Eight years ago, the celebration was not this epic.
August 7, 2014
Now that I’m finished with my finals, I can finally sit down and just let my thoughts run rampant from the July 25/26 weekend. I’m trying to figure out where exactly to begin in.. because it was so much fun, and for the sake of your sanity, I don’t want to present a novella.
So, Thursday night I met Riley in Tampa. We did a little late night shopping, enjoyed the Cheesecake Factory and then stayed up until the sun was getting ready to rise so we could figure out which artists to interview at Warped Tour and what we would ask them. We didn’t get much sleep. We actually caught ourselves watching infomercials… who does that?! Not us, usually. I don’t even remember what we watched on TV. I think it may have started with a baseball game, and then changed to us trying to find the Disney Channel to see if they had any late night oldies but goodie shows. We failed at the TV… because obviously I guess we thought infomercials were a great idea ;o).
Friday morning, I was super stoked. I love Warped Tour. This was the 7th year I’ve gotten to cover it for Stardust. It always seems like such a drag when you start thinking about the heat, the sun, sweating, being drenched all day… but at the same time… there’s almost no way to trade that in for anything else. It happens once a year. On the way to St. Petersburg, it began to pour and started lightning. Riley and I sat in the parking garage for awhile because even though I was prepared with ponchos for us, we didn’t want to start the day with getting our shoes all nasty and it wasn’t like we were going to miss anything since it was lightning. After we made our way inside and checked in to the press tent, we learned that 90% of the artists that we wanted to talk to that day were not going to be doing press. I laughed to myself. Each year I try to pick artists that are fairly new or aren’t extremely established–that fit the demographic of Stardust of course. I think it’s poor judgement for an artist to not do any press because ANY exposure that you can get at that level is worth two minutes of your time.
Anyway, we wound up missing Yellowcard which we were bummed about. We’ll just have to rock out to “Ocean Avenue” another time. We wanted to see some other artists too but they were playing the very last time slots of the event. Normally, that’s cool but we wanted to head back to the hotel because somehow the book bags we had brought with us had rubbed little sores on our shoulders. Imagine that… both bags had such a strange mesh under the straps. Bad idea. Even as I write this now, my little blotch is still healing.
We ended up at Panera. People probably wondered why we looked so nasty. I can only imagine their thoughts since we were still sweaty, had mud all over our shoes, and probably smelled like Teen Spirit (okay, bad music joke).
The next morning, July 26th was the start of my heartiversary. It was eight years ago that day where I found out I had a heart problem that had never been detected and it was requiring surgery. I’ve written really detailed blogs in the past about it through the years as a means of coping and triumph–and also with the hope that it can provide comfort to others who may get the same diagnosis with a million questions that take over their mind. If you’re interested in reading any of that, CHECK IT OUT HERE. I promised myself I wouldn’t write about that stuff again. (1) Because I think part of the healing process is putting things behind you. I’ve learned and I’ve grown. I’ve moved on and made myself who I am today because of it. There’s nothing more that I can possibly say about it. (2) I’m starting to forget the details. I don’t know if it’s that my memory is trying to bury things so I don’t revisit them and reflect on the scary times, or if it’s me being in a better place and being over what made me so fragile for so long. Either way, it’s there if you want to check it out.
Each year on 7/26 and 8/31, I like to do something fun and exciting to celebrate. This year the plan was seeing Paramore and Fall Out Boy. The day began with us getting up in the early afternoon (hey, listen, we had a long day the day prior! haha), and heading to Guitar Center so Riley could check out their microphones–she was in the market for a dynamic mic. The guy at the music store was trying to tell me that he had never heard of a mic to USB cord and that I was pretty much crazy. How am I crazy when I HAVE ONE?! They also pointed out the Shure SM58 to her and I was like NO WAY. Technology is always changing, so there’s no reason to get a microphone that has been around for a bazillion years when there’s newer technology sitting next to it. Man, sometimes it makes me wonder if these people in some music stores really know what they are talking about. Rewind a few years ago when I was also at Sam Ash in Tampa looking for strap locks and the kid had NO idea what I was talking about. Face palm. Let’s forget all of that nonsense though. They wound up lying to Riley about a 10 year warranty. When she got it home and read the actual paperwork enclosed it was 2 years. Way to go, guy.
I got to visit with my friend Callie who I haven’t seen in AGES which was totally awesome! (Even tho it was only for like a minute–but it was still a fun reunion!). It made me miss all of my Tampa friends and our crazy adventures and stories.
The heat killed my hair within like two seconds. Just when I thought I had no sweat left in me since I had donated buckets of it the day before… I learned otherwise. Florida, you teach me new things all of the time. I’ve only lived here my entire life! That’s all. ha! The show itself was really great. I hadn’t had the opportunity to see Paramore perform since Bamboozle 09-ish when I had gone up to work the merch tent with the label. It was incredible to see how much they grew as artists. It was also awesome to see Aaron Gillespie behind the kit. It’s funny because when they introduced him, the crowd gave a huge roar since he’s from the Tampa area… and one of the guitarists started playing “In Regards To Myself,” by Underoath. I caught that! I think everyone thought I was crazy and randomly laughing. I asked them if they realized what one of the guitarists played and they said no. Sorry, I’m too obsessed with music and can name songs for you hearing just milliseconds of a song haha. Actually, I’m not sorry. I love it.
I remember looking out at the crowd during one of the songs and seeing this–it’s a sea of cell phones swaying back and forth to the music. That was the moment that I thought to myself, “Wow. I’m lucky. Eight years ago I was in an emergency room and tonight I’m here experiencing this. Who would have seriously thought?!” The wonder and beauty of simple things like that never cease to amaze me. To me, if felt like the perfect way to acknowledge the date, to myself.
With music being my greatest passion, it was the perfect way to observe the weekend.
Paramore set list:
1. Still Into You
2. That’s What You Get
3. For A Pessimist, I’m Pretty Optimistic
7. Only Exception
8. Last Hope
10. Misery Business
11. Let the Flames Begin
12. Part II
14. Ain’t It Fun
Fall Out Boy set list:
2. The Take Over, The Break’s Over
3. A Little Less Sixteen Candles, A Little More “Touch
4. This Ain’t A Scene
5. Alone Together
6. Death Valley
7. Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down
8. Miss Missing You
(a pretty neat drum performance)
9. Dance Dance
10. Young Volcanoes
11. Just One Yesterday
12. Grand Theft Autumn / Where Is Your Boy Tonight
13. We Are The Champions (Queen cover)
14. Save Rock & Roll
15. I Don’t Care
16. My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark
17. Thnks Fr Th Mmrs