How far would you travel to see one of your favorite bands? That’s the question I had to ask myself five days before the Taste of Chaos festival in San Bernardino… California! Mind you I live in Kentucky, so would I travel across the country for a band? YES. I basically look for any reason to leave this lame state, especially to go back to California, and that reason was The Starting Line. They have been a band I have wanted to see for years now, and never got a chance to because they broke up a few years back. This festival was my once in a lifetime chance and I did not pass it up!
Days before the festival I made an essentially last minute decision to go to Cali and hang with my friends and rock out. The day of music started with the wonderful synth intro of Reggie and the Full Effect’s “Get Well Soon” and I knew the day was going to be amazing. Last time I saw Reggie they didn’t play that, and it was the one song I wanted to hear more than the rest. After feeling complete with that, their set was fun as always with great in between song banter from James about getting older, fatter, hairier, past tours, and almost doing Warped Tour this year. The set was filled with guest vocals from the other bands there including Adam Lazzara, and Andy Jackson from Hot Rod Circuit who were next up. After Reggie, the stage rotated (yes, the stage rotated in a circle and it was incredible) and Hot Rod Circuit was up. I didn’t know much of their stuff, but they were great live.
Next up was The Anniversary who hadn’t played a show together in 13 years! Even though it had been that long they were absolutely incredible. I knew I was going to see them at Riot Fest this year, but I was extremely happy to see their first show in 13 years. The Early November was after them, and they had a pretty good set but I have seen them a few times in the last year so I went and got some tacos. I can’t pass up California tacos! I made the not so wise decision of getting in the pit for Senses Fail. The set was great, but the crowd was not so great, and I felt not so young afterward! I exited the pit afterward for some much needed hydration, so I caught Saosin from the hill with refreshing water.
Finally the time came for The Starting Line. I made my way back up through the sea of people to get a spot three rows from the front. The moment I had waited for years had finally come. As soon as the stage spun around I heard the familiar intro to Up & Go and it was one of the most magical moments for me. I jumped, shouted lyrics, and spent the rest of my energy on the next seven songs which were pure bliss for me. When Kenny started singing The Best of Me, a moment I had waited for for years, I got lost in the moment and felt like I was the only one in the crowd. I sang my lungs out and it was the best feeling.
After The Starting Line, the rest of the day didn’t matter much to me. I went and joined the rest of the EmoNightLA fam and hung with them for the rest of the night. The Get Up Kids started out with Holiday and I was set after that. Quicksand was pretty great, but I didn’t know much of their music either. Taking Back Sunday put on the absolutely worst show I’ve ever seen out of them. Not to mention Adam was being a complete asshole to my friends who run EmoNightLA. We all left just a few songs into the Dashboard Confessional set because the day completely drained us. All in all the day was a huge success, and a complete blast.
Reggie and the Full Effect
The Rotating stage
Hot Rod Circuit
Hot Rod Circuit
The Early November
The beautiful valley
Anthony Green being his weird self
The Starting Line
The Get Up KidsTaking Back Sunday