All right. This is day two of the two-day show review. First was the Word Alive Dark Matter tour, now it’s the Three Headed Monstour with The Ataris, Mest and Hawthorne Heights as the main bands. Safe to say that the tour is a pop punk dominated tour with the exception of Hawthorne Heights, a post-hardcore/scream band but in the end it was a fun filled tour according to the bands. Like the Word Alive tour being the first time for me seeing them live, the show last night was the first time for me seeing Mest after listening to their music the past couple years as I have been a fan of the self-titled and the Not What You Expected albums. I also was curious to see how The Ataris were live because I have heard the name too many times before however the main goal of attending the show was to hear one of my favorite albums played in full: If Only You Were Lonely released by Hawthorne Heights in 2006. It was time to relive the throwbacks that night and now I’m here to explain so here we go.
One of the bands that were the supporting bands of the tour was London Falling, a side band of Tony Lovato of Mest. From what I have heard before they stopped in New York City at Webster Hall, London Falling’s sound resembled much of Mest which obviously is because of Tony Lovato. Honestly, I can’t really say too much as they haven’t released any music in advance but I managed to catch one of the last songs from the set before Handguns came on stage.
Handguns, from Maryland and Pennsylvania, were the second band to play. I was told by a friend of mine to check them out and truth be told, I was impressed. Modern day pop punk bands with lots of energy and fast material always suited my taste and Handguns brought it to the fullest. Never letting down or slowing down, their set was good to watch and I recommend the music to those who are fans of pop punk who have never heard of them before. I would say start with the Disenchanted album because most of the material was played from that album
Setlist: Self Portrait, Scream Goodbye, Lowest Spirits, My Lowest Point, Carbon Copy Elitist, Disenchanted, Sleep Deprived, The Loved One Who Hate Us, Recovery, Porch Light.
Up next was Hawthorne Heights, which was kind of weird at first because I expected them to be the headlining band because they were playing an album from front to back but that wasn’t the case with this tour. For an hour or more, fans of Hawthorne Heights from back in the day were all feeling young again as the opening riff of “This Is Who We Are” was being played. As for myself, I was taken back to when I first heard the song on an old PlayStation 2 game titled MVP 06 NCAA Baseball which is partly responsible for me getting a taste of the screamo and pop punk bands Victory Records had to offer. Safe to say that Hawthorne Heights never lost a step when it came to showcasing the album from front to back especially guitarist Mark McMillon doing a good job with leads and the screams like if Casey Calvert’s spirit was still with them. I just wish that some of members the original lineup were performing the album, which includes ex-lead guitarist Micah Carli and ex-drummer Eron Bucciarelli, and definitely the late rhythm guitarist/screamer Casey Calvert if he were still alive. In the end, the modern day post-hardcore legends sounded great and had everybody singing along like it was 2006 all over again but not without performing a new song from the Hurt EP and closing it out with the always classic song “Ohio Is For Lovers”. At the end, the band thanked the fans, old and new for the continuous support over the years and the fans thanked them for the timeless music that got them through so much in their lives.
Setlist: If Only You Were Lonely: This Is Who We Are, We Are So Last Year, Language Lessons (Five Words or Less), Pens and Needles, Saying Sorry, Dead in the Water, I Am On Your Side, Breathing Sequence, Light Sleeper, Cross Me Off Your List, Where Can I Stab Myself in the Ears, Decembers. Remainder of set: Beneath the Silver Strand, Ohio Is For Lovers.
Now the band everyone was waiting for, Mest. I consider them one of the very important pop punk bands of the early to mid 2000s so I always had respect for Tony Lovato and crew over the years and always found their music fun to listen to. Mostly, their set was filled with songs from the albums Wasting Time, Destination Unkown and my favorite, the respectively titled Mest. Overall, the reception was nothing short of great and everyone in the crowd was hyped, sang out loud and even had some mini-pits throughout the set. It was good to be surrounded by that much energy of people who are the same age as I am even if I’m always in the back of the venue watching the show. Lol. In the middle of the set, the band was having some technical difficulties but luckily no songs were left out of the set including my personal faves “Jaded (These Years)” and “Rooftops”. Also, Tony did some promotion for an independent movie that his music was contributed to titled Highway to Havasu and had some posters and an iPad showing the trailer of the movie on repeat and asked the fans to share it around on social media. As much as I wanted to hear songs off the Not What You Expected album in the set but the throwbacks were good enough for the fans and was well received. Just wanted to add a salute to Tony Lovato for representing Blackcraft by wearing the “Religion Poisons Everything” t-shirt.
Setlist: Long Days Long Nights, Lost Broken Confused, 2000 Miles, Until I Met You, Hotel Room, Fuct Up Kid, Wasting My Time, Opinions, Living Dead (after technical difficulties), Movin’ On, Jaded (These Years), Drawing Board, Rooftops, Cadillac.
Last but not least, The Ataris were the headliners. Even if some people left after Mest finished their set and got off stage, the Ataris set had some good reception as their fans stuck around, mostly those who were fans of the headlining bands. As I have heard the name around music sites many times, I never was familiar with their music. But turns out, they have been a pop punk band since 1995 and vocalist/lead guitarist Kris Roe is the last remaining original member and has been known for his on stage meltdowns, one of them being his on-stage attack on his former drummer for supposedly drinking before their set and being unable to keep the beat up and throwing equipment at him. But that wasn’t the case tonight as they have a drummer who actually kept up the beat the whole set, had the crowd hyped when they opened with the song “In This Diary” and the band put on a good performance overall. They also threw in a Jawbreaker cover to boot that I wished was the Don Henley “Boys of Summer” cover instead.