brittney bowers

Experiencing Taking Back Sunday's 'Tell All Your Friends' 10 Year Anniversary Show at the Electric Factory

     At the age of eleven, my views and taste in music changed forever.  This change was brought on by the release of Taking Back Sunday’s Tell All Your Friends.  Since its release, Tell All Your Friends has been the one album that has kept me sane through my stages of middle school, high school, and college and all the drama, breakdowns, heartbreaks, and depression that accompanied those stages.  Even now, at the age of twenty-one, it continues to be a huge part of my life and my saving grace.  
     Ten years later, on November 14th, I was in awe of being able to see Taking Back Sunday perform Tell All Your Friends in its entirety at the Electric Factory.  Going into the show I knew I needed to be front row to get the experience I desired; to be able to release the emotions I’ve kept bottled inside for ten years and relive my memories that are connected with the album.  For five hours I waited outside in the cold to achieve my front row goal.  
     When Taking Back Sunday took the stage, I was standing front and center against the barricade.  The reality that I was seeing one of my favorite bands perform one of my favorite albums ever recorded hit me and I was grateful for the opportunity to witness and experience the show.  Taking Back Sunday began their set with songs off of other albums such as A Decade Under The Influence, Liar (It Takes One To Know One), and One-Eighty By Summer.  After Make Damn Sure the band started their performance of Tell All Your Friends.  There aren’t any words that can describe how incredibly perfect it was to witness the band perform this album.  It was a show that you had to be there to understand and appreciate how amazing of an experience it was.  I had chills throughout the set.  I spent the night screaming along the lyrics, dancing, viciously head-banging, and thrusting my hand in the air to the beat of the music.  I felt like I was in middle and high school again reliving my angst when I would come home from school, blare Tell All Your Friends as loud as my stereo would go, and dance around my room letting out all of that day’s anger.  Every aspect of their performance was spot on, from how they sounded to how they moved and interacted with one another and the crowd.  Adam Lazzara incredibly crowd surfed and sang then headed to the upper bar to continue singing through a good portion of the set.  Taking Back Sunday closed their set with two songs that didn’t make the cut for Tell All Your Friends; Your Own Disaster and The Ballad of Sal Villanueva.  During Your Own Disaster, the beauty of the night came crashing in on me and I was brought to tears.  It is one of my favorite songs and as of late is the theme song to my life and has been pulling me out of a heartbroken state.  I couldn’t believe I was seeing the show and I didn’t want it to end, all of these emotions caved in on me.  It was the first time I’ve shed a tear at a show that wasn’t Bruce Springsteen or Roger Waters.  
     Taking Back Sunday’s show for Tell All Your Friends was hands down one of the best shows I’ve been to in a while.  It was worth freezing for five hours, worth every blackened bruise I received that night, and worth the ringing in my ears.  I haven’t felt that alive at a show in a while, and for the first time in a long time, I didn’t feel alone, I felt at home.  Seeing Tell All Your Friends live was about the experience for me, experiencing the feelings I’ve been dying to feel when I listen to the album.  Wednesday night reminded me why I’m appreciative of Taking Back Sunday’s existence and how this album helped me through every stage of my life.  I’d like to thank the band for the ten year anniversary tour of Tell All Your Friends and for the experience they provided for me.    

Album Review: Papa Roach, The Connection

This past Tuesday rock band Papa Roach released their long awaited seventh album, The Connection.  Since Infest, I have been a Papa Roach fan, though with the release of this album I was slightly skeptical.  Time for Annihilation was a letdown, only having five new songs out of the fourteen song track listing.  I was nervous that The Connection wouldn’t be as strong as their past albums, especially following their previous album.  

