Warped 2010

August 20, 2010

8/2/10

Without seatbelts and cigarettes shoved into our bag we sped down the highway on our way to the 2010 Vans Warped Tour. “State Avenue west exit,” Tyler kept repeating to Mackenzie. As we neared the west exit Mackenzie see’s the State Avenue east exit and as she’s about to turn into it Ashley and Nicole shout, “WEST!” We swerve out of that lane and I think about if my parents were driving behind her they’d get mad because of her reckless driving that I love.

We walked over to the big blow up billboard with all the set times patched onto it and onto the burning pavement that covered most of the Sandstone amphitheatre’s ground. All I could really feel was my sunscreen covered skin burning underneath the sun. Out of all the days Warped Tour could come to Kansas City they picked today August 2nd, the hottest day of the year, the temperature reaching a staggering 100 degrees with a heat index of 110.

The first thing Mackenzie said when Vic Fuentes, the lead singer of Pierce The Veil, walked up to the microphone after the guy wearing the day of the dead costume completed with a giant sombrero finished his intro was, “They’re cute,” with a smile turning her lips. Pierce The Veil opened with “Besitos,” the first track of their new record Selfish Machines. “Open that pit up!” Vic kept instructing. Each time the pit calmed down Nicole reached out for my hand as we wormed our way to the front. After a few more songs Vic came down into the crowd. Nicole ran to the front to reach at his sweaty arms and I whipped out my camera and followed her. The best part of Pierce The Veil’s set was before they played “Drella” Jaime, Vic, and Tony were working on build up guitars and Mike on drums then the clip of Ludacris’s “How Low Can You Go” soprano voice came in and Jaime, Vic, and Tony raised their guitars all together that read in colored duct tape, “GET FUCKIN’ LOW.” Then the clip ended and the guitars came back in as they headbanged in sync.

You Me At Six walked onto the makeshift Altec Lansing blow-up stage in all their British glory. I was stoked to be seeing them to the extent that I showed up to the stage ten minutes early. I claimed my spot in the front row but I burned like a leaf under a magnifying glass. You Me At Six put on a fair show but sadly the crowd was very, very weak. There was no excitement of a moshpit and I only had to hand up one crowdsurfer. They mostly played songs from their new record Hold Me Down but I was content with jumping around to “Underdog” and echoing Josh on “Stay With Me,” though they did play “Save It For The Bedroom.” I wanted to inhale excitement at the You Me At Six set. I wanted to be pushed against the barricade and have fear I’d get stuck in the pit if I got pushed. I wanted Josh to look at me and sing back to me, something.

Walking away from their set sweat was literally dripping down my legs and the air didn’t seem so hot anymore since there wasn’t so much combined body heat building up. A dizzy head and with queasy stomach, my hands were slippery with sweat and dirt stuck to my fingers from the little valley we would sit in to cool off. I walked over to Tyler and said, “Can I have that water? I feel like I’m gonna pass out.”
“Really?”
“Yeah.”
I slid down to the burning pavement that had been heating the barricaded sound system and drank what was left of our boiling water.

After visiting the sprinkler showers again I caught the last of VersaEmerge’s set. I left the crowd when Never Shout Never came on to climb the hill and sit in the seats with Tyler as Mackenzie and Ashley left to cool down the car.

Driving home in Mackenzie’s air conditioned car we all complained about how much we smelled and how grimy we felt. Then Tyler said from the passenger’s seat, “I’m as fresh as a fuckin’ daisy.”

I cherish Warped Tour no matter how miserable it can be in the heat because it’s usually my last summer stint. It feels like home, like a giant party. It’s the last something that means anything before I go back to school. So I bought a red Set Your Goals shirt with a picture on the back of Jordan Brown singing to a crowd of kids. It reads lyrics from “The Fallen…” – May I never lose my youth/All of this is too unforgettable.

(pictures)


August 13, 2010


, originally uploaded by sadie w. harris.

I like this picture a lot. I’d also like a film camera.


Do I fight shy of everything?

July 9, 2010

It’s all too overwhelming. As soon as the first month of summer break dries up the new school year seems too close. It’s like falling face first into a cement sidewalk. The aftermath is a bunch of scrapes and a few cuts, maybe a bruise to the cheekbone. It’s moderately better than having a broken face yet still comparable. I don’t know. I’m not really sure what to do. When I think about it too much (which I have a bad habit of doing) I feel like swallowing rocks.

