8123 Fest - Day Two

The Main Event

PhotosSaturday, January 21, 2017 - 02:00:00 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music, The Maine, 8123)
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Or The Maine event? Get it? Yeah.

And what an event it was.

Given how long of a day it was going to be, we planned to show up at 2pm when the first act was starting. Considering the incredibly long merch lines even when we first walked in, we probably should have taken advantage of the Gold Ticket early entry.

John The Ghost

Photobox ImageWe talking in right as their set was beginning. This is what I can only assume is a quite rare performance of John's solo project from last year, with Jared & Brennan on guitars, Halvo on bass and Andrew Destefano on drums.

Obviously it was a short set of 5 out of the 6 songs from the EP, which was very cool to get to see performed live.

With their set over, it was time to get our bearings. Tents lined the perimeter of the parking lot behind Crescent Ballroom. Blow up cactus' were everywhere, there was some sort of bouncy house in the far corner, the Maine's graffiti-ed van was parked inside the gates. Lines of people zig-zagged through the crowd of people watching the music. It actually wasn't obvious what line was going to where. Yeah, we should have gotten here earlier.

After some wandering around, we checked out what merch there was, and got in line. A line which streamed front the merch tent, out almost to the middle of the parking lot by the sound board, curved and went right back to the merch tent and ended somewhere near the entrance. Crazy. You would think that with the ridiculous amount of money we'd spent on Thursday night there couldn't be anything else we needed to buy, but of course there was no shortage of different stuff including an 8123 Fest t-shirt only at this show.


Photobox ImageWe were standing the sed merch line for the duration of Brighten's set, who were great. One of the bands I know the least about, they were notably jangly, which makes me regret not paying much attention in the past. I know we've seen them on tour with The Maine years and years ago, but do not remember anything about it.

At some point, Garrett walked past and stopped to say hi, much to the surprise of the girls behind us.

By the end of Brighten's set we were not that much closer to securing any merchandise.

Beach Weather

Photobox ImageBy the time Beach Weather were ready to start their set, we were at least in a better position to see the band, now at least somewhere behind the sound board. Katie held the spot in line, which I went up a little closer to watch the band.

After their set, I eventually found Katie, who'd finally made it to the merch table. Unfortunately by which time a lot of what we had wanted had sold out.

We then set out to get a drink, and find out what the deal was with the Maine cups we'd seen people carrying around. More lines - but thankfully that went a lot quicker. Turns out there was a Maine signature cocktail in a souviner cup. Of course, when we got to the bar, those too were sold out. Stuff was sold out like 2 hours into the festival - which puts into perspective what a big shing dig this whole thing was.

The Technicolors

Photobox ImageIt was about time to venture more into the crowd and find a good spot to watch The Technicolors. Obviously great as always. And it was cool to see Bob Hoag up there with them, beating the hell out of a tambourine for their first song.

Notable for their set was their opener Lilies For My Lily, which is such a great song and was oddly so familiar. I spent most of the song trying to work out if it was a cover, though it's entirely possible it's an original that I'm familiar with from other performances. Certainly if it is an original, I'm really looking forward to it being on record.

Great set, with ended with an impressively frenzied attack of the keyboard at the end of Hollywood.

A Rocket To The Moon

Photobox ImageARTTM were the defunct band that everyone wanted on this bill, and were the "secret" billing hold out until late last week. As the crowd around us tightened in, it was hard to miss the general excitement for their performance.

While I have technically seen the band before (opening for the Forever Halloween CD release - which I also remember very little about), we really got into them post humorously via Nick's involvement in Beach Weather. So it was pretty cool to get the opportunity to see them play and this time know all the songs.t

During The Summer Set it was a good chance for us to find a spot on the fringes and rest our aching feet. It had already been such a long day. It's rare for me to go to a music festival to see more than that one band I want to see. 8123 Fest was a completely different animal, with a line up of so many of your favorite bands. And as weird as it may be to say, getting to see all these bands together, and everything going on throughout the day, it was easy to forget the real reason why you were here, why this was all happening. It had already been such a great day with all the other bands.

However, once The Summer Set finished, and the stage was set up for the headliner - you started to remember again. We wandered out into the crowd to assume our spots. And as the intro music began to ring out, the rest of the day started to melt away. John, Jared, Kennedy, Garrett & Pat walked out and the night turned into something else.

Appropriately, they kicked off with We All Roll Along, with no doubt that they were the reason everyone showed up. 3,000 people crammed into the parking lot behind the Crescent Ballroom screaming "eighty one twenty three means everything to me" was quite the thing to be part of. It's always been a favorite of mine - 9 years ago the opening power quartet of tracks from Can't Stop Won't Stop defined my daily commute to work - but the song took on a whole new level of poignancy tonight in this parking lot.

The next hour and a half was a high energy show spanning the band's 10 year history. Midway through they broke out Bad Behavior which just like last night received a huge crowd response, and every word sung back to the stage.

Take Me Dancing was very welcomed surprise to the setlist.

Funnily enough, I think we'd posed the question some time this week on whether they would close out Another Night On Mars or We'll All Be. The answer was both as they were the final two songs of the night. Just like their opener, We'll All Be was incredibly poignant tonight. Throughout the set, I'll admit that we both had some emo moments. And We'll All Be was definitely one of them. Y'know, just doing a part in Making America Emo Again. [wink]

Really great night and an amazing show put on by the boys. As the lights came up and the crowd started dispersing from the car park, we took a quick stop off to the car to drop of the stuff we were carrying (cameras, t-shirts) before walking back to Crescent Ballroom to find our way in to the official after party.

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