I’m not usually too keen on attending shows where I only know one of the bands performing. However, when Craig Owens is involved, it’s a completely different story. That’s why when I found out that Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows was playing this year’s AP Tour with a bunch of other bands I’ve never listened to; I had to make an appearance. Plus, the show was at one of my favorite venues, Mojoe’s in Joliet, IL, so clearly I had to go! I actually ended up being pleasantly surprised because most of the bands who were on the tour this year put on a semi-unexpected “hell of a show.”
The opening band, Conditions, surprised me the most. For whatever reason, I chose not to listen to this band prior to the show, and I’m almost glad that I didn’t. I feel as though this band’s amazing harmonies could not have fully been appreciated unless heard live first. Although Conditions performed remarkably well, the participation from the crowd was very disappointing. It was obvious that not many people in attendance knew who this band was, but I have no doubt in my mind that if we had been at one of their headlining shows, the crowd would have been going insane.
Once Conditions had finished their set, VersaEmerge took the stage. I’m going to admit right here and now that I am not a VersaEmerge fan by any means. I honestly think she sounds exactly like the lead singer of Paramore and that annoys me. However, I’m able to appreciate what she’s doing. Unfortunately, I was not impressed with their performance on this particular night. Lead singer, Sierra Kusterbeck, was off key for almost the entire set making it almost unbearable to listen to. I will admit; however, that she does have fantastic stage presence and she did get her voice back toward the end of the set. Like I said though, I was not a VersaEmerge fan to begin with, so my opinion on their overall performance is probably not one that actual fans of the band want to hear.
I See Stars was the next to perform. I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect from this particular group, but I was definitely not disappointed. I had only heard one song by I See Stars before seeing them live and I can easily say that one song was performed incredibly well. These guys were a lot of fun to watch, actually. The entire crowd turned into one great big dance party, and, as we all know, I love a good dance party! It’s unfortunate that most of the guys in the band are around 18 though; I’m not sure which ones I can say are hot without sounding creepy. Good thing that’s not the point at all!
After I See Stars left the stage, the crowd almost immediately began chanting for DRUGS and after what seemed like the longest set up ever, the guys took their places one by one. They began their set with one of my personal favorite songs, “The Only Thing You Talk About”. Right from the very beginning, Owens commanded the crowd with his outstanding knack for performance, flawless vocals, and I can only assume that his ridiculous good looks probably have something to do with it as well.
The set continued with “Stop Reading, Start Doing Pushups”, followed by “My Swagger Has a First Name”. Each and every song was performed with amazing skill. It was almost difficult to hear Craig over the roar of the crowd singing every word to every song. It was when they performed “Laminated E.T. Animal” that I realized how amazing this experience really was. Each member of DRUGS performs with such natural ease; it’s as if this is what they were born to do. Every time I see them I am more and more astounded at the obvious passion that they have for what they are doing.
DRUGS kept the set going with their most recent single “Sex Life”. This was obviously a crowd favorite as you literally could not hear Craig’s voice over the sound of the entire room singing along. The song was naturally performed with an amazing energy that radiated throughout every inch of Mojoe’s. After “Sex Life”, it would appear that I made it a point to note that Craig removed his button up because I have issues and can’t help throwing just a little bit of fan-girling into everything I do. I’m seriously pathetic aside, “Mr. Owl Ate My Metal Worm” was the next song performed, followed by a pretty intense wall of death. I think someone may have legitimately died. Just kidding. I hope.
The band ended their short set with the first single off of their debut album, “If You Think This Song is About You, It Probably Is”. Once again, DRUGS did not disappoint. The only thing about their set that upset me was the fact that they didn’t play my favorite song, “Graveyard Dancing”. They played the intro several times to test the sound, so I actually expected them to open with it. I was very thrown off when the song was not actually performed.
Overall, I ended up being rather pleased with my AP Tour experience. I feel inclined to mention that Black Veil Brides actually headlined the show, but I was there specifically to see DRUGS, so I left immediately after their set. That and I am really not a fan of BVB in any way so I was not about to spend the next hour or so of my life listening to them. It was definitely a tour worth attending and I am very much looking forward not only to next year’s AP Tour, but also to seeing DRUGS for the third time on the Van’s Warped Tour this Summer.