The Riverside Municipal Auditorium (RMA) held a trio of bands that helped shake the earth we walk on and bring sweet metaphorical honey to the ear drums.
Friends and I left our homes at around 5:30 p.m. to beat the impending traffic of Southern California to make it in time get a good spot down on the GA floor. And with In n Out in our stomachs and remnants of 2002 in our hearts, we were stoked to see our longtime favorite Taking Back Sunday in our own backyard.
NOW: on to TBS
We arrived at the spot at around 6:20 p.m. with plenty of time to spare to head inside, with plenty of TBS fans young and old walking sparsely along beautiful and historic Downtown Riverside. We have a few brews in the parking lot, reminisce about the last time we saw them out at the Palladium in LA, have a street hotdog with all the fixings, and then decide to head in.
Passing vendors and merch, we spot X1039 sponsoring the event, fully equipped with a DJ station and 2005 Rock music that brought back nostalgia for us upper 20-somethings. We walk on the floor and it was hallway filled with people of all ages and there were stadium seating towards the back to rest your feets whenever you grow weary, or simply you don’t want to get turnt on some good ol’ fashion jams.
I can’t even stress how long the city of Riverside and the IE has waited for such a band to grace us with their presence. Nostalgia speaks volumes and sing-alongs are but a pastime to adjoin your full musical experience.
Kicking the night off with “Flicker, Fade,” the noise erupts and the disregarded miscues of bad singing voices fills the room. From “Liar,” “You’re so Last Summer,” “It Takes More,” to “Ring Song,” “You got Me,” and favorites “Cute without the ‘E’” and “MakeDamnSure,” Taking Back Sunday’s Adam Lazzara gives a truly musical, and life experience, whether you were with your friends, significant other, or just by yourself.
Lazzara’s on set mic antics gave a veteran aesthetic that those of us old enough to appreciate their works back in ’02 something to grin at. All the pretty girls and burly guys yelled at the top of their lungs in unison to join with the band’s classic emo one-liners.
They had a pretty light board which showed subtle imagery in regards to each song, with their classic panther trolling across right before their encore ending.
Being the nice and passive guy that Lazzara is, he broke up a fight in one of the pits that occurred. He stopped the music and urged the ushers to escort the lame-asses out of the venue. Pretty classy move to make sure no one gets hurt and has a bad time.
Letlive is just as inspirational as they are energetic. They have toured with the likes of A Day to Remember, Underoath, and Every Time I Die; a post-hardcore band that presents themselves with raw emotion and conviction. Wild, crazy, unbridled in his performance, Jason A.A. Butler is the heart and soul of this timeless group of men.
Butler ran from stage left to stage right, on the balcony, pulled the stage curtain out to center stage, ripped off his shirt, threw his mic down often, got tangled in the cables…all looking glorious and sounding magnificent in his nature.
Powered by the backbone of the band, Butler cleared things up mid-set and really let us, the audience, into his life. He relayed to us that he surpassed his doctors predictions of only living for 24 months after being diagnosed with cancer. Nine FUCKING years later, he was on that stage at RMA and gave those of us in the IE something to see and something to remember.
He confessed to us his breakdowns of his past and allowed us into his soul as he dedicated his life and music to his loving wife, who was there “to help me see the kind of person I was and to let me love me as I should.”
No Bragging Rights was backstage and visible to the GA floor. Jason stated that if it wasn’t for them, “the realest motherfuckers he has ever met”, his dreams and goals would not have been met. He was extremely sincere in his gestures and I have to admit, I teared up.
As he was baring his soul to us, a friend of his literally sprinted on stage and gave him warmest, purest, rawest hug I have ever witnessed, and it made me think of all the people in my life that I love that much. As I am typing, my eyes are watering and I’m trying to compose myself. I am a man goddamnit. *sniff sniff*
After this interlude of emotion, they finished off with a great set that moved everyone in the damn venue. Hailing from Los Angeles, I am being 100 percent biased in saying that I love these guys, and I am forever a fan now.
The opening band was The Menzingers, whom are based out of Scranton, Ohio. This band is definitely of the pop-punk genre with catchy choruses and a rhythmic bass line that you can dance too. All the girls around me were groovin’ to the tunes with their dark lipstick and over-sized fedoras.
“I don’t want to be an Asshole Anymore” and “Burn After Writing” we’re fan favorites and I caught myself dancing along with the crowd. Greg Barnett, center man and lead rhythm guitarist, Tom May, lead guitarist and main vocalist, Eric Keen, the stoic bassist, and Joe Godino, the elusive drummer, all put on a great show with high energy which fed on to the crowd.
They appreciated the response and played with heart. Which segues perfectly into the next band.
Overall, RMA held a great show in a beautiful part of town in which I will not forget. Good times with great people listening to even better, tastier, sweeter, more delectable tunes than what I have heard in the former of the 2015 year.
It seemed that we, in our small group of pals, all met up with someone we knew in all factions of life. No one was willing to miss this show. Way to represent IE.
This entire post was provided by Greg Telles.
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