Hey guys! It’s Monday again, and I’m back with another post. I still haven’t thought of a good theme for my Monday posts, so I think they’re just going to continue to be kind of a hodge-podge of different post types. Today I’m coming at you with a long, long, LONG, Concert Diaries post. This little “Concert Diaries” series is going to be kind of way for you to know my thoughts on the shows I’ve gone to, but also a way for me to keep some of these memories in an accessible place.
Last Tuesday (3/28) my best friend and I drove 7 hours to the Granada in Lawrence, KS so I could see Never Shout Never on their “Throwback Tour”. I have loved Never Shout Never since I was 10/11 years old (as you saw in last week’s post) and when this tour was announced, I think I was single handedly the person who was most excited for these shows. Never Shout Never was the first artist I found independently and got me into this emo/pop punk scene I’m in now. Without Never Shout Never, I wouldn’t have discovered All Time Low, or any of the other bands that have impacted me so much throughout middle school and high school. Never Shout Never was the first artist I ever loved, and this was my 5th time, and one of my favorite times, seeing them.
We got to Kansas at about 3:00 and grabbed a bite to eat before we headed over to the venue. We weren’t really in the mood to stand in line for multiple hours but we didn’t have anything better to do so we waited at the venue from like 5:00 to when the doors opened at 7. We ended up being about 2nd row for the show and there was no barricade, so when the first band came out, we were within touching distance of them. In typical NSN fashion, they took out Me Like Bees as their support for the tour. All the times I’ve seen NSN at a real venue (aka not on Warped Tour), Me Like Bees has opened for them but this is by far the best time I’ve seen them play. The crowd was really engaged during most of their songs and they were really able to hype up the crowd before the headliner came out. It’s not exactly the style of music I gravitate towards, but a lot of their songs have fun sing-a-long parts that makes their live performance really interactive and fun even if you aren’t a huge fan of the band. Many of their songs are driven by a repetitive bass-line and twangy guitar sounds so a lot of fans of the newer Never Shout Never songs would be fans of Me Like Bees.
Once Me Like Bees were done, they began setting up for NSN and the stage design was so cute. They brought back his old banner (the American flag with the peace sign instead of the stars) and there were fresh and fake flowers spread all over the stage. The drums were a kit from the Time Travel album and had these really cool lights in them that would illuminate the entire kit in the dark. Everything felt like old school Never Shout Never and I was absolutely in love with it because that was the NSN I fell in love with. One of the crew members put the setlist on the stage and so everyone clamored to see what was on it. Now, keep in mind, this Throwback Tour was pegged as a 10 year anniversary tour, and it was being marketed under the idea that NSN was going to play both Me and My Uke and The Yippee EPs in full. Like I said, when this got announced I practically pissed my pants thinking I would get to hear all these songs I’ve never heard before live. So when I took a look at the setlist and saw that songs like Smelyalata and Did it Hurt? weren’t on there, I can’t pretend like I wasn’t bummed. What ended up being the case was that only some of the songs from these EPs made it onto the setlist and the rest (aka the less popular ones) were booted. Nonetheless, I was stoked for the show and when I saw that songs like Your Biggest Fan and Heregoesnothin’ were on there, I got even more excited.
NSN came out to the stage at about 9:00 PM and opened with Bigcitydreams so the whole crowd freaked out. This is one of those classic NSN songs that if you were a scene kid back in the day, you knew all the words to. As the crowd shifted and moved, I ended up being only a couple people away from Chris which was making my scene heart melt. (It’s 2017 and I still have a fat crush on that guy.) I think my favorite thing about seeing Never Shout Never live is that the band doesn’t take themselves too seriously, so half the time they’re playing, and the other half of the time they’re just dicking around on stage and interacting with the crowd. And when I say interacting with the crowd, I mean it: NSN fans are loud, screaming things like “I love you!!!!” and throwing things on stage from the crowd every 2 seconds. It got annoying after a while because they would be screaming things while Chris was singing and that just gets old. The set went on with classics of course like Trouble, California, Piggy Bank, etc. A lot of these songs I had already heard but I was still having fun singing along and dancing, while my best friend got to see my #1 original favorite for the first time. By the time it got the end of the set, the one song they had left was Heregoesnothin’ and once they started playing it, I won’t lie when I say I started getting teary-eyed. This is one of those songs that I never thought I would get to hear live, so singing along with it 9-10 years later was hitting me with all the nostalgic emotions I had back in the day. NSN always does an encore though, and Chris came back out to play First Dance with just the uke and his voice, and then played a pretty emotionally heavy rendition of Harmony with just the acoustic guitar plugged in. The crowd took out their phone lights and their lighters and lit up the room while he sang; it really captured the essence of the song and brought all the fans together.
After the show I picked up a t-shirt with The Summer EP artwork on it, so I can let people know that I was emo back in the day and still am. I waited outside with my best friend for a while knowing Chris would come outside to meet fans. A bunch of girls swarmed him when he first came out so I stood back and waited for my turn and let the wild ones get out of the way first. By the time it got to being my turn, my hands were shaking and my heart was racing. I meet people in bands a lot, but there’s something that makes me so nervous about talking to him every time I’ve met him. Our conversation wasn’t long, but I showed him the tattoo I got for the band and he said he remembered seeing it on twitter and liking it then. He picked up my arm and gave my tattoo a kiss and I audibly gasped because I was so shocked that he loved it so much enough to do that! I told him thank you for all he’s done for me and the other people there and he gave me a huge hug and thanked me too for all the support and coming out to shows. We took a picture together (below) and then I headed home for the night after he made me promise I’d see him again.
A lot of people think Christofer Drew is just this like weird, hippie guy and while I will agree, he is also the most genuine “famous person” I have ever met. He takes time to talk to everyone not because he has to, but because he genuinely wants to and he treats everyone so kindly. I can’t say enough positive things about him. I had an incredible time at the show, and this is definitely going to be one for the books!