Concert experiences are guaranteed to differ based on a lot of different variables. There is the band’s energy, the band’s actual talent, but most importantly I believe a concert goer’s attitude as well as the crowd’s energy can really change an entire experience. An experience in the pit is generally more energetic and cannot be observed from the outside; it is something you must experience yourself.
At the AP tour, As It Is definitely started off the concert experience with a lot of energy, thanks to both the band’s energy and the crowd itself. Having seen As It Is as an opening band a few months prior, I already knew what to expect from the band and the crowd it tends to attract: 12 year old girls who have an unhealthy obsession with the young and “cute” lead singer (and former Youtuber) Patty Walters. This sweeping generalization definitely proved true. Before I knew it, I was completely surrounded by sweating, squealing, and giddy young teenage girls. When Patty Walters would say “jump!” or “bounce! bounce!” they jumped for the heavens. As someone who is not exactly into the band, it was a little overwhelming to be surrounded (and pushed) by young girls (who are surprisingly strong) for a good half an hour. It was not exactly the most enjoyable experience, but I’m sure I would have enjoyed it if I was a fan of the band.
Next, things were toned down with the mellow acoustic group titled This Wild Life. This was the first instance where I felt a sense of unity within the crowd and with the band. Everyone stood close and sang the soft lyrics and just really appreciated the special moment. It was especially sincere when the lead singer Kevin Jordan instructed the lighting crew to turn down all the lights so audience members could light up the room solely with their phone flashlights. It was a beautiful to look behind me and see all the lights in the air as the crowd enjoyed that special moment together. Before this concert, I had never heard of This Wild Life, but I was touched by their sincerity and I now listen to their music, sad as it is…they really know how to tug at your heartstrings.
Things took a very different turn in the pit when Real Friends took the stage. As a pop punk band with rapidly growing popularity, they continue to attract more and more fans full of angst (inclusive of all genders) ranging from 13 years old up to late twenties. There was no rest when they took the stage. With their bouncy guitar playing and intense drums, crowd surfing (a famous occurrence at pop punk shows), moshing, and pushing started. There were many times where I was scared of being thrown completely off balance and being stomped on the ground. Everyone in the very front had to be on the constant look out for crowd surfers because their goal is to move from the back of the crowd to the front. I distinctly remember being kicked in the head several times and I also remember lifting several people over my head. With this being my second time seeing them, that is pretty much standard and what I expected. I am not a fan of them particularly, but I can’t deny their crowds are pretty fun.
And, last but most definitely not least, Mayday Parade took the stage as the headlining band. From the pit perspective, Mayday Parade was the best act of the night. Perhaps it was because they were the act I had waited through 3 bands to hear, but I think most of the audience at the concert were there to see them, as well. At this point, my small group of friends that I was with had had enough of the rough crowd(considering Real Friends had just performed) and decided to just stand in the back to experience Mayday Parade. At this point, I did not have the pressure of watching after my friends, so I did my own thing and managed to worm my way up to the very front row. The concert was mind blowing to say the least. Despite Mayday Parade playing mostly slow songs that are melancholy, the energy was elevated and jam-packed. Since I was by myself, I saw no problem in completely letting go. I jumped with the crowd, sang at the top of my lungs, pushed the people around me in order to keep my spot. Lead singer Derek Sanders’s voice was on point and he sounded exactly like the recordings. Mayday Parade has been around since the early 2000s(when most would agree they were in their prime-specifically one of their first albums A Lesson In Romantics) and the crowd seemed to have the most energy and the best reaction when they played their older songs. When their hit single Miserable At Best (from A Lesson In Romantics) came on, it was one of the most crowd-uniting songs I had ever experienced.
After it was apparent that almost everyone in the sold out crowd knew the song, Sanders said “keep singing” and as he walked off stage, he let the rest of the crowd finish it off-a truly beautiful moment I would do anything to relive. Overall, the concert was just fun. There was energy, but not so much that an audience member would be in fear of getting severely hurt. It was the perfect combination of spirit, vigor, and tranquility. I would definitely recommend seeing them in concert-don’t hesitate to buy tickets before they sell out!