If you weren’t busy trying to hoist up crowd surfers or fend off flailing body parts, you were probably dodging rolls of toilet paper, abandoned articles of clothing or perhaps an empty beer bottle. All of this chaos spawned from one thing: A Day To Remember was in town, and the band members brought the party with them.
The Florida-natives pulled out all the stops Saturday night during the sold-out A Day to Remember’s House Party Tour at the Lifestyle Communities Pavilion.
It is hard to exactly pinpoint the genre of the band. Some songs can completely switch tempo and singing style, which is in part due to the vocal ability of ADTR frontman, Jeremy McKinnon.
The band kicked off its set with “All I Want,” which could be recognized as a pop-punk song, complete with upbeat notes and a catchy repetitive chorus. Soon thereafter, they played the heavy “I’m Made of Wax, Larry, What Are You Made of?,” which has all the key features of a metal song: guitar riffs, beat drops and bloodcurdling, screaming vocals.
Guitarists Kevin Skaff and Neil Westfall attributed greatly, showing off their skills during the hour and a half set, with bassist Joshua Woodard and drummer Alex Shelnutt keeping the rhythm going strong throughout the night.
The stage itself was made to resemble a house and open garage, complete with a second-level balcony that band members could climb up to if they wished. This house party theme created an interactive atmosphere, with McKinnon and the band giving fans many opportunities to get involved.
While traditional head banging, jumping, crowd surfing and moshing were encouraged, the band took it further with unique stunts I’ve never seen at a concert before.
Countless rolls of toilet paper were strewn through the air, beach balls and balloons bounced everywhere, fans were encouraged to take their shirts off and whirl them about their heads (many of which ended up on stage) and many other objects like shoes, hats and costumed people (one dressed as an M&M) could be seen popping up through the air either crowd surfing or sitting on other people’s shoulders.
McKinnon capitalized on this by getting involved with objects thrown on stage. He wore someone’s sunglasses and even performed an entire song while wearing a rain poncho someone had hit him with.
Besides Santa and an elf appearing with a giant T-shirt gun (yes, that happened too), perhaps the most interesting thing was when McKinnon got inside an inflatable walking ball and rolled around on top of the fans.
“I trust you Ohio, don’t let me die!” joked McKinnon as he clumsily bounced around on top of the crazed fans.
Being a younger band, with all members being in their mid- to late twenties, there were a lot of girls present, and they could be heard over everyone else, especially when ADTR debuted their acoustic version of “You Had Me At Hello.” Clutching their hearts and teary-eyed, it was almost like a Justin Bieber concert with thousands of screaming girls.
ADTR has been stuck in a recent lawsuit battle with Victory Records, involving contract allegations and record releasing rights. During the concert, McKinnon was proud to announce that the group “heard from the judge the other day, and that we are allowed to release our new album on the 8th (of October).”
This was great news for fans that were worried they would never get to see the new album, “Common Courtesy,” which is set to release digitally that day.
Three other bands also accompanied ADTR on the tour. Though their set times were only 20 to 30 minutes long, they provided great shows. Pop-punk bands The Wonder Years and All Time Low erupted the fans, getting them involved with one another.
“Just touch each other, embrace!” yelled Alex Gaskarth, frontman vocalist of the Baltimore-based All Time Low, who was the second opening band.
Gaskarth also pulled a fan onstage with him to help sing an entire song. The fan clumsily fumbled with the microphone wire and stood on top of the speakers, riling up the fans with him during his novice debut as a punk singer.
San Diego’s Pierce The Veil preceded ADTR, piercing fans’ eardrums with its high-pitched progressive rock style. All of this happening during the Ohio State football game against Northwestern, Pierce the Veil ended a chant with a loud “O-H,” and you can only guess what followed next.