Take Action Tour
3/30/2014 – 7pm.
Upstate Concert Hall
The end of winter is always a pretty disgusting time. It rains constantly, which means all of the snow is melting into this gross, sloshy mess. There’s not really any grass yet, so tramping around in mud becomes a daily thing. And it’s grey. Everything is grey. All the time.
That’s what it was like outside on the day of the Take Action! Tour in Clifton Park; gloomy, dull, dreary, bleak.
Luckily, inside, it was a much different story – pack wall-to-wall with bright, lively, anticipatory chatter.
When I first reviewed Dangerkids’ debut album a while back, there were the wary critics that warned about their sound coming off as gimmicky. I kept this in mind, but very soon found myself not concerned with this, drawn in by how well it was executed. As taken as I was, I didn’t take into consideration how well their intensity and energy would translate to a live show. And that was a mistake. Their set, which ran just short of thirty minutes, brought their rap/rock sound and their hardcore mindset to life beautifully and was easily one of the better opening acts I’ve seen. There was an undeniable buzz throughout the building, where established fans mixed with people who had just watched a band they were now going to spend time following – perfect execution from an opening act.
To follow, Australia’s I Killed the Prom Queen, kept things rolling along. Being regulars to the area, I had seen this band perform a handful of times. But, something each time just hadn’t clicked before. Since their last round, either I’ve become a better listener or they’ve honed their sound since their last visit, probably both, but this time was their best performance to date. Despite a minor technical flaw, leaving the clean vocal microphone inaudible and low, they still managed. They left nothing on the table for closer “Say Goodbye” which turned out to be their strongest moment. This can be taken two ways – on a positive note, the band finished impressively strong, though during the rest of their time, they just couldn’t match what they produced at the end.
If there was any indication of a lull or a calming within the crowd between acts, The Ghost Inside shattered it in seconds. It had been a year or two since the last time I got to watch this band (Warped 2012 I believe?) and I think I forgot just how great it is to see then perform. Hearing the crowd shout “What do you stand for?” in unison during “Between the Lines,” fists in the air and house-lights flashing, brought chills.
Jonathan Vigil took a moment to thank a young girl’s father for bringing her to the show, holding her hand from over the barricade and telling him that it’s more than just screaming, that there’s love and passion in the music. It isn’t just violence, like some would think; it’s about being comfortable with who you are, and more than that, proud of yourself.
At this point, The Ghost Inside had unquestionably been the best band of the night.
But, headliner The Devil Wears Prada were not going to allow themselves to be outshined.
By this point in the night, I had progressively made my way about midway into the center of the venue. Just before the lights went off, a girl found her way into the pit next to me. She was by herself, with X’s on her hands, dressed in a worn TDWP t-shirt that had visibly been shown a lot of attention. She was shaking, excitedly telling me that this was the first time she had ever been able to see her favorite band on her own.
Then the lights dropped.
And she started crying.
She wasn’t crying in a way that was intentional, but it was just that she was smiling so widely that her eyes were watering.
Entering the stage under low lights, their triangular logo pulsing neon green in the background, they began with “Sailor’s Prayer,“ kicking off an hour-long set that ran nearly uninterrupted, segmented only by waves of applause.
Favorites like "War,” “Born to Lose, and “Assistant to the Regional Manager” gave extra life to the crowd, as the recorded sample introduction to “Zombie” built tension and eagerness before the song began.
Regardless of my varied pasts with whichever band that was performing, having seen them repeatedly like I Killed the Prom Queen, every once in a while like The Ghost Inside or The Devil Wears Prada, or watching them for the first time like Dangerkids, the night itself was one that I hadn’t experienced in months – no camera slung over my shoulder, no equipment bag hanging at my side, no fear over ruining some of my most-valued possessions.
Just a crowd, a stage, and bands. And it felt remarkable.
As if the performances weren’t enough, 10% of all ticket sales from Take Action! were donated to charity, furthering Vigil’s conviction that it’s about love and passion, further supporting Dangerkids’ Tyler Smyth’s earlier plea that, even if there are people holding you back or keeping you down, there will always be those who support you, and to never let people tell you that you can’t be yourself.
Take Action! is winding down soon, but you can, and should, catch three of these (no IKTPQ) bands on the Vans Warped Tour this summer.
The Devil Wears Prada played:
Assistant to the Regional Manager
Born to Lose
Written By: Eric Riley