Taste of Chaos 2016: At San Manuel Amphitheater

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San Bernardino, CAThe Rockstar Energy Drink Taste of Chaos Tour hit San Manuel Amphitheater on Saturday, July 16, 2016.

The annual Taste of Chaos festival’s stellar lineup caused thousands to brave the heat and long lines in the name of screaming lyrics held near and dear to their hearts.

The final stop of the nationwide tour was in Southern California — where else? — and throughout the evening, it was clear the bands had bonded over the prior two months. Already having come up in the same era and playing songs they’ve been performing for decades, the band’s spoke like family and thanked each other for inspiration (then and now).
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With the likes of Dashboard Confessional and Taking Back Sunday holding up their end of the deal as headliners, Taste of Chaos roared all day at the San Manuel Amphitheater Festival Grounds. As James Dewees of Reggie and the Full Effect pointed out, the fest’s lineup was like a flashback to the Vagrant America Tour, a nationwide jaunt that featured bands on Vagrant Records from 2001-03 (specifically Reggie, the Anniversary, Hot Rod Circuit, and the Get Up Kids).

Speaking of the Anniversary, the Kansans’ reunion after 13 years received a huge welcome. While the band was selling new merch, many fans came decked in vintage Anniversary gear.

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Heat climbed into the low 100’s, which is pretty hot for this area… That didn’t stop the concertgoers as they were surrounded by merchandise tents, food trucks, carnival rides, and giant inflatable Rockstar Energy Drink bottles (the festival’s sponsor). These diehards came to sing along to emotional songs, some of which they’ve been singing for over a decade.

SAOSIN, lead vocalist Anthony Green could hardly contain his enthusiasm between songs. “We’re SAOSIN and we came here to fucking dance!” Green told fans at the beginning of the set. Later, he said that in his youth, going to a concert like this was the one place where he felt like he could truly let go, be himself, and not care about how others saw him and encouraged the audience to do the same.

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SAOSIN’s set included songs from their new album, Along the Shadow, which was released on May 20. It was their first studio album since releasing In Search of Solid Ground in 2009. The new album features vocals from Green, who returned to SAOSIN in 2014, nearly a decade after his 2004 departure.

By the time Taking Back Sunday took the stage, Comerica Theatre was packed with fans excited to hear the music of their youth. The group opened with “Cute Without the ‘E’ (Cut from the Team),” “Liar (It Takes One to Know One),” and “Flicker, Fade.” Their set also included other favorites from their hit albums Tell All Your Friends,Louder Now, and Happiness Is, including “A Decade Under the Influence,” “You’re So Last Summer,” and “Timberwolves at New Jersey.”

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Between songs, lead vocalist Adam Lazzara said that Rockstar Energy Drink was paying him $30 every time he said “Rockstar Energy Drink Taste of Chaos Tour” and joked that he would be saying it as many times as he could (and he did).

Later, Lazzara introduced the audience to “Holy Water” from the band’s upcoming album, Tidal Wave, due to hit record stores later this year on September 16. They played the song “Tidal Wave” as well. “I’m just killing time because I don’t want the night to be over,” Lazzara confessed toward the end of the set. “Let’s go out with a bang,” he said before finishing the performance with “MakeDamnSure.”

The closing headliner, Dashboard Confessional, wasted no time bringing fans to tears. The audience cheered as the opening chords of “Vindicated” rang out. I’ve seen Chris Carrabbaseveral times over the past year (the man is a touring machine), yet with every show, he seems to be more excited and delighted to play for his beloved fans. Carrabba let concertgoers finish line after line in songs like “Remember to Breathe” and “The Places You Have Come To Fear The Most,” and fans overpowered Carrabba as they sang songs filled with years of memories.

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The final set of the final stop of this tour “filled with family” was as emotional for the bands as it was for fans. Lazzarra came back onstage to sit on Carrabba’s lap, and several other bands could be seen lining the wings. While “Stolen” is one of Carrabba’s most poignant love songs, fans eagerly awaited one of the most celebrated emotional love songs the scene has ever heard.

As Carrabba sang, “Breathe in for luck,” you could see fans prepare themselves to scream, losing their voices in the choruses of “Hands Down.” Although emo fans have a reputation for being “sad as fuck,” being in a crowd of thousands while they sang “Hands down, this is the best day I can ever remember” felt pretty great.

Coverage/Photos Provided By: Adam Messler

 

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