Basically, I woke up before 8 in the morning, which I haven’t done ONCE within the past year, got dressed, applied make-up, scooped a bowl of ice cream, got Nico and Sasha [who was part of the crew, along with my mother] in the car, and left by 9. In the car, I applied pink gel to Nico’s hair, giving him a scene look, and rocked out to Top 40 songs on the radio. We arrived at 10, half an hour before checking in was over. You see, check-in is between 9 and 10:30, and you find out what time you’re playing at and pick-up passes for the band/crew. You can be playing between 11, which is when doors open, and 8, when the last band on the big stage plays - basically, neither are ideal. You don’t check in, you lose your slot. When mother came back telling us my time, I was overjoyed because I wasn’t playing when any of the bands I wanted to see were playing. We went over to the Willy Wonka tent before opening to beat the crowd, and took some candy and funny pictures. Then we stopped by the Vans booth. There, I met Amanda, who handles a lot of the online stuff for Vans Girls'. She was super friendly and said she’d stop by and interview me for her blog. After we met, we then carried on to see the first band at 12:20.
Hey Monday gets tons of flack for being a “Paramore copy” but I have to disagree. I find the only similarities are the fact that they both have a female frontwoman with a killer range, and they’re both in the alternative genre [though Hey Monday is a bit more poppy]. That’s it.
They played a fairly short set, but my god was it great. They played two new songs that are coming out on their new album, Beneath It All, three songs from their current album, Hold On Tight, and a cover of Jason Derulo’s “In My Head.” Their cover actually made me like the song, and now I want to cover it myself!
Next, Sasha, Nico and I headed over to see Sum 41. We entered in the middle of their set. I have to say, it was an interesting one. The crowd was very interactive, and I’m guessing the majority of the people there also on drugs… at least, half of the crowd admitted it when the lead singer [who was wasted, for sure] asked. There were lots of middle fingers, swear words, and pot-clouds, but the set was quite entertaining.
Next, we walked around to kill time. There are tents everywhere, mainly for bands, but also for charities and accessories [belts, sunglasses, hats, bags, etc.]. We stopped by the Hey Monday tent, and Sasha and I got a picture with Cassadee Pope, the lead singer. I bought a pre-order of their new album and donated money to “Stop Bieber Fever.” We continued maneuvering our way through the never-ending crowds, eventually ending up at To Write Love On Her Arms, a great organization that aims to help those who are suicidal, depressed, self-harming, etc. I am a huge advocate for it [I have a jacket, two shirts, and a dog tag, and am planning on getting a tattoo of the word love on my arm] and bought some pins.
Gardening, Not Architecture is a one-woman band. Sarah Saturday plays bass and sings along to a recording with the rest of the parts of her songs. She got onstage and rocked it all by herself on this huge stage, which I thought was extremely ballsy, and I was lucky enough to get a picture with her afterwards.
After that, Automatic Loveletter was on. Juliet Simms was backed up by a guitarist, a bassist, and a drummer, and man did she rock it. Wearing lacy, see-through tights, short shorts, a slouchy shirt, rocker boots, a leather jacket, and her long hair in a side braid, she looked like the bad-ass rocker she is. She opened the set by quickly hocking a loogie and spitting her water up like a fountain. I’d only heard one song of hers, Make-Up Smeared Eyes, but I ended up falling in love with another song of hers that is constantly on repeat – Parker. She has a killer range for such a raspy-voiced person, and that was a huge inspiration right there.
Then I was on. Unfortunately, The All-American Rejects were playing at the same time I was, and they had the biggest crowd of the day. But I didn’t let it drag me down. Ari Shine [guitar and back-up vocals], Adrienne Pierce [guitar and back-up vocals], Nico Spence [drums and back-up vocals] and I loaded our things on, set up, and that was it. As soon as I shouted out, “Hello Mountain View, how are you? … Alright, I’m sorry guys, but that sounded really lame. Let’s try this again. I’m Tess Dunn, Mountain View, HOW ARE YOU!? … That’s better” all nerves disappeared. I played two songs off Darling Just Walk, Marionette of Me and Goodbye Hero, along with three new songs, The Year of Discovery, Wishful Thinkings, and Your Words Could Bite Ears Off. I’m pretty sure the people liked them. I sold some shirts, CDs, and met with a few people afterwards. Then Ari and Adrienne headed out. While I was wanting to stay for Mayday Parade, that would have required waiting another hour, and I was too tired for that. So Nico, Sasha, got in the car at 7 and drove back down to my house.
It was a success.
I couldn’t have done any of it without you guys.
Thank you so much for all the support. You made a dream come true once again.
I love you. Sincerely.