With Man Overboard , Forever Came Calling, Souvenirs, & Such A Mess also Ft. Horror In The Moonlight
Date: April 8, 2016
Venue: Chain Reaction
City: Anaheim, California
Highlight: Beach Balls, Stage Diving, and a Promise!
Reviewed By: Alice Gamez
Over an hour drive in crazy California traffic, plus an hour in the venue parking lot squinting out the car window trying to see if that’s really Zac out there taking a call on his cell phone, plus another hour waiting for the box office to open (only to be separated into a VIP line and handed your ticket), plus thirty minutes of standing behind impatient girls before the guys in Man Overboard start to personally sing the John Cena theme song to you as you walk up for the momentous meet and greet picture moment (I was wearing a John Cena Sweater).
That’s a loooonnnnngggg three hours and thirty minutes before getting to hug Man Overboard for what will surely be the last time in a long while… unless you know, you run into them randomly on your midnight run for Nutella at Target.
After a quick run to the merch table to secure a tour shirt, followed by a hard moment where you hold your tongue as a girl cuts in front of you in the merch line, the lights dim- It’s time for the show.
It seems the line up varied between the different cities on the tour, unfortunately we were only able to make it to the Anaheim date, (Yeah the birth town of Disneyland!) California one. Chain Reaction is a small venue, so even from the very back you have a rather good spot. The walls are decorated with t-shirts from bands that have graced their stage in the past, and there’s a small snack bar to one of the sides.
The first band to play is a relatively local band, Horror In The Moonlight– a Riverside, CA band. They step out into the spot light. They’re a cool group. Just a couple of guys that can get a crowd cheering within a matter of seconds. They start their set and soon enough they throw out some beach balls to incorporate the crowd. Everyone goes crazy trying to keep them up in the air. They’re all energetic and their littlest (quite literally, young) member stage dives and everyone thinks it’s a blast.
Up next Such A Mess, a Los Angeles band, takes the stage. They tone down the teenage feel and turn the vibe into a punk emo scene. They’re chill and have a nice sound. The crowd is half still, half bobbing up and down. They have the feel of an underground garage band. The kind where you’re kicking back in a random garage in a side of town that your parents would disapprove of, while drinking cheap beer from a paper bag and having the time of your life. Some stage diving begins and after a twenty or so minute long set they depart from the stage.
Souvenirs introduce themselves after Such A Mess. They’re different, but in a good way. Their sound is entrancing, slow, kinda dark and eerie sounding. The crowd loves it. They’re a Carpinteria, CA (close to Santa Barbara) local band. Their set moves firstly from an upbeat song to many deep more emotional songs. Their lyrics sound heartfelt, and the emotion behind the songs genuine.
Forever Came Calling is the last band before Man Overboard. The anticipation is building. Once they hit the stage the show vibe grows. Moshing begins, stage diving and crowd surfing overtakes the crowd. It’s pop punk and the crowd is loving it. Joe Candelaria’s vocals fill the venue. It’s a cool experience to watch. The show could have ended here and it would all have been a blast. They say goodbye and walk off the stage.
The lights go on. The crowd seems restless. Many people start pushing their way to the front. After a mini intermission the lights fade away and blue strobe-lights begin to bounce off the walls.
“So long, farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, goodnight, I hate to go and leave this pretty sight. So long, farewell, … Adieu, adieu ,To you and you and you.” The Sound of Music fills the hall.
Man Overboard walk out one by one on stage. The crowd is cheering, this is what they’ve been waiting for… It goes pitch black. In the darkness Montrose begins. Nik yells “How you all doing?!” and Bam! Zac starts singing. The crowd yells along and all is finally how it should be. A band and its fans singing as one, sharing a good time. The crowd is taking in the experience hungrily, no one has talked about the obvious yet unmentioned elephant in the room. They play through half their set, favorites like Real Talk, Borderline, She’s in Pix fill the small room. Up to this point the stage diving and crowd movement has not stopped. The people at the barricade basically had an arms day at the gym.
At one point they chill for a sec and announce that the next one is “A sexual love song”. The crowd awaits while Nik starts off “It’s eleven thirty at night…” The night seems like it will last forever and the crowds energy is still going. A mosh pit has opened, but it keeps fading in and out between songs. A few “We F#@&ing love you’s” later they play Love Your Friends Die Laughing. The show is slowing down and it seems like the end. Zac asks for a verse for a second time, adding a mere couple of seconds, then Nik says the exact words no one wants to hear, “We’re Man Overboard. Thank You So Much” LYFDL ends. The crowd wants more though. After a semi heartbroken cheer from the fans they agree to play one more… Zac tells the crowd “For reals Each and every one of you means the whole fucking world and more to us… This song’s called Rare.” At the end Nik thanks the crowd again. Zac takes the mic and says that they’ll be back. That we’ve made the last seven years better. That they’ll be back! They love us.
They walk off the stage. The lights go off. All that’s left to say is that, “they’re so worth all of this torture.”
You can watch the set here: