Growing up, my grandfather would always read a portion of the Talmud at every family gathering. They are words that I live by even to this date. I even have a line from it tattooed on me with plans on getting other lines tattooed in the future. One of the lines in this Jewish text is, “When you are faced with a decision, make the decision as wisely as possible – then forget it. The moment of absolute certainty never arrives.” I was faced with a decision on Wednesday night and used my best judgement as to what to do. In retrospect, I made the wrong call but, as the text says, “make the decision as wisely as possible – then forget it” so, when I’m done giving you the overview of Thursday night, I will do my best to just move on.

Before I get into this review, let me start by saying if you plan on going to any show at Somerset Amphitheater, get there early. The parking situation, although super organized, takes for ever. In the venue’s defense, there were warnings all over the place but, being the workaholic I am, I had to wait until I was done with work before making the forty minute trek out to Somerset, Wisconsin which meant.. I was late.

Unfortunately, I was so late that the only portion of opening act CARR’s set I caught was when walking onto the beautiful grounds of this outdoor amphitheater. I could hear the pop-punk leaning pop band perfectly though and although I wasn’t super into what I was hearing, I appreciated it for the fun it was. CARR’s sound, as mentioned, leans a bit more pop than I typically go for but it was fun. Think early Avril Lavigne nostalgia meets the new school approach of LOLO. It was a cute way to start off the set and I was definitely a bit bummed that I wasn’t in the crowd to get the full effect of the set.

Following CARR was Royal & The Serpent. I am aware that Royal & The Serpent is the moniker for Ryan Santiago (a twenty-nine year old musician from New Jersey) but there was a full band on stage with her and I feel like, although she stole the spotlight throughout the set, RATS’ set wouldn’t have been as amazing without the rest of the band on stage so I will be referring to RATS as a band rather than a solo project.

With only a single full length album that just came out last month and just a smattering of EPs and singles before that, RATS was definitely a bold choice for such an epic tour but, as soon as they took the stage, I understood why they were given the coveted spot. To say that these guys brought the energy to the stage would be an understatement. Although only fairly familiar with this band, they had me caught within the first song. There was a quirkiness to RATS’ set that I don’t think I was expecting knowing the little I know about this band. From the flawless Nirvana cover of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” to the way the band connected with the audience without much time for banter, I was left completely impressed.

The almighty Bring Me The Horizon was up next. You may be sick of me covering this band but I am far from sick of seeing them live. Without delay, the band jumped into their set starting with the heavy track, “AmEN!”. Vocalist Oli Sykes instantly had the general admission pit audience in the palm of his hand creating a flurry of activity throughout the grounds. Between people running to the front of the stage from all the way in the back at the top of the hill to the people right by the stage who were quickly turning into nothing more than a sweaty mess of limbs, it was safe to say that some of the audience was clearly treating BMTH as the headliner of the night.

Out of all of the bands on this epic bill, BMTH was undoubtedly the heaviest and a bit of an outlier on the tour but they performed so flawlessly that this whole idea of them being out of place was out of my head almost instantly. I’ve been catching this band live for well over a decade and they are one that will keep me coming back time and time again solely due to the power that comes with their performances.

Before playing their last song, Oli Sykes told the audience something to the extent of, “Act like this is the last song you’ll ever seen performed live in your life.” While the audience was completely losing their minds and doing what he had asked, I found myself preoccupied with the darkening sky and joked with some friends that, although not the last song I’ll ever catch live in my life, it very well could be the last one for the night. I regret saying that.

As the stage was turned over for the headlining act Fall Out Boy, the darkening skies darkened even more and started to be illuminated by lightening. Having done this for so long, I knew what this meant but held out hope until I heard the inevitable, “Please evacuate the venue… Shelter in place in your cars… Updates will be posted on social media.” I mean, I wasn’t surprised. The sky was ominous to say the least and there were giant cracks of lightning getting closer and closer to the grounds so I slowly made my way to my car to wait out the storm.

I sat there in my car waiting, and waiting, and waiting. The storm came and went for the next hour as I sat there trying desperately to refresh my social media feeds looking for an update from the venue. Honestly, I thought that they would switch the rain delay to a cancellation pretty soon but part of me just wanted to see it in writing before calling it and leaving. Refresh. Refresh. Refresh– one issue here– the service out there is terrible so my refreshing only did something about half the time. The only post that did load just said to stay tuned for updates but, after an hour of just sitting in my muggy car without the air running because I was an idiot and was running low on gas, I made a decision. I didn’t make the decision lightly but, with the lightning still illuminating the skies around me and knowing that there was [supposed to be] a 11 PM curfew, I made my decision as wisely as possibly and headed home.

About five minutes from me landing safely in my garage and my phone goes off. It was a friend who was at the show, “Gates just opened back up!” I honestly thought about turning around and, upon learning that the curfew was extended, kind of hated myself for not turning around but I was home and ready to get more than just four hours of sleep. I will say that when I woke up this morning to find out that the band had gone ahead and played nearly their entire set, all I wanted to do was go back to sleep and pretend like I hadn’t made the choices I did on Thursday night.

I will not be one of those that blames the staff or the promoter of this show for me missing Fall Out Boy perform what was surely an epic set. Although I do think it could have been handled differently and they could have had a better system in place for (more frequent) updates given the sketchy service in the area, it was ultimately my decision to leave and that’s something I will have to live with. Sorry, Fall Out Boy. I love you but Thursday night was clearly just not in the cards for me.

“When you are faced with a decision, make the decision as wisely as possible – then forget it. The moment of absolute certainty never arrives.”

Line Up:


Royal & The Serpent

Bring Me The Horizon

Fall Out Boy

Venue: Somerset Amphitheater

Smell-O-Meter: Rain

Average Age of the Crowd: 23

Crowd Surfers- None spotted

Stage Divers- 0

Mosh-ability- 8 out of 10

Amount of Beer Spilled On Me While Walking Around- $0

Broken Bones- None

Spotted Flying Through The Air- Rain

Fights- None Witnessed

Pukers- 0

Passed Out Kids- 0

Idiots Taken Out By Security – 0

How Irritated I Was With The Audience – 0 out of 10

How Many Times I’ve Seen These Bands Before (or at least how many times I can remember)-


Royal & The Serpent– 0

Bring Me The Horizon – 4

Fall Out Boy – 5

Celebrity Sightings – None

Overall Score – 6 out of 10

Show on Deck — Fall Out Boy / Bring Me The Horizon / Royal & The Serpent / Carr

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