Summer has begun. Even though the first day of summer is days away, summer concerts are in full swing and I started mine off on a high note at none other than the Stone Pony. An early show with three bands that make music for summer. The first of the three was the up and coming band No Wyld. All the way from New Zealand, No Wyld is an indie sounding band that flirts with the hip hop vocals. A fairly new mixture of music that will no doubt get popular over time. Even Chris Carrabba of Dashboard Confessional told the crowd that it is a matter of time till we start seeing No Wyld all over. With only a 25 minute set, No Wyld wasted no time showing Asbury Park who they are. I must say I wasn’t familiar with the band myself, but if No Wyld keeps getting tours like this one, it is possible they will be the headlining act soon enough.
Jumping on stage next was Dashboard Confessional, and I literally mean they jumped on stage. Dashboard Confessional has been MIA for quite some time and to say they were excited to be back on stage is an understatement. I’ve never seen a band extremely happy on stage. Chris Carrabba and company smiled their entire set while thanking everyone in between songs. I’ve only seen Dashboard Confessional once, and that was just acoustic, to see the full band was exciting. Chris Carrabba is an excellent front man. He wouldn’t stop moving and he would get as close to the edge of the stage as he could. If there wasn’t such a big gap between him and the crowd, I’d think he would jump into the crowd. He really was happy to be doing what he was meant to do. As soon as he started with “Screaming Infidelities” as an opener, the crowd never stopped singing back. A lot of the songs he played were older ones with two Twin Forks songs mixed in. You’d think Dashboard Confessional was headlining the show with how loud the crowd was. Chris mentioned that he was sorry they went on hiatus, but they won’t be doing that again. Seems likes Dashboard Confessional is back and better than ever.
As the sun finally began to set, Third Eye Blind took the stage. The first two songs Stephan Jenkins stayed by the drum set. For a photographer, this was a challenge, but some of the photos could turn out good with just silhouettes. As soon as the third song kicked in though, Stephan Jenkins came forward and showed that he was meant to be a front man. Just like Chris Carrabba, Stephan Jenkins wouldn’t stop moving and would try and get as close to the crowd as he could. Playing all their hit songs, deep cuts, a drum solo, and covers from Beyonce and U2, Third Eye Blind proved they still got it after 22 years. I remember growing up in the 90’s and seeing this band get huge and then go quite and now become huge again. The music scene isn’t like the 90’s anymore, but Third Eye Blind managed to keep it going while staying true to who they are.
After the show, I got to photograph a meet and greet with Dashboard Confessional backstage with about 20 fans. Chris played a song and then made sure to meet every person in the room. Seeing him in this imitate environment and seeing how much his music has an affect on people was very positive. This is why music is wonderful. It can have the most emotional impact on someone and mean everything to them. I’ve met a lot of people in the music industry and I must say Chris Carrabba is one of the most humble and nicest guy. When he says he is thankful for his fans, he really means it.