I went to Motion City’s So Long, Farewell tour. It was their third night playing at The Varsity Theater in Minneapolis and was the show I was fortunate enough to snag tickets for (these shows sold out fast).

MCS is one of the first bands I remember seeing live. I was in high school and the show was at the Knapp center in Des Moines, Iowa. It was MSC, HelloGoodbye, Straylight Run, and one more that I just can’t remember. I remember watching singer Justin Pierre take the stage and all I could think was, “How in the hell does he get his hair to do that?!” You see, Justin’s hair is a work of art. It’s long but somehow stands nearly straight up until it succumbs to the heat and sweat. Last night, I saw that hair take the stage and was instantly in my happy place.

I try to act like a tough metal kid. I have the piercings, the gauged ears, the tattoos and love music where the singer is straight up yelling at you but my true love lies elsewhere. I am a pop-punk kid through and through and no matter how hard I try to ignore or hide it, that’s never going to change. I felt like I was in my element as I yelled every word back to the band and bounced up and down. There was no pushing, no shoving, no windmills, no hardcore dancing… just a bunch of happy people trying to relive their youth. That’s absolutely not a dig against metal shows. I love those. I feel alive when I’m watching a pit break and it’s exhilarating to block the kicks and hits coming towards you but sometimes it’s nice to be at a show and not worry about getting hurt.

MCS played all of the old songs I wanted them to play. They also played some new ones but, let’s be honest, I didn’t care about those at all. I was at the show last night for a final chance to relive all of those years I used to obsess over this band. Each song took my back to my bedroom at my dad’s house where the walls were covered in stickers and pictures I had cut out of my Alternative Press magazines. I could taste the french fries with ranch I used to eat at Perkins after damn near every show I went to. I could see the faces of the friends that I used to drag to all of these shows. Everything rushed back to me and it was exactly what I needed last night.

I went to the show with my little brother. He went to that show over ten years ago at the Knapp Center with me. I think that was the first show I ever took him to. He didn’t get as big into live music as I did (then again, is anyone else on the planet really as addicted to live music as I am?), but he still goes to a show here or there. The icing on the cake for the show last night was having him by my side as we sang those teenage anthems together. After a weekend of sadness for our family with the loss of our grandmother, last night was beyond perfect.

Because I have seen MCS so many times, I felt like the show was kind of the same (not in a bad way at all… they’re always amazing live) until they played “Let’s Get Fucked Up and Die”. With all of the times I have seen these guys live, I’m pretty sure last night was the first time I got to see them play this particular song. Sure, the title sounds like a super inappropriate song but the lyrics have always stuck with me. It’s a song about Justin’s personal recovery and quickly turned into a song of recovery for me too as I went through a bout of terrible self harm. That song was on repeat when I was having a good day. It showed me that even some of the members of my favorite bands get down on themselves but there’s always hope. MCS, and multiple other bands like MCS, gave me hope and helped me through one of the darkest times in my life.

The last song they played last night was “The Future Freaks Me Out”. I remember watching the music video for this song with my brother. We would watch it over and over and over again until it was completely burned into my mind. The video was fun, quirky, cute, and I knew after the first time I saw that video, this would be a band that will stick with me for years to come.

Last night might have been the last time I will get to see Motion City Soundtrack live. Yeah, I’m bummed out about that. I’ve always been a fan of theirs and would love it if I could keep on seeing them a few times a year but all good things must come to an end.

Last night was a perfect ending.

Line Up:

The Crash Bandits

Cadillac Blindside

Motion City Soundtrack

Venue: Varsity Theater

Sausage Fest Meter-  5 out of 10

Average Age of the Crowd- 22

Crowd Surfers- 16

Stage Divers- None

Danceability- High

Broken Bones- None

Drunkards Taken Out By Security- None

Celebrity Sightings- None

Overall Score- 9 out of 10

Show on Deck- BRAND NEW/ Modest Mouse in Bonner Springs, KS– ROADTRIP!

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