WHEN WE WERE YOUNG REVIEW: Looking Back To A Great Weekend
When We Were Young festival has taken over the city of Las Vegas for the weekend and you can find it everywhere you look on the Strip. There was nowhere to run from the swarm of alternative kids- wait, scratch that, we’re not really kids anymore. When we were young(er), we had to ask our parents for tickets to see our favorite bands, but now we are all adults and we get to spend adult money on stupid things like plane tickets to Las Vegas for the same bands that we grew up on.
The festival this year was a very hot one, with a lot of people only coming in after dark because of the heat. Usually around October, the weather in Vegas goes down a little bit. Last year, they even cancelled day one because of heavy winds. The temperatures today do not go well with this crowd for obvious reasons (who does do well in this though?), but luckily there are a couple of shaded places with fans and misted water to keep us cool. You can’t really do a festival with just legacy acts the entire day, so there are a couple of bands on the line-up that are very recent additions to the genre. Bands like Games We Play, Magnolia Park and Knuckle Puck have tough spots on the day, but they still got a small crowd around them.
Later in the day, during the headliners, there are a couple of other newer bands to play- which is an even tougher spot really, because who can compete with Blink-182? Waterparks and Set It Off make it happen, and their energy sure makes for a great alternative. Say Anything, Bowling For Soup and Less Than Jake are in this weird purgatory as well, but I’d almost say the party there was bigger than the ones at the green/pink stages.
There were some bands on the line-up that haven’t been performing in a while, but riding along to the nostalgia wave we’ve been seeing lately, we get to enjoy bands like Something Corporate, The Academy Is…, Gym Class Heroes and Good Charlotte for the first time in a while. The nostalgia hits especially hard on their biggest hits, and there’s a lot of those going around. There’s also a set by Sum 41 that no one wanted to miss, since they’ll stop performing as a band soon too.
A lot of the bands today also get to bring on special guests, which is something a European like me can only dream of happening at a festival. The Academy Is… brought Gabe Saporta (Cobra Starship), Yellowcard had appearances by Pierce The Veil and Cassadee Pope (Hey Monday), Good Charlotte brought Lil Wayne. New Found Glory found themselves out of a guitar player without Chad Gilbert, so Dan O’Connor of Four Year Strong and Dave Knox (Real Friends) filled in. Simple Plan welcomed Jax and Jared Reddick (Bowling For Soup) to their stage and All Time Low invited Avril Lavigne on.
The fans and bands alike have likened When We Were Young to Warped tour, the only thing missing is a giant inflatable with the times on them and bands doing stupid shit on the festival grounds with us (although I think plenty of them did stupid shit on the festival grounds anyway). Some of the excitement that I felt was really special, seemed to be normal for the American crowd. I at times thought the crowd was quite tame, not really participating a lot, but that can also be very much due to the 35/95 degree weather we had.
Now we ended the day with two of the most iconic bands in the history of the genre. Even though they’re a big part of the nostalgia, they also both released new music in the last week to get really excited for. Blink-182 have just released their new record One More Time… and played a couple of those songs in this weekends’ show and Green Day performed their new single The American Dream Is Killing Me. Pair all of this with a lot of pyro, confetti and fireworks and you’ll get a night you’ll never forget. This day is a hard one to top. Everything from the production value (great screens with different visuals for each band), sound quality, the music played, the way the festival was set up, the food, you name it, it was all done really well.