Summer Concerts

Summer Concerts Left Fans Humming Tunes

Summer is always a beautiful time of the year. The weather is warm, people go on vacations, and it is also the best time of the year for concerts. This summer, several great concert tours came to the tristate area.

The concert season started May 21 when the PNC Bank Arts Center opened its doors to Sugarland. PNC is one of the few outdoor venues in New Jersey and every year when it opens, I consider it to be the official kickoff of the summer concert season.

June was probably the worst month for summer concerts as PNC featured several bands way their prime like Hall & Oates. 

On the other hand, July featured several solid concerts as Kid Cudi came to the Stone Pony in Asbury Park on July 3, while O.A.R., Kid Rock, 311 with Sublime, Goo Goo Dolls, Weezer, and Motley Crue came to PNC.

On July 24, Warped Tour did its 17th annual roll into New Jersey at the Monmouth Park Racetrack all day. This year’s Warped Tour was much heavier than previous ones with hardcore/scream acts like August Burns Red, The Devil Wears Prada, Asking Alexandria, We Came As Romans, and more.

I was in attendance for Warped Tour and despite the long day in the sun it was still just as fun as it always is.

The bands I found the best were several of the poppunk bands including A Day to Remember, Set Your Goals, and The Wonder Years.  Warped Tour legends Less than Jake also put on a very strong, funny, and entertaining set which included an on stage haircut and a kiss between two random fans on stage.

Junior Samantha Palmucci was also in attendance for Warped Tour 2011.

“Each year I think the dynamic for the warped concert changes. Some years there are tons of great bands and other years there are a few decent ones. This past concert was my fourth one that I’ve attended and although it wasn’t my favorite, it ended brilliantly with an amazing show put on by A Day to Remember. I’ve seen them in concert a lot and they never fail, it’s always a great time. But, all in all I love Warped and can’t wait for next year.”

Lil Wayne, arguably the most popular rapper now, came to PNC in Holmdel on July 26. His much anticipated album, Tha Carter IV, dropped on August 29.

Even the MAC hosted two great shows this summer which several students attended. Wiz Khalifia’s tour came to the MAC on Friday, July 29, which sold out.

Sophomore Gregg Cambareri was in attendance and said that he thoroughly enjoyed the show. “Wiz was quite the entertainer. He played all his popular songs and had the whole place jumping. Big Sean was also an excellent performer. He could freestyle or play anything from the album Finally Famous. Everyone was blown away,” Cambareri said.

The following night, poppunk band All Time Low played at the MAC with special guests The Starting Line and Mayday Parade, and many current students and alumni attended this show.

Mat Massahos was one of the alumni in attendance, and he thought the show was good for the most part but there were some things he saw he did not really like.

“I was really impressed with The Starting Line. They have been one of my favorite bands for a very long time so it was cool to see them back out there playing shows again. Although I’m not a huge All Time Low fan I thought they played really well despite their attempt to put on their best Blink182 impersonation in between songs, which I found to be forced and annoying,” Massahos said.

Speaking of Blink182, they hit the road this summer in support of their new album Neighborhoods, which is going to be released on September 27. My Chemical Romance also joined them on the tour this summer. The opening night of the tour took place on August 5 at PNC.

As an attendee at this concert, I’ve got to say that they still got it. They put on an amazing show, which included their greatest hits

(“All the Small Things,” “What’s My Age Again?,” “Feeling This,” etc.), and some new songs like “Up All Night” and “After Midnight.”

One of the loudest summer concerts was the Identity Festival which featured several great acts in the dance/electronic world. Steve Aoki, Skrillex, Pretty Lights, Kaskade, Rusko, and many more performed on August 14 at PNC.

August also featured performances by Reel Big Fish, and Alkaline Trio while many more also came through the tristate area.

Now do not think that just because the summer is over and PNC closed its doors, there won’t be more great concert venues in the area.

Foo Fighters and Rise Against are playing at the Izod Center in East Rutherford on September 26.  Later in the fall, the Izod Center will also play host to JayZ and Kanye West for two nights on November 5 and 6.

Starland Ballroom also has an impressive fall lineup, with Mac Miller (October 1), Skrillex (October 9), New Found Glory (October 29), Four Year Strong (November 23), and a reunion show for The Early November (November 26…ironically in late November).

The fall and spring should have several worthwhile shows, but many will be looking forward to next summer with the promise of heat and more musical venues.