My first encounter with A Day To Remember was stumbling across one of their top singles “Downfall of Us All.” The song begins with a group of voices chanting with the quick shout “Let’s Go,” and followed by heavy guitar strumming. It’s a song that stands in a category of its own – similar to material created by Linkin Park.
One of the beautiful things about McKinnon’s voice is the ability to go from grueling screams to beautiful, melodic harmonies. It’s a rare trait in most singers. Obviously, you’ll know based by my referencing of them; I am also a huge fan of Linkin Park. Chester Bennington had the beautiful gift of doing what McKinnon does, in his way. After the tragic passing of Bennington, McKinnon made a special guest appearance on October 27th an extraordinary Linkin Park performance showcasing numerous artists at the Hollywood Bowl titled Linkin Park & Friends Celebrate Life in Honor of Chester Bennington. McKinnon joined them for a track from Hybrid Theory titled “A Place for my Head.” The parallel is uncanny and gives you goosebumps: a must listen.
A Day To Remember celebrates this tour, titling it “Fifteen Years in the Making.” After starting in 2003, the band seen numerous success and rise in following to the point of Rolling Stone Magazine called them “An artist you should know.” Now, I know their style of music isn’t for everyone, it has a select following. However, Rolling Stones’ accolade cannot go unnoticed; they are a band any rock fan should know. In fact, I knew more about these guys through their live performances, versus their studio albums. This was my second and a quarter-time seeing them (the quarter comes from the few songs I caught of them at Riot Fest last September).
Bands like them struggle with staying consistent in their original sound because the strain and tear on the throat for lead singers takes a toll with time. After fifteen years, it doesn’t appear that their quality of sound changed much at all. Although McKinnon said the band broke the way they “wrote, recorded and mixed the album,” their sound is still faithful to the original roots from 2003 – heavy with metalcore and alternative rock.
They played an impressive 21-song setlist, following an already remarkable co-headliner, Papa Roach. From the moment the group walked on stage to the very last strum of their instruments, the crowd was in full roar, heads banging and hands punching the air. “Better Off This Way,” “Since You Been Gone” (Kelly Clarkson Cover), “All Signs Point to Lauderdale,” “I Remember,” “Downfall of Us All,” and “All I Want” were just a few of the main highlights to their set. The group announced the special addition of the song “Violence," which was the first time they played the song since 2015.
From songs to visuals, sound quality, and fan appreciation this was undoubtedly a memorable fifteen-year anniversary show. Although my favorite album of theirs is What Separates Me From You, seeing them for the second and a quarter times urges me to dig deeper in their crates – they’ve given me the faith in them.