Well, I’ll tell you what… It’s nice to be back shooting shows. Not gonna lie, I was a little nervous to come back as I wasn’t really sure if I would even remember how to use my camera! Though, it helps that I could use it at work for various projects. However, shows are different.
But, I quickly found it was like riding a bike… It’s something you never forget, you’re just a little rusty at first.

Obviously, if you read my blog or follow me on anything, you know that I’m good friends with local pop/punk band, Atlantic Wasteland. Love them to death. This was their first show back and I wasn’t gonna miss it for the world.

This show was held at Spirit Hall in the Lawrenceville area of Pittsburgh, a venue I’ve never been to. Cute little place with a restaurant on one floor and a bar with the stage on another. It’s got a good amount of space too for a small venue so I was pleasantly surprised. The weirdest (but understandable) part about it was the fact they had a barrier set up in front of the bar area separating those who wanted to drink and those who couldn’t or didn’t want to. So that definitely caused a barrier and a lot of dead space between the small crowd outside the bar versus inside the bar area.

The show opened with Mick Francis & the New Romantics, which is a local band led by lead singer Mick Francis. You may know the name from other local pop/punk band, Lotus Kid. For what was their first live show together ever, they did an amazing job. They played a number of originals, as well as a Lotus Kid song. They definitely seemed to connect well with the audience and we’re a great first act of the night.

Following them, of course, was Atlantic Wasteland. I probably don’t need to say this, but they really did an amazing job. I talked with them extensively before and they expressed being nervous for their first show back. I thought they killed it and I am so very proud of them. They’re just amazing, I have nothing but great things to say about them. They played all originals but chose a few of their ‘heavier’ ones to play for the attending crowd, which was definitely a good move.

Up right before the headlining act was the first band not actually from Pittsburgh. The Bombpops are a 4-piece female fronted punk rock band from San Diego. They were really cool. They had a different dynamic with half of their band being female, which I thought was cool. (women empowerment, baby!) They also had some merch with a black cat on it, so if you know me, you know that won me right away. They have their own unique style, with being more on the punk/rock side of the genre.

The last act of the night was headliners, Hawthorne Heights, a pop/punk band from Dayton, Ohio. I could tell this was a very important night for a lot of the crowd. I saw a lot of people moshing and having the time of their life seeing a band that likely got them through a number of tough times in their lives. I can’t say I had the same feeling, but I know exactly what that feels like and it’s absolutely beautiful to watch other people feel the same thing and watch their cares completely fall away.

If I could use one word to describe HH set, I’d say nostalgia. They played a number of songs the crowd new as well as playing a new song off of their album, “The Rain Just Follows Me“, which released at midnight that night. They ended their set with Ohio is for Lovers, which is a classic Hawthorne Heights song that everyone in the audience belted every word to along with the band.

I love music and I especially love live music. But there’s something different about smaller shows with local bands that play. For one, the merch is always cheaper. You can also meet the bands so much easier and not pay an arm and a leg to do it. And who knows, maybe you’ll find your favorite band of all time?


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