Around two years ago I went to my first ever music festival with the sole purpose of seeing one of my favorite bands Anberlin. In that post, I stated that I was never interested in going to music festivals because whenever I went to a concert it was to see some of my favorite musicians instead of doing something trendy. But this past weekend I was very lucky and went to the third annual Self Help Fest in San Bernardino, CA on March 19, 2016 to see my favorite band of all time A Day to Remember.
Even thought I say a lot of bands are my favorite, A Day to Remember really is. I have been listening to this band for almost 10 years now. I started listening to them when I was 13 years old. At the time this type of music was cool as well as the whole emo scene. Even though I don't have side swept bangs and wear all black anymore, I continued to listen to their music because it resonates with me a lot. When I was 13 the music was genuinely helping me and my teenage problems. Now I still find a lot of help and reassurance, which is why I think I've continued to listen to them.
The only thing is, A Day to Remember is the band I've been listening to the longest, but a band that I had never seen live. So when my friend said she was going to Self Help Fest to see A Day to Remember, right away I kind of begged her to let me come with her. I had never been to Self Help Fest before and didn't even know what it was. To be honest I thought it would be like Warped Tour. After going I can say it is nothing like Warped Tour, it is better!
Since me and my friends were pretty much only going to see A Day to Remember we got to the festival pretty late. Self Help started at 1:30 p.m., we didn't get there till 5:00 p.m. When we got there the first thing we did was go get some refreshments.
Us in line to get drinks
The first band we saw was Underoath. Back in 2012, Underoath announced they would be disbanding and would be going on their final tour. On January 26, 2013 they played their last show in Florida. Last year, they announced they would be playing their first show since breaking up at Self Help Fest along with A Day to Remember. There was a lot of anticipation for their set as fans were excited to see them after the break up. Their performance was amazing. Even though I only know two Underoath songs, it was still cool to be a part of something like this. During the set we ended up meeting this cool guy named Emilio who hung out with our group and stood in front of us while people started moshing.
The crowd for Underoath
After that, A Day to Remember came and opened up with "The Downfall Of Us All." They played a 90 minute set, playing songs from all of their albums. They ended up playing: "My Life For Hire", "I'm Made of Wax, Larry, What Are You Made Of?", "2nd Sucks", "Monument", a cover of "My Own Worst Enemy", "Right Back At It Again", "Mr. HighWay's Thinking About The End," their debut of their new song "Paranoia", " Better Off This Way", "Have Faith In Me", "Sometimes Your the Hammer, Sometimes Your the Nail", and "All Signs Point to Lauderdale."
I loved the setlist. The only song I didn't like was "Second Sucks" just because I never really liked that song from the beginning. The song that completely caught me off guard was "Monument," just because it's such an older song compared to the others they played and it was the only one from For Those Who Have Heart. It was cool to see the debut of "Paranoia." When the song first came out I didn't really like it, but after listening to it a couple times it's grown on me.
When A Day to Remember came back for their encore performance they played "If It Means A Lot To You", "All I Want", and ended the night with "The Plot To Bomb The Panhandle."
I absolutely loved every minute of their performance. It was an unbelievable experience listening to all the songs I've been listening to for the past 10 years live. The crowd was amazing with over 17,000 people there. I don't know a lot of people who like this kind of music, so it's cool seeing that everyone there genuinely likes that genre of music. Self Help Fest is an amazing festival and one of the best concerts I've ever been to! This is an experience I will be talking about for a long time.
Photo's courtesy of Self Help Fest and Adam Elmakias Photography.