On October 1 2014, I attended the Parks and Devastation tour at NRG Arena in Houston, Texas. The lineup for this show was Motionless in White, Chiodos, Bring Me the Horizon and A Day to Remember. This was my first time at this arena and my first time seeing all of the bands except for Chiodos (whom I had seen at Warped Tour 2013).
I’ll start my review with the venue. In my opinion it was a great place for a concert. The arena was small; most of the audience was in the pit. The stage was a good size, and the acoustics, were good. Attendees were able to go outside at any time to smoke and still return to the arena. The staff kept the crowd organized surprisingly well. The only problem I had was finding water at the end of the concert. There were plenty alcohol carts, but I believe there was only one with water.
Motionless in White was the first band to play. Since I had never really listened to them before the show, I was not sure what to expect. Their sound was good, and Chris Motionless, the frontman, took a few breaks to interact with the crowd. He definitely engaged the audience which made it fun for me even though I did not know their music. The one thing I wish I had seen from them was more interaction between band members; Chris was the only one who seemed like he was enjoying himself. One of my favorite parts of a concert is getting a feeling of the band members’ personalities. If it seems like the band members aren’t into it or enjoying themselves, it takes away from the experience.
Chiodos was next to perform. As I mentioned earlier, I saw this band at Warped Tour last summer, and they were okay. They weren’t bad, but they didn’t impress me either. Since this show was over a year ago, I didn’t really remember much. This time however, they left a better impression on me. Lead singer Craig Owens’ voice sounded good, and his screams were electric. The entire band had so much energy and kept the crowd on their feet. I thoroughly enjoyed their performance even though I only knew two or three songs. It is obvious that this band is getting better with experience. I would definitely like to see them live again, and I expect to see big things from them in the future.
The third band to perform was Bring Me the Horizon, and I was definitely looking forward to seeing them. One thing I was surprised to find was that Oli Sykes’ voice sounded exactly as it does on their records, if not better. The band had amazing visuals as well. Their backdrop changed and moved with each song. Since I was in the pit, I can definitely say the crowd was the most active for Bring Me the Horizon. I got squished, stepped on, kicked by crowd surfers and could barely breathe, but it was all in good fun. The band sounded great and Sykes even invited everyone to crowd surf up to the stage and give him a high five. When he sang, you could feel the emotion in his voice. I plan on seeing Bring Me the Horizon again as soon as possible. If you are considering seeing them, I highly recommend it, but enter the pit at your own risk. Don’t get general admission tickets if you cannot handle being shoved, squished or kicked. It can get pretty brutal, but if you don’t mind then go for it. This was definitely one of the best performances I have seen.
The headlining band was A Day to Remember, and there concert definitely made it a night to remember! The one thing that impressed me the most about this band was their engagement with both the crowd and each other. It was obvious by their interactions with each other on stage that this band is very close. It definitely made me happy to see them joking around with each other and genuinely enjoying playing together. When they entered the stage, confetti shot everywhere and it was like a giant party. The back drop was a version of Mount Rushmore with all of the band members’ faces; the mouths moved and the eyes shot lazers! They had multiple beach volleyballs floating atop the crowd, and at the end there was toilet paper flying everywhere. The coolest part though, was when lead singer Jeremy McKinnon came out in a giant blow up hamster ball and literally walked/rolled on top of the entire crowd during one of their most famous songs “Homesick.” Here’s a video (not mine) of this from youtube, since I know its kind of hard to imagine.
Even though McKinnon’s voice wasn’t quite as good as on the records, he still sounded great and his screams were strong. Another iconic moment was when Mckinnon and lead guitarist Kevin Skaff pulled out some acoustic guitars and covered “Champagne Supernova” by Oasis followed by their own song (and one of my favorites) “If it Means a Lot to You.” This was hands down the most creative and interactive band I’ve seen. I loved every minute of their performance and will definitely be seeing them again as well.
Overall this concert was great fun. The crowd was awesome and energetic and every band played up to their potential. I feel sorry for anyone who missed out on this tour because it was definitely in my top 5 concerts, and I have been to a LOT of concerts!