Upon listening, all of my skepticism vanished.  The Connection goes back to Papa Roach’s roots.  The thirteen track album is made up of aggressively catchy beats that make you want to simultaneously stomp your feet and punch your fist to the sky.  The album is emotionally driven and throughout listening a feeling of inspiration to plot sweet revenge against an ex comes over you.  Many of the songs explore the different ranges of a relationship once it turns sour; it reminds you of the fights, the break up, the post break up, then the strength you find once you start moving on.  “Before I Die” slows down the tempo with its emotional chorus striking a nerve at “Maybe I said the right things wrong…” a statement that has happened to everyone at least once.  “Wish You Never Met Me” is the new anthem to the end of a relationship and blaming oneself for the mistakes.  The line “What good is love if it’s always denied?” sends chills down the spine.  “Breathe You In” lyrically is reminiscent of Papa Roach’s album Getting Away With Murder using lines like “Why do I feel so numb, can’t I just be me for fuck sake? Maybe I don’t have a purpose.”  “Not That Beautiful” and “Won’t Let Up” are similar to old school Papa Roach’s breakthrough album Infest.        

The second track “Still Swinging” lyrically states, “P Roach is the new black.”  Yes, Papa Roach is back and they are the new black, The Connection is their resurrection album.  As a long time fan, I am excited by this album.  Papa Roach perfectly delivered an incredible, emotional new album with The Connection.  

The New Norm, Plumsteadville 
© Brittney Bowers Photography, 2013 

This photograph is part of a series I’ve been working on this past year titled The New Norm. The series focuses on businesses that have been closed and are vacant near the suburbs I grew up in.  Working in a diptych allows me to show the overall image then focus in on a smaller detail of the overall image while using existing lines to connect the two images.  

Yellowcard's Tour Stop at the Electric Factory

     Friday night Yellowcard’s latest tour hit the Electric Factory for a sold out show.  Opening support for the show was provided by Sandlot Heroes, We Are The In Crowd, and The Wonder Years. 
     Local Leigh Valley pop rock band Sandlot Heroes opened the night.  The band started the night off right and energized the crowd.  They slowed their set down and had the crowd singing along to Out Of My Hands in beautiful melodies.    
     We Are The In Crowd followed Sandlot Heroes in a disappointing performance.  Vocalist Taylor Jardine seemed more content playing with her hair than entertaining the crowd.  Along with a dull performance, it was nearly impossible to hear her singing, her voice wasn’t loud enough and the rest of the band overpowered her voice.  The crowd sang louder than Jardine and it appeared that they only knew the words due to the beat of the music.  Bored to tears and bleeding ears are the best ways to describe enduring We Are The In Crowd’s performance.
     Philadelphia’s finest pop-punk band, The Wonder Years, followed We Are The In Crowd, saving the night and restoring the crowds energy.  The Wonder Years stole the show from the opening acts with their heartfelt lyrics paired with catchy beats.  Kids moshed, crowd surfed, and screamed lyrics in unison.  The Wonder Years had the crowd amped up and ready for the headliners Yellowcard. 
     Yellowcard’s performance was spectacular.  They intertwined vocals, guitars, drums, bass, and a violin along with lively stage presence to captivate the crowd.  Their set was mainly made up of songs off of their latest album Southern Air and Ocean Avenue.  Yellowcard also included in their set a cover of Mumford and Sons‘ I Will Wait.  Running around in a circle pit to their music was a great way to reminisce about my fifteen year self.  They ended the night with their classic Ocean Avenue that had the entire crowd dancing and singing along.  Yellowcard proved they are still wonderful performers and very talented at making music that you can move to.         

7

     Philadelphia based blues rockers, Community Sound, rocked the World Cafe Live this past Sunday.  Their energetic set included four original songs written by lead vocalist and guitarist Daniel Hartig and drummer Jake Sommers.  Community Sound opened with their song ‘Struggling Man‘ followed by another original, ‘Airwaves’.  They performed two other catchy originals, ‘Hungover‘ and ‘So Long Manhattan‘.  By the end of the night ‘So Long Manhattan‘ was etched into my brain due to the pairing of a catchy chorus along with ranging melodies.  Community Sound covered Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Little Wing‘ with Hartig performing a jaw-dropping guitar solo thatsounded as if Hendrix was in the room.  Guitarist Jesse Minikes broke out into captivating solos throughout the night and had incredible stage presence to accompany his performance.  The band ended their set with an impressive version of Foo Fighters’ ‘Everlong’ sung by drummer Sommers who multitasked drumming and singing.  ‘Everlong’ perfectly ended their set and had the crowd singing along to the familiar rock tune.  Community Sound is a band to keep an eye on, they have the desire, drive, and skill to be successful.