Dusk and Summer

On Sunday, I had the opportunity to see a few of my favorite bands from high school live. It was the Rockstar Taste of Chaos Tour, something that has a name like an event I'd never in my life attend, but Taking Back Sunday and Dashboard Confessional were bands I couldn't stop listening to in younger years.

The night went much later than I expected and I paid for it the next day, but I had a thought in the middle of the show that I thought worth sharing.

The night started with The Early November and Saosin, both bands I'd heard of but didn't know much about. Mikayla really loves an Early November song and she thrilled when they played it. Neither of us knew anything by Saosin. Both bands had a ton of talent, even if they didn't get me on my feet.

After Saosin and a short break, the opening song to Lion King began to play and that's how Taking Back Sunday came out, diving right into my favorite song by them, "Cute Without the E (Cut from the Team)". I've gotta admit, it thrilled me a bit that they sounded good in concert. Maybe a little cynical, but I expected them to sound much better in the studio than live. Luckily, that wasn't the case. They, to use a too-easy phrase, rocked.

Then Dashboard Confessional came on the stage. I'd be lying if I told you I didn't lean over to my wife and wish out loud to her that Chris Carrabba would just come out on stage with his acoustic guitar and perform the whole set that way, but this was full band. It was full band, electric guitars, flashing lights and videos on the display. The videos were frantic montages of cities and roads, sometimes ticking clocks or just flashes of light.

It was thrilling.

Many of these were songs I was used to hearing unplugged, stripped down to the bare essentials of their music. These were the fully built versions and they soared on the night air.

In the middle of the set, when I knew my throat would hurt the next day, I realized something I'd forgotten somewhere along the path to getting older.

Some emotions need to be sung at the top of your lungs. There's no other way to feel them than fully and embarrassingly. Anything else would be dishonest.