It was a perfect day for Edgefest 16. We were scared shitless that it would be cold or rainy because the weather had been really bad in the days leading the festival.
We ended up giving away three extra tickets to Sweetpea’s friends. I had extra because I’d bought pre-sale tickets and then found some better seats when tickets went on sale to the public. Learned a lesson there. Michele told me that, but I had to learn it the hard way.
Sweetpea dumped Spanky and I for her friends and somehow snuck into the pit. How she snuck in was by buying a bright red halter top at one of the sleeze shops on the field.
She put it on and there was no need for the bright orange (pit) wristband. When I saw her with that on, I had to bite my tongue. I told her 6 foot tall boyfriend (he is a few months younger than Sweeetpea) he better keep a good eye on her.
This outdoor fest was no where near as rough as Download. The crowd was cleaner cut and had fewer profanities on their t-shirts. The place had a sterile feel to it. There was no grass or mud because the ground was covered with these white plastic interlocking panels.
It kept the grass alive and shoes clean. Oh, and wow, talk about overkill on cops and security guards.
It was pretty shitty that the place did not have a single show schedule to hand out by the time we got there. It seems like they could have at least put some poster up somewhere to let us poor bastards know who was playing where and when. There were three stages going at the same time. Very few people had schedules. I found out most of who we wanted to see were on the main stage so Spanky and I just stayed near there all day.
Here she is making good use of her time between sets.
We saw Blue October (excellent show), Muse (only like one of their songs so we went hunt down foold while they played), Papa Roach (Spanky hates them), AFI (Davey Havok gets best screamer award)…
Also, The Killers (more on that later), and our favorite of the day, our reason for being there… My Chemical Romance (MCR).
With a grueling tour schedule playing almost every night for over four months now, it was a no brainer that MCR would be polished. Unfortunately, with this many bands to run through in one day, they only had an hour to play. An hour in which we completely forgot about everything but the moment. It was spectacular.
The sun was setting when they started:
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I never talk much about Ray Toro, the lead guitarist for MCR. This dude is just phenomenal with his white hot guitar sound. He is the anchor for this group with his seriousness, classic rock looks (red spindly long curls, and gee, he has full lips which are just way underappreciated in this band of pretty boys), and the fact that he has worn that look from the beginning of the band to this day. Nothing wrong with tweaks and changes in appearances to freshen up the look of the band, but I like it that this guy just stays the same.
Gerard is just as gorgeous as ever, but his hair is back to ink-black. Mikey had a totally outrageous hairstyle.
As the set progressed it turned to nighttime. They did not wear their Black Parade costumes and just had a simple backdrop for their set. They played a good bit of Black Parade as well as some old school songs. It was a surprise to me that the song to bring down the house was “Cancer.” It moved me and most of the people around me to tears. The lighting was sublime and the people in the audience lit their lighters so it looked like the stadium was lit up with a bunch of candles.
I couldn’t help but think of my friend Michele, how she said that song made her cry because it hit so close to home. I blame her for making my eyes leak.
For all you punkasses who have been hitting my blog for that Teenagers Scare the Living Shit out of Me post I did, this is for you, a short video clip I recorded and uploaded. I will warn you though, you will shit a brick when you see the back of Gerard Way’s head in here. It looks like he is getting a… I’m so sorry, really sorry to tell you… a bald spot. Go ahead and cry bitches.
The Killers played last and surprisingly, a lot of people left before they played. They were twenty minutes late and Spanky had school the next day, so she wanted to leave. We listened to about 3 or 4 of their songs and began the long walk back to the car. (Sweetpea drove her own car there and stayed until the end).
While walking back to the car we could hear The Killers’ “Smile Like You Mean It.” Here’s our convo while walking in the crisp night air.
Me: Whoa, Spank, you hear that?
Spanky: Yeah, I like that song.
Me: (euphoric) It’s amazing Spank.
Spanky: I know, now stop complaining.
Me: What do you mean? I love this.
Spanky: (irritated) You’re complaining because you want to be in there instead of leaving.
Me: No, they sound fine from here.
And as smart as she is, I don’t think she could understand that I was just as happy to be walking with her to the live sound of The Killers, just me and Spank. While she finishes growing up.
The absolute scariest thing about teenagers is when they are yours.