Celebrating 21 Years of Really Bad Luck with Bayside
Reviewed by Vanessa Holt
What started off with what was supposed to be 20 years of bad luck quickly turned into 21 years of REALLY bad luck. With the tour being originally planned for 2020 but thanks to the pandemic the band postponed and rescheduled the tour. What’s one more year? After a whole year’s wait, I was excited to finally see this tour happen. It was one of the best put together tours I’ve seen. From the concept of this tour leading to the setlist and the lineup.
The Bomb Pops
We kicked off the night with The Bomb Pops. I had never heard of them previously but as they started off the night, it was quick to realize that they were the perfect fit for this tour. Their sound was your classic 2000’s pop-punk sound. Their outfits matched the era with studded belts, plaid print, and cut-off t-shirts. The show started a little earlier than most of us had expected so when their set started there weren’t very many people in the venue. But as their set went on the room filled quickly and everyone who entered was quick to match their energy and sound. Everyone was jumping along to all the songs.
Vocalist, Jen Razavi even got the crowd laughing with a couple of well-thought-out dad jokes. Such as, what do you call a pop-punk band who lost their sense of taste and smell due to COVID? Senses Fail! They’re definitely a band worth checking out if you’re looking for more bands that fit that sound to relive and recapture the early pop-punk days.
I was excited for Hawthorne Heights. It has been years since I had seen the band perform. They’ve never disappointed in the past so I knew they wouldn’t tonight. When they set foot on the stage, they told us that their setlist was going to be 99.9% of their old songs. Which was the best news us fans. It was a jam-packed thirty-minute long set that had a couple of classics that are always a crowd favorite for live sets. And a couple from albums that we wished we could’ve heard previously.
JT Woodruff kept an open dialogue with us to really connect with us fans. They told us that Salt Lake City has always been one of their favorite places to drive into and to spend a day in. In past tours, they’ve always done the best they could to ensure that they have a stop here on their tours. Or at least being able to spend an off day here. They loved being in Utah for the fact that we’ve always been the nicest people they’ve encountered.
The albums that they pulled most of their songs from were their 2004 album, The Silence in Black and White, and If Only You Were Lonely. They knew that it was the perfect album to come out at the time what it did for the punk scene. It was a time where the majority of their crowd was just angry. Angry at parents and teachers. Woodruff went on to explain that now that majority of their fans had gotten older it was now time to listen to these songs and be angry at the fact that everyone was turning thirty or forty years old. They even dedicated one of their songs to the older crowd. “Constant Dread” for the older fans as they grow older. It was certainly a sight to see with the age variation in the crowd. Everyone had gotten in touch with their inner teenage angst.
As we moved quickly to Senses Fail, I was jumping with excitement. When I had first seen Senses Fail years ago, I remember thinking how absolutely insane this band was live. From the swinging microphones, hair flips, to high kicks in skinny jeans. I left that night thinking about how much I wanted to photograph this band live and in action. In fact, I feel like their performance was one of the top few reasons behind why I love and wanted to do concert photography overall.
Besides their energy, they also bring a good sense of humor to their set. Buddy Nielsen wanted to end a debate within the band about how it’s a statement that vanilla ice cream was garbage. And there was no one else in the crowd that could convince him otherwise. Nielsen also explained in between songs that it had been an absolute pleasure to be part of the tour alongside Bayside. And that it was the biggest pleasure of all to get the crowd excited and filled with energy for Bayside. The only goal was to get the venue all hot and sweaty.
With Senses Fail being a post-hardcore band, we got a classic mosh pit with fans bringing one-hundred percent energy to give right back. As they closed down their set, just when we thought that we saw the most from the band they had surprised us with even more energy by playing “Bite to Break Skin” mixed with a 90’s medley of “Down with the Sickness”, “Break Stuff”, and “Bulls on Parade”.
It was a bummer to see them walk off the stage, the entire crowd was chanting for one more song which as much as they would’ve liked to give us. But it couldn’t happen for the fact that it was now time to roll into Bayside’s set.
Bayside took the stage and said that we started off the night sounding like Salt Lake City on a Monday night. As the night rolled on and each band took the stage, we had gotten to sounding like Salt Lake City on a Friday night! They were determined to helping us get to sounding like it was a Saturday night. We all wanted the same exact thing.
We got a perfect setlist with the best variety of songs from the entire discography of their entire 21 years of existence as a band. They’ve been a band for a long time. The entire night we had played a big part in making them feel like their younger selves. Last year when they stopped in Salt Lake, it was right before the entire world had shut down. They felt like there wasn’t as big of a turnout and that had them a little worried about tonight’s show. But when they saw a bigger turnout that night it did nothing but warm their hearts.
When I left that night, it made me a little sad to leave. It truly was another good night for live music. The lineup was the best for the fact that every band had kept the vibe the entire night. They gave us all major throwback vibes to the early 2000s. Bayside has been well worth the year-long wait.