It’s my second year at a new school I don’t much like. I graduated last year with a 4.0 (surprisingly that didn’t take as much effort as I imagined) but it’s not the classes I’m worried about it’s the kids that sort of hate me. And to my previous science teacher, I don’t need after school academics to throw around unconnected pointless dates and historic events that I have never been taught to remember. I am ambitious enough to achieve whatever I truly want on my own. — I wear my purple hoodie some days to give me Gabe Saporta confidence and I live by the Sid Vicious quote, “It’s not really my problem if they think I’m weird.” I’m not worried about them bullying me about the way I am, I’m more worried about them bullying me about last year’s end of school drama. I fugging hate that. I don’t deserve to be pulled into that nonsense and I’ll tell everyone off again and spit venom if it’s necessary, though the inner city kids at my school are physical to say the least.

So I’m listening to Paramore’s The Final Riot! which is calming me down, especially the acoustic rendition of “My Heart”. Hayley’s voice is soothing. Earlier I was in hysterics and my mom looked at me funny. I’m listening to music all the time (though it’s kinda hard to boost your iTunes playcount on a brand new computer). It helps me write and it helps me think. I should just remind myself not to overthink everything.

Here’s a playlist I am in love with: http://8tracks.com/xiu/light-on


Summer makes it hard to breathe

June 29, 2010

Almost a month of summer break has passed and I really haven’t done much. I keep thinking about this year’s Warped Tour. I know who I’m seeing and what to expect. If I could only see one band it would have to be You Me At Six. Though I plan on getting in line early so I can see Mayday Parade, Emarosa, VersaEmerge, Pierce The Veil, Automatic Loveletter and maybe a couple of hardcore bands because their fans are usually fun to be around. I’m going with Taylor and Kenzie and maybe her boyfriend Tyler oh and I might meet up with my concert buddy who I’ve ran into a couple times, Kelvin. Warped has to be great this year even if Underoath won’t be there.

I wake up late and watch reruns of “Avatar: The Last Airbender,” the real Avatar that is. I keep peace between my younger siblings and keep the house somewhat clean. My poor dogs are wining because they can’t go outside because our neighbor is tearing her fence down. Did I tell you I got another dog? His name is Zeus and ironically he’s terrified of thunder storms. He is that brindle color and looks really strong but he’s the biggest baby. I love him.

I haven’t been asked to babysit nearly at all this summer, but I guess that’s alright because for the first time in a whole year our family has a little extra money. So my parents agreed to help out with Warped Tour expenses in exchange for my watching the kids every day. Fair enough.

Next month I’m going to be spending a week with my favorite cousins in their giant house topped off with an in ground swimming pool and a trampoline. They live in this suburban neighborhood which is a nice change so I can roam the neighborhood on my own without shoes! I’ll probably see Kenzie and swim a lot (I dislike swimming in public pools because there are too many people and a feel weird wearing a bathing suit). It’ll just be a nice escape. Oh and Jane might take me out sometime this week or the next.

When I get bored I come downstairs into our little office and pull up my iTunes on the computer and create playlists. Right now I’m making a playlist titled “Summer.” It’s going to be a playlist full of songs that sound like summer (in case that wasn’t obvious).

Here is what on the playlist so far:


Cage the Elephant concert

June 28, 2010

I burst through the door of our office screaming at my dad, “HE HELD THIS HAAAND!” shoving my left hand in his face. That’s all I could think to do with uncontainable energy spilling words of awe out of my mouth. I had just witnessed a Cage the Elephant concert for the second time, the second time I was in the front row, and the first time I ever met the lead singer, Matt Shultz. I am somewhere on cloud nine, not wanting to wash Matt’s sweat from my left hand. – My mind keeps wandering back to holding his hand during the show, I squeezed his hand and he squeezed back as other people of the audience tried to cling to his arm. I wish we could have been inseparable, breaking all clocks to be frozen in time holding onto his sweating hand.

But let’s start at the beginning.

I showed up outside of the Beaumont Club two whole hours early. (Thinking about it after the show now, I’m glad I showed up early otherwise I would have nearly passed out in middle of the crowd.) I was waiting outside of the venue with my mom and my friend Taylor when I caught sight of Matt Shultz pacing past their tour bus talking on the phone. After I heard Matt murmur, “I love you too,” into his cell phone he bowed his head and started to walk on. I stopped him and said, “Can I just say hi because I think you’re really awesome.” He looked up and smiled, the parentheses around his mouth became more defined on his strong square chin. He stuck his hand out and I introduced myself, “I’m Phoenix.” He looked right at me through his Ray-Bans.
“Phoenix, I’m Matt.” His smile made my insides squeal with that happy fuzzy feeling. He continued to exchange introductions with my mom and Taylor. Then I spoke again smiling and told him I was so excited for the show I arrived at five. (The doors opened at 7:00PM.)
“Yeah?” he sort of trailed off and finished still smiling, “Awesome.” (My mom also noted we saw them last November and how amazing of a show it was and he thanked her.) After that he told us he had to leave for Cage’s soundcheck but I had already determined the show would remain a lasting memory.

