(Photo via the author)
“Vindicated” by Dashboard Confessional is playing in New York City, the Brooklyn Bridge in clear sight. And no, this isn’t Spider-Man 2, this is real life in 2018 at the Summer Ever After Tour featuring Dashboard Confessional and All Time Low. The rooftop at Pier 17 in the South Street Seaport is an incredible new venue that set the dreamy scene for a night of emo and pop punk.
As a longtime fan of both bands, neither act disappointed. Dashboard was up first, and opened with “Vindicated,” wasting no time getting the crowd in the mood. The set consisted of old classic favorites, spruced up with extra long intros and interludes between songs. Frontman (and emo icon) Chris Carrabba has not lost his vocal abilities, and this show was proof for anyone who had doubts. He can belt out high notes and hold them out for way longer than any soul in the audience could keep up with–and he never fails to make every audience member feel a direct emotional connection with him, which is so admirable. Newer songs performed included “Catch You” and “We Fight” from the band’s latest album, Crooked Shadows. The newer songs bear a stark contrast to older songs from the early 2000s like the extremely iconic “Screaming Infidelities,” which Carrabba introduced by saying, “Get in everybody, we’re going crying!” The band closed out, of course, with “Hands Down,” AKA the song everybody knows even if aren't a Dashboard stan.
Next up was All Time Low, who seamlessly blended a couple songs from their 2007 sophomore album So Wrong, It’s Right with an assortment of songs from almost all their albums, even throwing in brand new single “Birthday,” which, unsurprisingly, the crowd already knew every single word to. A surprise highlight was Halsey making a quick guest appearance during “Remembering Sunday,” one of the bands most emo song, where she sang the verse originally performed by Juliet Simms. Halsey later revealed on Instagram that she would always perform “Remembering Sunday” when she played coffee shops in the beginning of her career.
Other crowd pleasers performed included “Stella,” “Weightless,” and obviously, an encore of “Dear Maria, Count Me In.” The band members have grown so much, but the vibe of the show hasn't changed much from when I saw them for the first time almost a decade ago on the Bamboozle Roadshow (RIP). The only thing that has shrunk is the number of bras that ended up on guitarist Jack Barakat’s mic stand...which is probably for the better.
This sold-out show in New York City is further evidence that pop punk and emo haven’t died, and based on the crowd’s enthusiasm and new fans joining the scene, the genres aren’t going anywhere, whether the masses like it or not. So join us–we’re going crying.