The Three Headed Monstour Featuring Mest / The Ataris / Hawthorne Heights / Handguns / London Falling / Sad Actor – Theatre Of Living Arts – Philadelphia, PA – 3/13/16

The Three Headed Monstour made its stop in Philadelphia on March 13.  This tour is sort of a nostalgia tour for many fans, and as JT Woodruff of Hawthorne Heights would say later in the show, they wanted this tour to just be fun and forget how old you are.  On the Philadelphia date, the crowd witnessed local band Sad Actor start the show.  Even though the lighting was dark, Sad Actor put on a good show for the crowd to see.  With sounds of Brand New and mewithoutyou, lead singer Kyle Costill yelled his heart out while giving an emotional performance.  It was hard to pin point where Sad Actor fit on this bill, since their sound was more grungy than pop punk, but looking at the bands on the tour this made sense.  Most of these bands’ influence stem from grunge and Sad Actor does a good take on that sound.

The first band on the tour bill for The Three Headed Monstour was London Falling.  The band features Tony Lovato of Mest and Ronnie Ficarro of Falling In Reverse.  For touring, only Tony Lovato was present.  His touring band in London Falling would also fill in for Mest songs later in the night.  This is the first exposure of London Falling and the best way to describe them is a more mature sounding Mest.  More of a pop rock band than pop punk.  A lot of new Green Day sounding influence.  Not sure if after this tour we will see London Falling take more of priority than Mest, but I think it sounds like a fresh start.

Handguns were next on the bill.  From Harrisburg, PA, Handguns is signed to powerhouse label Pure Noise Records.  Even though they are a young band, they have been around since 2008.  With a sound like The Wonder Years and Man Overboard, Handguns are taking the pop punk sound and making it their own.  Not only the sound, but their stage presence deserves a watch.  Consist movement, jumping, and in the crowd’s face, the newer pop-punk bands are taking influence from hardcore bands’ no barriers concept.  It’s good to see a band not letting the barrier get in the way to interact with fans.  For a band like Handguns this tour is a learning experience because they have some of the forefathers of the scene with them.  A lot could be learned from this tour for Handguns and also a lot of fun.

For this tour Hawthorne Heights, Mest, and The Ataris would rotate headlining duties.  Hawthorne Heights would be the first to perform out of the three in Philadelphia.  This tour would also mark the 10 year anniversary for the album If Only You Were Lonely.  The band played every song off this album with a very happy and excited crowd.  For some, this album means a lot to them and it showed in the crowd.  Hawthorne Heights also fit in a couple of other songs including a newer song and ended with their biggest song “Ohio Is For Lovers”.  At this point, the crowd almost jumped the barrier.  After all these years, that song still can pack a punch.  For a band that has gone through a lot, Hawthorne Heights still performs as they did in the beginning and it looks like they always will.

Next was The Ataris.  Since this was a nostalgia tour, The Ataris played only their biggest and fan favorite songs.  However, they were able to sneak in their newest song available on their bandcamp called “Some Notes On Bach And Haydn”.  This only featured Kris Roe on acoustic guitar.  Another song that The Ataris started playing live from the album …Anywhere But Here is the cover “Boxcar” by Jawbreaker.  Along with that cover, they also ended their show with a cover of “Cooliage” by Descendents with Kris Roe taking the microphone to the crowd to sing back into.  The Ataris have been touring non-stop and after this tour maybe we will see them head back into the studio and finish The Graveyard Of The Atlantic.

Closing out the night was Mest.  I was first introduced to Mest too long ago, and I really can’t remember.  What I remember was them coming through my town with Good Charlotte and that they were signed with Maverick Records.  The same label as the band Showoff who were my favorite.  If they sounded anything like Showoff then I’d be hooked, and they did. Figures since they are both from Chicago.  The early 2000’s brought out a lot of good music in my opinion, and this tour is proof.  Now I’m almost 29, just like anyone else, I look back on this music and still have a smile on my face.  All the songs bring back memories.  Once Mest came on stage it was like I went through a time machine.  Mest still has the energy that a lot of younger bands don’t.  Within the second song, Tony Lovato was crowd surfing and it didn’t just stop there.  The guys in Mest played a wide range of songs from their albums which must be a daunting task to pick from.  The crowd took this in and like me thought about how bands like Mest were the soundtrack to some of our moments in our life.  Now if only there could be a Mest and Showoff tour in the future.


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