Last year I came to New Jersey for the 3-day Bamboozle festival in Asbury Park and had an amazing weekend. The festival was right on the beach, had impressive staging and even a cute Ferris wheel. This year, Bamboozle was unable to put on a show and it’s old counter part Skate And Surf stepped in to fill the void. This year taking place at the Six Flags New Jersey, my toes were not in the sand, but in my sneakers on the asphalt. And all that impressive staging was nowhere to be found, but they did have roller coasters! Basically, Skate And Surf was Bamboozle’s little brother who may of not had the same budget, but just like the new Fall Out Boy song says, “I don’t have the right name, or the right looks. But I have twice the heart.” Skate And Surf has heart.
Skate And Surf day one delivered up a light mist of steady rain the entire day, but each act still took the stage and gave some memorable performances. The enthusiasm from the crowds made it possible for bands like Boston natives Transit, to make it thought their set. They had an especially rowdy crowd that sang back each word, crowd surfed and made the best of the at times dangerous situation. That’s what makes a live show, how passionate the interaction between musician and fan can become when they meet face to face. Sure the rain added a bit of annoyance to the day, but once the bands took the stage it made for an almost epic and almost cinematic experience.
During Lights’ performance her drummer’s kit had pools of water on the drum heads and as he feverously kept time, the water sprang up creating a cool effect like you see at a Blue Man Group show. Not sure how safe it was to have some of my favorite musicians up there with wet equipment, but they all stuck it out. I was most concerned that Fall Out Boy’s headlining title would be taken away if the rain got worse, but thankfully FOB came out and played to almost everyone who had come to the festival. About 30 minutes before the set time, EVERYONE ran to the main stage in anticipation of FOB’s arrival.
Fall Out Boy’s set was exciting because they played a few new songs off their album Save Rock And Roll including “The Phoenix” and “Alone Together” – but also the FOB classics like “Grand Theft Autumn” and “Sugar We’re Going Down.” It was exciting to see some of the new songs and hear Patrick Stump’s incredibly soulful voice echo across the parking lot in the dark rain.
So sure it rained, and we were in a parking lot, and the set times were running late– but the bands still brought the festival to life. Like I mentioned before, a show is only as good as the connect that’s established between the fans and the artist and that element was present. Skate And Surf has the heart. #musicrules.
What’s your favorite music festival?
Let’s talk music, let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
Photos by Sam DeSantis.