The Bamboozle Roadshow
Saves the Day, Armor for Sleep, Set Your Goals, Metro Station, Lydia
Philadelphia, PA • May 1, 2008
The Fillmore at the TLA was bustling with excitement as I entered the venue. The floor was packed with people, the upstairs, even tighter. Yet, I managed to find a spot with the perfect view of the stage. The Bamboozle Road Show had a variety of acts; with electro-pop to punk and rock, there was a bit of something for everyone.
When I walked in, Lydia, had already played. Hollywood pop-rock band, Metro Station took the stage, much to the delight of screeching girls up front. With just the right amount of synth and a captivating energy, the band was able to keep the audience on their toes. After playing “Control,” the vocalist announced the band’s hope to “start a dance revolution.” Mission accomplished.
Set Your Goals was up next. While they and Metro Station may be from the same state, that’s pretty much where the similarities end for the bands. While the previous band is more pop-driven, Set Your Goals is a bit more punk-pop driven. As soon as the band took the stage, a huge pit broke open on the wooden floors, much to the surprise of some in the crowd. With each song, the audience chanted along with the vocalists, Jordan and Matt, during tracks like “Work in Progress,” off of the new album, Mutiny. The band closed with “This Song is Definitely Not about a Girl,” dedicating the track to upcoming act, Armor for Sleep.
New Jersey quintet, Armor for Sleep, returned to Philadelphia after only having been here a few months ago. Not that that mattered much to the crowd, who seemed to welcome the band rather warmly. Dressed in jeans and t-shirts (a break from their usual button-down shirt and vest attire), the band opened with “Car Underwater,” the first single from their sophomore release What to Do When You Are Dead. While the song is probably one of their more well-known tracks to a general audience (who may not know of the band’s first release), it struck me as odd that they would open with this. Having seen AFS play before, the song just didn’t strike the same energy as other opening tracks. After continuing their set with “Awkward Last Words,” Ben (vocals/guitar) thanked the crowd and said “Philly is like our second home.” The band continued with their new single, “Hold the Door” and “Smile for the Camera,” both off of their recent 2007 release. Ben suddenly asked for five kids to start a dance party, getting into a conversation with one of the audience members about being cool. Talk about a nice set-up for their song, ‘Williamsburg,” which is a statement against all those “hip” trendy facades that people have. During their last track, Ben abandoned his guitar, opting to go to the edge of the stage with just a mic in hand.
Headlining the show were Princeton rockers, Saves the Day. Lead singer, Chris Conley, announced that up until now, the band and the audience would go back and forth requesting the set list. However, tonight was different; the audience would be the only factor in picking the set list. Sounds great, right? Bad idea. At some points, it took longer to figure out what song to play than to play the full song. Conley was upfront with the audience, admitting that although there are about 120 songs in the Saves the Day catalog, the band could play about 75. After each song, the audience just screamed out suggestions. Meanwhile, during the tracks, pits broke out again with most people joining in. After a quick shot on stage, the band broke into more songs, including “In Reverie” (dedicated to Set Your Goals), “Kaleidoscope,” and “At Your Funeral.” While it was the best performance I’ve seen from the band, the DIY set list was a good idea that just seemed to take up a lot of time. However, props to the band for making the experience one to remember for their die-hard fans.
The Bamboozle Roadshow: http://www.thebamboozleroadshow.com/ ◼