I’m getting too old for this, but I don’t care. I got a tweet from House of Heroes the day before their show in San Diego asking if anyone from our writing staff would be at the show, so I thought I’d find a way to make it down to see two of my three favorite bands play. Because, you know, sometimes you have to sacrifice.
Relient K is headlining a tour that for once in their history did not have a name (as would be noted by front man Matthew Thiessen during the show), bringing along their friends, including show opener House of Heroes and two acts that don’t fit the theme of this website, William Beckett (formerly of The Academy Is…) and Hellogoodbye. I won’t be talking about those acts, because I wouldn’t cover them here normally and I didn’t particularly go to the show to see either of them and I’ll leave it at that.
The tour came to San Diego on Friday evening, July 27th, at a medium sized indoor venue at The House of Blues. This was an all ages show, but there were quite a number of people who were past their teenage years, so there was a nice mix to the crowd.
The show started off right as I walked in the door, with House of Heroes taking the stage. Although the crowd was clearly there to see Relient K, they showed quite the affection for all the bands, with momentum growing naturally throughout the night.
With the recent release of Cold Hard Want, it was nice to see the gang play quite a number of new songs, while not being afraid to play a healthy mix of the older ones. I don’t have a perfect memory of the set list, but I believe the band started off with “Remember The Empire”, in addition to “Dance (Blow It All Away)”, “A Man Who’s Not Afraid” and their first single from the album “Touch This Light”. They mixed in a few older tunes as well, including the beloved “Serial Sleepers” for older fans and “Code Name: Raven”. I think there were a couple other songs as well, but I didn’t have anything to write this stuff down.
The House of Heroes set was tight as ever and I was able to finally meet lead singer Tim Skipper after the set, talking for about five minutes about stuff not at all related to music. Why only five minutes? Because that is the limit on how long I can try to be interesting in a conversation with someone I just met for the first time. Next time, I’ll shoot for ten, Tim.
After a two hour layover of waiting through music that I wouldn’t listen to on my own, Relient K finally took the stage and after some nervous doubt due to the wait, it was well worth my time. The only other time I had seen my favorite band in the whole wide world was three years ago in a stadium, where they got to play a whopping five songs from five hundred or so feet away. This was a little more up close and personal and a much more memorable experience.
Again, I don’t have a particularly great memory of every single thing they played that night, but it was quite numerous and a good time was being had from the front row to the old folks chillin’ back in the bar.
Relient K has seven full length albums and a bunch of EP’s to choose songs from, so there was no way they were going to play every “favorite” of mine, but they did play a lot of them, including quite a number of older tunes.
From the best album of all time, MMHMM, they played “The One I’m Waiting For”, “Be My Escape”, “High of 75″ and surprisingly enough “The Only Thing Worse Than Beating A Dead Horse Is Betting On One”.
The loudest pop from the crowd seemed to come from their older albums, when they played “Mood Rings”, “In Love With The 80′s (Pink Tux To The Prom)” and of course “Sadie Hawkins Dance”.
As for their latest full length release, they did play the title track to “Forget And Not Slow Down” and closed the show with “Savannah”, while also tossing in “The Lining Is Silver” from The Birds and the Bee Sides (The Nashville Tennis EP).
For those of us who are dying to hear the next album they have been working on, seeing a show on this tour will geek you right up, as the band played three brand new songs, “Collapsable Lung”, “Boomarang” and a third song they didn’t name that they talked themselves into playing. The sound of these songs sounded a lot more aggressive and fun than the delightfully depressing Forget And Not Slow Down album, which I think plays much better for the type of show they put on.
Big things are coming our way for Relient K and if you want to catch a glimpse there are a few shows left on this tour, which I would highly recommend if you get the chance, even if you’re like me and you have to sift through half a lineup that you don’t care much for.