Rockstar Energy Drink Taste of Chaos Tour 2016
feat. Dashboard Confessional, Taking Back Sunday, Saosin, The Early November
July 12, 2016
Upon arriving at the far-off Concord Pavilion, I am a bit surprised by the lack of people that have shown up (this gets better, I promise). I took into consideration that it was indeed a Tuesday evening, so people could have been getting off work. The Taste of Chaos tour had finally returned, and it's all anyone I know could talk about. Bands like this tour together all the time, but the Taste of Chaos tour disappeared and rescinded back into the depths of music scene folklore after a less than substantial tour in the United States back in 2009. Ironically, if that same lineup came back to perform this year (it consisted of Thursday, Bring Me The Horizon, Pierce The Veil, Four Year Strong, and Cancer Bats), it would easily sell out amphitheaters. The tour took place last year in Southern California, with a full-day one-off show. The result was successful enough to warrant a summer tour, and the lineup boasted mainstays within the so-called "emo-resurgence" of the early 2000s: Dashboard Confessional, Taking Back Sunday, Saosin (featuring original vocalist Anthony Green), and The Early November.
The show wasn't sold out, but after about 6:30 or so, the amphitheater started to fill up with people. I will be fully confident when I say that every single artist on that lineup was perfect. It's great to know that many years of playing together has only increased their musicianship and songwriting abilities in the greatest way. Ace Enders-fronted The Early November were the first act up. It was a bit odd seeing them take the stage as the first opening act on a bill, after having seen them only headline in various venues around the Bay Area. However, I do believe that they were a good choice in terms of being the band to kick things off for the night. While the quartet's songs have a bit of high energy spruced in throughout their tracks, they have an overall calmer tone (compared to a band like, say, Saosin).
The monsoon rage that is Saosin and their chaotic frontman Anthony Green held nothing back once they took the stage. The tone and energy of the set did not calm until the end of their set. Saosin's stage presence matches their musical abilities, and I'll even go as far to say that no other band that night (even though I loved each of them) matched them in terms of energy. They were immaculate, filled with chaos, and very rock n' roll.
There seemed to be a nice buzz in the air by the time Taking Back Sunday took the stage. I will say that this was the best I've ever heard them sound (hooray!) in a live setting, and it was a nice surprise to hear them start with "Cute Without The E (Cut From The Team)" rather than play it towards the end. The band clearly knew what kind of tour they were playing, and based on that track choice, they knew that pretty much everyone who wasn't focused on them already would be in a matter of seconds. Adam Lazzara took full control of the crowd with both memorable lyrics and humorous quips, particularly surrounding a joke about how every time he says "Rockstar Energy Drink Taste of Chaos Tour", the band made $25 dollars (there's another $25 for you, TBS & Co.)
The sun had completely set by the time Dashboard Confessional, the brainchild of songwriter Chris Carrabba, had taken the stage. The mood throughout the venue was relaxed but still excited. Beginning the set with "Vindicated" was a great choice. It's a great sing-along, with enough energy behind it to still keep the people that have been standing since doors awake and thrilled. The nice thing about having an act like Dashboard close is that you are almost always guaranteed some form of an intimate, acoustic performance. It's like having an old friend come by for a nightcap, saying "hey, glad you had a great time! Let's chill out for a bit and bring things to a close." It will always close, of course, with the great closer that is "Hands Down".
I desperately hope that Taste of Chaos returns next year. I'm not sure it will be in amphitheaters again, but let's bring it back to the arenas (my first one was at San Jose State Event Center, which seats around 8-10,000 people.) And let's keep those great lineups coming. Let's have another great time at the Rockstar Energy Drink Taste of Chaos Tour (there's $25 more for you, TBS & Co. Enjoy!)
Taking Back Sunday
The Early November
This has been another Shameless Promotion.