REVIEW: Dashboard Confessional, All-American Rejects, The Maine, The Social Animals @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion 08/06

Photo by Daniella Weiss
Photo by Daniella Weiss

The first weekend of August saw the return of a few of emo music’s most notable names to Boston through Dashboard Confessional’s summer headlining tour. The tour’s stop at Blue Hills Bank Pavilion, which overlooks the Boston harbor on a crisp summer night, consisted of the emo rock group taking the stage following three popular openers of the same musical vein.

First up in the night were young rock group The Social Animals. With their toe-tapping tunes and authentic sound, the band served a pleasant, fresh opener for the increasingly rock-charged night.

Next in line was Arizona alternative rock/emo group The Maine. Seeing their tenth year as a band, the group has been opening on this summer tour following the release of their sixth studio album in April 2017. The Maine’s opening set on this night consisted of current hits from their newest album Lovely Little Lonely, such as their current singles “Bad Behavior” and “Black Butterflies & Deja Vu.” The band played a few more tunes to a crowd of Bostonians that either knew of the band really well or were new to their sound. It didn’t matter to The Maine which end of the spectrum the audience was on; they consistently displayed gratitude for their fans and ended the set with a “thank you” to the crowd for watching, as they deemed themselves “your new favorite band.” The unimaginable amount of fun the group is experiencing on this tour this summer was clear on stage.

Long-awaited in the night was rock band The All-American Rejects. After flying under the radar for a few years, the band made their return to the public eye to top the charts with “Sweat,” a new single released this past July. As part of their set on this tour, AAR played the new single along with several new songs which are in the works for an upcoming fifth album. Lead by eccentric and lively frontman Tyson Ritter, the alt-rock group played a full set of well-known crowd-pleasing hits while mixing in newer tunes. Ritter used his time in between songs wisely to strike an ongoing conversation with the crowd. On stage, the band was backed by a show of laser lights and mesmerizing colors that brought their set to life. The crowd gave the band energetic feedback upon hearing AAR’s biggest hits such as, “Dirty Little Secret,” “Gives You Hell,” and “Move Along.” Altogether, the performance AAR served was a great reminder of the past popularity of the band’s sound while giving a satisfying sneak peek of what’s to come.

Last up for the night was headlining band Dashboard Confessional. The band has spent the last couple of years coming off of a hiatus and has embarked on this summer tour to reconnect with fans across the country. While Dashboard hasn’t released an album since 2009, the band recorded a few covers that were collected into an EP and released earlier this year. Playing a set composed of their decade-old hits and future album tracks, the band emerged on stage to gift the crowd with one of their most notable tunes, “Vindicated.” In their aforementioned EP collection of covers, Dashboard recorded Justin Bieber’s popular hit “Love Yourself.” They included the cover, to the crowd’s pleasure, in their set. Throughout the entire set, frontman Chris Carrabba exuded gratitude and appreciation for the chance to carry out this summer tour and to have such positive feedback from the fans who made the trip out to see it. To end the night, the band played a one-song encore with one of their most notable tunes, “Hands Down,” a song that brought the crowd of loyal emo fans together as they watched their long-time favorite perform again.
The tour’s Boston stop was one of the last few before the summer fun wrapped up this week in Illinois. This August night stocked full of nostalgic hits and unforgettable energy made Dashboard Confessional and friends’ summer tour one to remember.

-Daniella Weiss