Losing Warped Tour was a blow to a whole generation. It was always the best day of the summer. A day full of nostalgia, sun and smiles– it was something that I am seriously honored to have experienced so many times and something that I miss with all of my heart. Thankfully, I’m not the only one that felt this way and as I left work yesterday for the Sad Summer Festival, I couldn’t help but feel the same way I always felt when driving to Warped Tour- excited, ready to cry, and ready to sing my heart out.

Sad Summer Festival is a new traveling festival that I hope continues on for many years. With a line-up similar to Warped Tour as far as nostlagia and modern meeting at a beautiful junction, the only difference really seems to be that, instead of 384 bands, it was just eight and instead of a day that leaves you exhausted and barely making it to your bed before passing out, it was the perfect balance of chill and excitement. Instead of nameless food vendors like Warped Tour has done, some of my favorite local food trucks were parked outside of The Myth for this mini-fest. The sense of love in the air was all around you and the friendly signs about free water being at bars all around and posters proclaiming the venue as a safe space were just the icing on the cake. The only thing I really “endorse” with this blog are certain bands that I fall head over heels for but that’s not even really an endorsement, more just me writing my opinion. I am here to say that I, The Girl at the Rock Shows, fully endorse The Sad Summer Festival.

Sadly, due to a day job and the uncertainty surrounding this new festival, I missed the first four acts. With a 1PM door call and a 2PM start time, there was just no chance for me to catch everyone while keeping my boss happy. I honestly wasn’t even going to go because of that but, after freaking out with a good friend about how guilty we would feel for not experiencing this festival on it’s maiden journey, I decided we could just go after work. We made it to The Myth just in time for The Wonder Years to play and, as I walked in, I knew not leaving work early and missing any part of this festival was a mistake.

Sets were short but they definitely packed a punch. The Wonder Years was a perfect band to start our experience with. They blend that line between nostalgia and new music with the way their sound pays homage to the greats of the pop-punk scene while feeling fresh and new. Although I’ve seen them multiple times before and last night was actually the shortest set I’ve ever seen them play, it was somehow the most powerful. I don’t know if it was because it was their last night on this tour or it was the atmosphere given off by the festival but it was honestly the most perfect set I’ve seen this group play.

After Wonder Years cleared off the stage and my friend and I went for a drink and a wander, it was time for Mayday Parade. Although these guys were never really “my band”, they are definitely a band that hits me right in the feels and certain songs of theirs make my eyes water up like it’s the thick of allergy season. Although it’s been years since I’ve really sat down and listened to their music, as soon as this band kicked into their quick set all of the lyrics started flowing back to me and it was impossible to resist singing along to every word of those songs that helped me through high school heartbreaks. It may have been years since Mayday Parade hit the scene but not much has changed about this band. Their music, even the newer material, still has the same vibe and the band members have the same stage presence they always have. To say that seeing Mayday Parade year after year brings me a sense of comfort would be an understatement and I’m already looking forward to their next visit to the Twin Cities.

The friend I was with and I don’t have the same taste in music when it comes to most things. I like heavy and chaotic, she likes calm and collected but even with that stark difference in opinion, the next band to take the stage is a band that I think has saved both of our lives at one point or another. What can be said about The Maine? Sure, they are nostalgic and I can still sing every word from every song off of their 2008 album ‘Can’t Stop Won’t Stop’ but they are so much more than just nostalgia. I know I’ve written about it before when I’ve caught these guys previously but it can not be said enough– The Maine is one of the few bands that I feel has really grown up with me. The lyrics of every one of their albums seems to hit me at exactly the right time and although I love reflecting back and singing along to their songs about girls and breakups, there’s something truly magical about singing along to the same band as they sing about making it through mental health hurdles and truly just being a good person.

I could go on for days about how much The Maine means to me and about all of the feelings I got as I stood there singing along to the songs that have saved my life over the years while swaying to the beat with my best friend by my side but, like almost every other night I spend in a cloud of nostalgia, none of my words will make you feel what I felt. So, instead of describing it, I’ll close out this post with some lyrics from The Maine that seem to describe everything in the most perfect way.

“This one goes out to my closest friends
The ones who make me feel less alien
I do not think I would be here if not for them
See all the nights in shitty bars
Throwing up in taxi cars
Or on our backs under the stars
As we sang, as we sing

What’s another night on Mars?
With friends like ours
Anywhere is home”

Thank you to The Maine, Mayday Parade, The Wonder Years, all of the other bands that played, all of the people that worked behind the scenes on this beautiful tour and all of the fans that made the atmosphere absolutely perfect. I’ll see you at the next Sad Summer Festival.

Line Up:

Mayday Parade

The Maine

STATE CHAMPS

The Wonder Years

Mom Jeans.

Stand Atlantic

Just Friends

Ashland

Venue: The Myth

Sausage Fest Meter- 4 out of 10

Average Age of the Crowd- 12

Crowd Surfers- 13 Spotted

Nostalgia-Ability- 13 out of 10

Stage Divers-  None

Broken Bones- 0

Spotted Flying Through The Air- Bodies, Drinks

Fights- 0

Pukers- 0

Drunkards Taken Out By Security- 0

Celebrity Sightings- None

Overall Score- 9.8 out of 10

Show on Deck- Justin Courtney Pierre/ Jawbox

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