Front row and center most literally I stood and frowned at the huge barricades keeping me from grabbing hold of Matt. AutoVaughn were the only openers for Cage because the 22-20’s had come down with an illness. AutoVaughn gave us a show. The guys chased each other across the stage dueling with their guitars. The lead singer often added little remarks like, “If you guys are into that kind of thing,” in a lighthearted tone after introducing the title a song and its meaning. The lead guitarist of AutoVaughn, Steven Wilson would jerk his neck to the beat moving his feet around with mad skills of some modern dance, scuffing his shoes. He told the crowd that they were preparing us mentally, physically, and spiritually for Cage the Elephant to blow our minds. I believed it when his guitar would plink out solos, his fingers washing across the neck of his bandaged mint green guitar skillfully, easily. They closed their set with “Hell of a Place” and carried the song on with the sound of our clapping and improvised guitar jams.

Matt Shultz in short is “mad as a hatter, thin as a dime.” When Cage walked onto the carpeted stage in almost total darkness I screamed. Cage hurled into the first song “Dr. Dr. Dr.” Matt shook wildly flailing his arms in different directions. He screamed into the microphone his words incomprehensible but the guitars screamed back licks that sounded like heavy southern punk. The guitars echoed the fast paced beat of the drums. I kept reaching out to him hopeful but his hand was bunching up the fabric of his shirt. I am sure that he looked right at me underneath his heavy lids a couple times. He recognized me, I thought. Then finally during one of the songs Matt thrust his hand out. In that moment I slapped my hand onto his and squeezed. He squeezed back while other people in the crowd clung to his slick arm, he just kept singing.

The push of the crowd was terrifying. I constantly had to push back so my lungs didn’t get crushed. Being in the front row and in the center I was kicked in the head easily more than eight times by crowd surfers. I was dizzy and my head hurt, my curly hair gone frizzy but I kept singing the lyrics I knew (which wasn’t many considering Cage played so many new songs). I kept thinking I am going to die. I am trapped and I can’t even climb over the barricades or push through the crowd to get out. In line of the last song before the “In One Ear” and “Saber-Tooth Tiger” encore, “Sell Yourself” bent over after stage diving Matt looked at me and screamed into the mic, “Save yourself!”

After the show I met the guys from AutoVaughn. Darren the lead singer asked, “What’s your name?” as I handed him the CD I had just bought from their merch table.
“Phoenix,” I answered.
“Spelled like the city?”
“Yeah.”
“With an extra ‘X’,” my mom added, smiling.
“Boom!” Darren said pointing to the little note scribbled into the liner notes of the CD. When I met Steven I told him he had mad feet dancing skills. “Yeah? I don’t even realize it. I’ve never been able to dance for my life,” he replied.
“Well now you can!” I said. I made movements to exaggerate his feet movements.
“Kickin’ shit and stuff,” he said nodding his head.

I had left the venue, knowing there was no re-entry. I said goodbye to Taylor as her dad’s car pulled up to the curb of the street. Then I saw it. A small group of people huddled around something, or someone. “Can you move over Matt?” one of their crew members said pushing a luggage cart loaded with instrument cases. I saw Matt signing and taking pictures, grinning and laughing with fans. I wanted in on it though our first encounter was more intimate. I wanted a picture to remember it by. – I watched the fans as I waited my turn for a picture. A girl muttered something about not being cool and then Matt said to her, his tone changed to be more serious, “Don’t sell yourself short. Don’t… don’t do that.” – After I got my picture I opened the car door and said in a daze, “That was… amazing.”

It’s official. Cage the Elephant did indeed blow my mind.

(Pictures)


HOLY mountain show

June 9, 2010

I could kiss the sounds. As if time could meld into the body of the music. It rests so undecided in the different realms of time. We may not remember our thoughts in or from those moments, they were so clear yet hung so loosely as if I could pull them from a tree like leaves. Or erase them into the sound, finally understanding the sound of separation; understanding a piece of a bigger picture that remained invisible to all that were fragile and close minded. The music simply acted as a guide and a vent for all the unknown feelings we were experiencing. For all that could not be spoken. It is true, silence is dry and sound is wet.

