Bazooka Rocks Fest has become now become a personal annual tradition. This year, they raised the stakes and made it a two day rock music extravaganza you have to physically prepare yourself for. I was one of the lucky ones who got discounted two day tickets back in June. The lineup for day one alone makes the ticket price worth it.
The entire month of August was a roller coaster for me, and as the date drew near, a part of me wanted to sit this one out. Mostly because I wanted to see (and meet!) Anberlin on the 13th, and I could use the extra cash for Pulp Royalty. But I am so happy I didn't sit this one out because the universe finally eased up on me. I was so sleep deprived for weeks so I decided that we show up in time for the last two acts for day one. After all, the band I really wanted to see was The Used.
We arrived just in time for Saves the Day and Taking Back Sunday, which was awesome. I was really looking forward to hearing Make Damn Sure live, so after a very quick dinner, we made our way back to the pit just in time to rock out to it.
Finally, the band I've waited months to see! I was a bit bummed that The Used didn't play El-Oh-Vee-Ee, but man was their set fun. We were a row away from the barricades on the left side of the runway, so close to Bert McCracken. In between his set, I made my cousin toss one of my glow stick necklaces which he took and wore as a crown for a very short while, before tossing it to the other side of the stage. Bert, why you no keep it. It was so nice of the people around me to lol as I screamed "Noooo why you give it awayyyy?!". I am a walking meme.
|Exhibit A: In which a rockstar wore something of mine.|
The Used made one very lucky fan happy by singing her Happy Birthday during the encore before slowing things down and did On My Own. They closed the show with an insane mashup of A Box Full of Sharp Objects, and Rage Against The Machine's Killing In The Name. It was golden!
At the end of their set, I had zero hope of taking anything home but the thought of Bert wearing something of mine. That was until we joined a group of people asking for their setlist. And just when everybody gave up and left, my cousin spotted one of the stage crew who was holding on to it and begged with me to just give it up. And he did. He handed the folded setlist, neon duct tape and all to us, before asking us to give us some sort of monetary exchange for it. I get that that little piece of paper has great value to people who love the band, but I refuse to pay for something that wasn't meant to be sold in the first place. After squealing thank you to him repeatedly, I silently screamed running as far away from them. Because no, I won't pay for that setlist. The same way I refuse to buy those guitar picks Jared Leto asked the crew to give away after their show. You do not sell things that were explicitly meant to be given away. The short of it all is that day one alone was eventful. Even my baby cousin got a free shirt that was tossed to the crowd.
|Exhibit B: The item that made me silently scream in public like a baby high school girl. Oops.|
All the excitement off the first day made me extremely sleep deprived for day two. I felt a migraine coming, and my body was sore, and all I really wanted to do was curl up in bed and sleep. Obviously, I was not prepared to rock out for two days. Something I fondly call "being too old for this sh*t". So after rolling myself out of bed and grudgingly put on my uniform of black shirt-jeans-and-boots combo, we took a proper cab ride back to SMX. I can't believe we were early enough to miss just two bands off the lineup. Also, as it turns out, arriving early meant you get the zombie experience walking into the venue. Honestly, I am too sleep deprived to be semi-attacked by strangers in costume so I turned my phone's flashlight on to see where we were going and avoid stepping on any zombie waiting to attack us from below.
We got there during Gracenote's set still too groggy to join the pit, so we went around to look for my cousin's friend and get some ice cream. It was funny seeing people who were obviously present the night before randomly sprawled out on the floor, some on bean bags and even those inflatable couches, all recharging for the bands playing next. We even saw this girl half asleep on one of the couches raise her hand doing a rock sign when Chicosci started playing. It's been years since I last saw them live. And by years, I mean Fall Out Boy's first show at Araneta where they were the opening act. It was pretty awesome when during their set, while Miggy was working the crowd, Mong (who we met the night before) points out to us, the girls on the side of the stage eating ice cream. Because we are great multi taskers who will internally rock out to a good band while getting some sugar. Wala lang, it's a cool story to tell. Also, I was so happy with their set. It's been a while since I heard Diamond Shotgun, and it was great hearing Raspberry Girl live.
I was looking forward to watching Echosmith play again, so I went with the local Echobabies. I didn't realize it meant me watching Coldrain at a safe distance from the mosh pit. The thirst is real, as I look longingly at the circle pit. But seriously, I can't believe I never even bothered to listen to their music before Bazooka Rocks because they were crazy awesome.
Finally, it was time. Despite me thinking they were a mismatch for a rock fest filled with screaming punk rock bands, Echosmith gave a fantastic performance of their songs, and even did some memorable covers! Honestly, they are as kind as they are insanely talented.
I'm so happy to have heard my favorites: Bright, and Tell Her You Love Her live. I was hoping to hear Up To You and Surround You too, but things like that happen all the time. They performed crowd favorites: Cool Kids and Come Together. But I have to say, closing their show with Nothing's Wrong was insane. Especially when Sydney brought her drums to the end of the runway and worked her magic. I apologize for the crap photos of it. Hashtag short girl problems.
Honestly, I was ready to call it a day after their set. I was so exhausted and my soul was so full I don't think I could coherently process the bands playing after them. But it would be a waste to haul ass and go all this way without catching the next three bands.
And so I reunited with my friends to catch them. I'm really liking the whole "okay I'll go stay" trend going on because man were The Summer Set, We Are The In Crowd, and You Me At Six crazy awesome. I had fun awkwardly dancing and jumping along with the crowd. It's awkward because I don't know any of their songs, lol.
And how can will I ever forget The Summer Set's AMAZING DRUMMER. I swear, it was insane. I am now getting their albums just to hear her glorious beats on repeat. Sadly, my legs can take no more of the jumping and dancing and moshing that I had to call quits after half of You Me At Six's set. Which was such a shame, because things just got even better when I left. Hassle.
I had to console myself by getting another bottle of water while riding around the venue on one of their animal things on wheels. You have no idea how good it feels to sit after standing and jumping and moshing for lord knows how many hours.
I woke up with the worst case of post -Bazooka Rocks depression mixed with rage for being awake at seven in the morning (after sleeping at three am). I don't understand how someone who is always so angry to be awake so early ever manage to be a "morning person".
All these years of going to gigs and concerts on a what seems a lot like a regular basis meant never really being alone in the crowd. It was great bumping into familiar faces and friends, and even meeting and making new friends.