I was still recovering from the Yungblud show as I parked my car and walked through Dinkytown to get to The Varsity Theater. I was excited for my Thursday night show but Wednesday night was just so good that I knew there wasn’t any way to top it. Maybe I was going into this concert with the wrong attitude but there was no changing my mind. Wednesday was the best show I had seen yet this year and nothing else could even hold a candle to it. Or could it…
Due to the need to feed my cats after work and my stubbornness over not paying for a parking spot when there was free street parking in the area (although it seemed to be a bit hard to find last night), I walked in just as Dead Poet Society was kicking into their second song. They may have been the first band on the bill and the audience may have just then been getting into the venue (I mean, doors were at 5:30 and music at 6, that’s an early freaking show) but that didn’t stop this group from giving the audience everything they had. There was something very unique about the vocal styling and the blend of different genres that rang through blatantly clear but there was also something so familiar about it all. It was a sound that was easy to fall in love with and easy to listen to mixed with an energy that was worthy of any headlining act. Sure, this show would never measure up to my Wednesday night show but if Dead Poet Society was the first of the three bands to perform and I was already falling head over heels, this show was sure to put up a fight.
I would have sworn up and down that I knew nothing about Weathers (the second act to take the stage Thursday night). Their name didn’t ring any bells, their look didn’t trigger anything– nothing about them led me to believe I had heard of this band before which is fine. I mean, I had never heard of Dead Poet Society before and they left me completely impressed and in love. I thought I knew nothing about Weathers until they kicked into their set and I instantly knew that I knew this band. I couldn’t quite place it until half way through their set when they played their hit song “Happy Pills” but I knew from the first note that I knew them. Like Dead Poet Society, Weathers has a sound that is so uniquely theirs yet somehow completely familiar. They somehow took that emo pop-punk sound that ruled my life for years and mixed it with the indie pop vibe that I just can’t get enough of these days. Easy listening but with an energy that commanded the audience’s attention with ease, Weathers is one of those bands that I wish I had taken the time to look into before going to the show. Their music is the perfect shout-along music and I only wish I could have joined in with the portion of the audience that had come prepared and sang along to every heartfelt word that this band had to offer.
It was September of 2016 in the same venue as last night that I saw Badflower for the first time. They were opening for Billy Talent who has been one of my favorites for years but honestly I remember more about Badflower’s set than Billy Talent’s. I remember being completely blown away by the opening act. I caught Badflower again in February of 2017 when they opened for Pop Evil and completely stole the show away with zero hesitation and again multiple times at festivals throughout last summer. Honestly, I lost count of how many times I had seen this band but I never got sick of seeing them. I don’t know what happened but all of a sudden it’s like it just stopped. I just stopped seeing this band on bills, stopped seeing them on festivals and although it broke my heart, there were plenty of other bands stepping in and taking over my daily playlist and my list of bands that I’ve seen too many times to count. As soon as Badflower announced their headlining show at The Varsity Theater, I knew I had to be there. I had to see what this band had been up to and had to know if my gut instinct of these guys being a “real thing” in the near future had come true… it had.
The band blasted on stage and promptly jumped into fifteen song set followed by a three song encore. Since it had been nearly a year since I had seem them last, many of the songs they performed were new to me but they were also clearly theirs. Badflower’s sound is a California sun drenched rock n’ roll with radio rock tendencies but an attitude that is far from radio rock. Vocalist Josh Katz explained to the audience that they never thought Badflower would get to the point that they are at today but that they will never be a sold out arena type of band because they have opinions on things and they aren’t afraid to write about said opinions. He’s not wrong in that thought process but there’s something about this band that leads me to believe they will get to that sold out arena level even with their opinions. The band members all come off as genuine and real humans and, in an ever-changing world and, more specifically, an always-evolving world of music, it’s bands like Badflower that I hope to see selling out those arena shows.
It may have been over a year since I had last caught this band but not much had changed other than the songs. Their energy was still on fire and their honesty was heard loud and clear. One of the main things I love about this band so much is they are not afraid to talk about emotions and mental health and, because of that, I will always be a huge fan and will continue to go and see them perform for as long as they continue to play out. The first time I saw this band I knew there was something there and new they had the makings of a much bigger band than they were at the time… I love it when I’m right.
Okay, so last night’s show wasn’t nearly as amazing as Wednesday night’s but that’s okay. Thursday night’s concert at The Varsity was absolutely amazing and, had it been any other week of the year, would have easily taken the crown for best show of the week.
Venue: Varsity Theater
Sausage Fest Meter- 5 out of 10
Average Age of the Crowd- 26
Crowd Surfers- 1- Vocalist of Dead Poet Society
Mosh-Ability- 2.1 out of 10
Stage Divers- None
Broken Bones- None
Spotted Flying Through The Air- Nothing
Idiots Taken Out By Security- None
Celebrity Sightings- None
Overall Score- 9.2 out of 10
Show on Deck- Lagwagon/ Face to Face/ MakeWar
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