Yazen Hits Up: Skate and Surf Festival at Six Flags Great Adventure (5/18/13)

Skate & Surf Festival made its return this spring after John D, the founder of The Bamboozle Festival, announced that Bamboozle wouldn’t be making a return in 2013. When the details about Skate & Surf were announced, the main attraction would be Fall Out Boy headlining the festival after their four year hiatus. Along with Fall Out Boy, some other bands played at the smaller stages who have been nothing short of phenomenal.

Candy Hearts was the first band that I saw, and they were really good. I’ve only seen them once before at New Found Glory’s “Sticks and Stones 10 Year Anniversary” show and was impressed by their performance. They played songs mostly off their newest EP “The Best Ways to Disappear” along with songs off their older albums, and really got the crowd going.

Coasta first captured my attention because I heard that their lead singer was Jamey Lacey (brother of Brand New’s Jesse Lacey). I purposely avoided listening to their music until I saw their set, and I was amazed by their sound. This band might have put on the most underrated show of the entire festival.

For the sake of watch a band from a different genre, I missed Pop Punk band Mixtapes, to catch Melodic Hardcore act Hundredth. This band’s energy couldn’t be topped, especially with vocalist Chadwick Johnson jumping off stage to the barricade in the middle of 4 of their songs. They played songs off of “Let Go” and their newest EP “Revolt,” and closed their set with “Desolate” off of their first album “When Will We Surrender” and the crowd did not stop jumping throughout the entire set.

Due to a scheduling issue, Streetlight Manifesto was running 30 minutes late on the Main Stage, so I decided to skip their set and see the critically acclaimed Balance and Composure. This band got the crowd going as soon as they played their first chords, and opened into “Void” off of their debut full-length “Separation,” and the momentum didn’t stop when they played straight into “Quake.” The crowd belted out every lyric back at the band, and received the loudest applause from all the bands playing the smaller stages. B&C might have stolen the show with their sound and stage presence.

Directly after Balance and Composure, New Jersey natives Major League were through setting up at the adjacent stage. They kicked off their set with “Subject to Change” and played through tracks from their entire discography. I was surprised they didn’t play songs mostly from “Hard Feelings” but it put a smile on my face to find out they still play older songs like “From States Away” and “Head Up, Kid” live.

Transit started without an introduction and went straight into their set. Out of all the times I’ve seen Transit live, this was the best show I’ve seen them put on. In the middle of “Listen & Forgive”, they took a moment to cover a part of “Slide” by The Goo Goo Dolls, and made it flow perfectly back into the previous song’s bridge. To anybody who has been skeptical about hearing songs off of “Young New England” live, I can assure you that those songs sound so much better live than on the album. (I hoped Patrick Stump would do his guest vocal spot during “All Your Heart” but I was upset he didn’t.)

Fall Out Boy was running late, but everybody in the crowd waited tirelessly in the rain to see them. When they finally came on, they opened with “Thriller” and the crowd was singing every word back at the band. Their performance was worth the wait, because they played classics like “Grand Theft Autumn,” “A Little Less Sixteen Candles A Little More Touch Me,” and “I Don’t Care.” Instead of doing an encore, Pete Wentz joked with the crowd saying “This is the part where we leave and come back for an encore, but you guys have waited long enough.” and then they pulled out a piano to play “Save Rock and Roll.” Fall Out Boy put on an amazing show and closed off the set with “Thnks Fr th Mmrs” and “Saturday” and the crowd had never been silent throughout their entire performance.

Besides the Main Stage running a little late, I’d say that Skate and Surf Festival was a day filled with great music and was a worthy replacement for The Bamboozle Festival. My favorite part about the festival was that the small stages were split into two separate stages, because as one band is playing, the band set to play right after them is gearing up to play as soon as they end. I’m hoping to see Skate and Surf make a comeback next year, especially because of the two stage system, and the diversity in music.

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