15 years in the making – A Day To Remember, Papa Roach, Falling in Reverse and The Devil Wears Prada rock the Tsongas Arena
Author and Photographer: Ian Urquhart
Normally on a Thursday night, the Tsongas Arena in Lowell, Massachusetts is home UMass River Hawks. However, there was metal to be played. First up, The Devil Wears Prada.
Regardless of where TDWP plays, havoc and sore necks are reoccurring themes when showing up to one of their shows. Setting the tone was necessary for the remaining artists to play that evening. Lead by Mike Hranica (vocalist) and all his hair, The Devil Wears Prada broke the metal-ice to get the blood pumping. Popular tracks like, “Worldwide” off of Transit Blues (2016) and “Danger Wildman” off of With Roots Above and Branches Below (2009) left people off their feet, signing along and bulldozing those to their left and right. The Devil Wears Prada is certainly talented enough to have a headlining tour, themselves. When it happens, it’ll be madness.
Next up, Falling in Reverse. Chatter throughout the crowd indicated some resentment towards Ronnie Radke (lead vocalist) after his legal accusations in 2017 (that’s for another article). Although many have their own opinion, at the end of the day, they put on an energetic set. For starters, Ronnie is beyond expressive on stage while performing. This may be the appeal to the Falling in Reverse crowd.
Although the genre is a bit different compared to The Devil Wears Prada and A Day to Remember, it gave the evening a sense of variety. Many of their songs were a bit upbeat and almost “poppy.” In the same breath, you could also sense a hip-hop vibe when they performed “Alone” off of Fashionably Late (2013). Having those varying tempos made the performance by Falling in Reverse to feel more dynamic. Overall, this was a well-rounded set with lots of light, energy and voices.
Hop of your time machine. Next stop – the high school years. Papa Roach came up next and they were not messing around. Throughout the duration of Papa Roach’s set, you saw: a mosh pit, a circle pit, a wall of death, everyone jumping at the same time, injuries, laughs, smiles and SO much nostalgia. Lead by Jacoby Shaddix (lead vocalist), the Papa Roach faithful blew the doors off the previous Baltimore show (said Jacoby). Newer singles including “Born for Greatness” off of Crooked Teeth (2017) and “Falling Apart” off of F.E.A.R (2015) set them apart from what they previously have recorded. But to address the elephant in the Tsongas Arena, everyone wanted to chant, “CUT MY LIFE INTO PIECES. THIS IS MY LAST RESORT,” at the top of their lungs. Once everyone had a chance to sing along to “Scars” off of Getting Away with Murder (2004) and “Last Resort” off of Infest (2000), a little piece of everyone listening felt more complete than they did before.
With fifteen years recording, touring, on the road, rocking and moshing, A Day to Remember took over the stage. Straight out the gate, “Sticks and Bricks” off of What Separates Me and You (2011) caused an eruption of CO2 cannons, confetti and screaming voices. A Day to Remember concerts are not just concerts. They are parties. Large beach balls get thrown into the crowd. Fans were told (asked) to participate in a competition which involves surfing on the body of another fan crowd surfing themselves. Large LED screens displayed Sonic the Hedgehog while “You be tails and I’ll be Sonic” off of What Separates Me and You (2011) rocked the house. There were themes for every song. And who can’t resist belting along to “If It Means a lot to You” off of Homesick (2009) with your best friend or significant other next to you.
But don’t let all of these party favors distract you from A Day to Remember’s ability to bring the heavy. Classic example of these can and will always be found in “2nd Sucks” off of What Separates Me and You (2011). With the overwhelming surge of voices screaming, “YOU’RE AFRAID,” Jeremy McKinnon (lead vocals) corralled the entire city of Lowell to sing and mosh. It was also normal to see bass guitars be slung across the stage in replace of, say, a football.
Fifteen years down and hopefully many more to come for A Day to Remember, Papa Roach, Falling in Reverse and The Devil Wears Prada. Rock on.
Until next time.
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