Last night I saw HOLY Mountain again for the fourth time (and counting) at the Main Street Cafe. In short it was spectacular.

The Main Street Café is set up to look like a miniature house party. Couches and chairs are placed around the stage (some of these were held together by duct tape). A nice rug is covering almost the entire floor. The stage is small and as far as stages go, cozy. You could probably sit right in front of the speakers if you wanted. There was such a positive mellow atmosphere in that room with a bunch of little indie kids.

During the fourth band’s sound check Elisha strode over to me. I was sitting on a small love seat near the stage staring at my hands when I saw someone else’s hand. Elisha handed me another one of their demo CDs and said, “Here, this is for you.” I turned to look at him kneeling next to me on the couch. “Oh hey, hi,” I smiled. I felt gauche, but this time I wasn’t hypnotized from his scent so much as to stumble over my own words. He nodded his head and said, “It’s really good to see you here.” It looked uncomfortable kneeling on the floor so I asked if he wanted a seat on the couch. I swore I could have heard him almost say, “Oh no thanks hon,” like I was his kid sister or something. A guy walked over to us and gave us a handout. “This is for you guys,” the guy said. He shook both of our hands, asked our names, and introduced himself as Jessie. He had sandy blonde hair parted to the left with a swoop. He had a firm handshake and a nice smile. He was very cute. After that Elisha and I made small talk before he had to get ready for their set.  I asked if he’d ever played the venue before. Elisha told me he didn’t like performing at the Main Street Café because they were too unorganized and he needed for venues to be organized. I introduced him to my mom and found out he liked drawing and quiet time to think to himself. It was so simple and perfect.

Every time I see HOLY Mountain it is something different. I notice an improvement in the way they go about performing their music. The simple notes may change varying on what mood they are in. Sometimes they change the timing on the songs. Every note they play sounds better live; enriched and amplified in sound. I try and let the eminent sounds of the guitars and crooning voices sink into me. They opened with “Slam Dunk Giant” (my second favorite HM song) complete with a cardboard cut-out of Michael Jordan on stage. Carlos’s hair swung wildly in front of his face when he would slam into the fast guitar bridge.

Before HOLY Mountain played their third to last song they told everyone it was called “In Time.” Then unexpectedly Elisha leaned over the mic and said, “This one goes out Phoenix because she’s been to a lot of our shows and I like seeing her out there.” I smiled and blushed Bella red. It was funny because I could feel the audience look over like, who is Phoenix? After that Carlos added a few more names and said, “You guys can just shout your names.” Everyone cheered, but it didn’t degrade what Elisha had said. Not one bit.


Stay rad in the future time

May 14, 2010

5/14/10

Right now I’m listening to HOLY Mountain’s “Make/Wait” and I cannot describe a better feeling. Every time I listen to that song it makes feel as if I could go on forever. I wouldn’t have to think, I would just be. To be another note in a piece of music; though I may be wrong, today feels like one of those days where everything is looking up. For a second I thought about the Paramore song “Looking Up” but it would be a lie to say that things are that good for me. I am really grateful yet still I take the spices on my food for granted.

Today just as our bus driver was nearing my stop Plant decided to tell me a “secret.” Carlia and I crouched down when Plant said, “Okay, you can’t tell anyone.” Then Ross, a highschooler who lives three houses down from me (and happens to look like Bryson from My Life As Liz) pops his head in between our faces like he’s in on the secret. Man, it was so great. I just looked at him and laughed. For someone who looks like Bryson he should be more likeable as cute as he is. (I also found a Liz Lee look-alike at my school!) – And now I’m listening to HOLY Mountain because I’m celebrating them playing at the Main Street Café. Bradley Hathaway has played there a few times as well as Aaron Gillespie and a couple guys from Mewithoutyou.

We got yearbooks today. I signed a kid’s as Britney Spears and Anna’s as Hayley Williams (which looked sort of convincing.) I’ve decided that kids are too stuck on what is “weird” and being embarrassed. Try stepping on a girl’s foot (while she was wearing ballet flats!) and then being told by your friend that she doesn’t want to sit with you so for you to go somewhere else. Yes, that happened to me! I just think kids should get over someone else being silly and having fun. I mean, loosen up a bit! Sometimes I feel shunned at school because I am so hopelessly strange compared to the other kids, but I try to ignore it.

I’m just shedding out of my old skin. I want good new things in my life now that some of the bad is gone.

http://www.myspace.com/holymountainmusic (They have new songs up, but note that the recordings do not sound nearly as good as they do live.)

And this: