“I don’t want to repeat my innocence. I want the pleasure of losing it again.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald (via goodreads)
So about a couple of months ago, I went to the Boys Like Girls: 10 Year Anniversary Tour concert, or simply #BLG10, at the Playstation Theatre, here in New York City. That night can be summed up in one word, 2006. I felt like I went back in time, to the good old days, with other BLG fans. Ten years meant that we were all older in appearance, but our souls were not – BLG brought back our angst-filled teen days.
BLG fans today no longer wore their Hot Topic outfits, rather they traded these scene looks for more trendier pieces from American Apparel or Free People. Of course, there were those who still had their streaky highlights and lip piercings, making sure to bring back the unforgettable studded belt, something that Avril Lavigne, our queen of punk, taught us to wear loud and proud.
BLG is a pop rock band from Boston, Massachusetts; mainstream media knows them for their debut eponymous album, which was released back in 2006. Their most recognizable song, “The Great Escape,” played constantly on the z100 Top 40. Originally, BLG was comprised of frontman Martin Johnson, bassist Bryan Donahue, drummer John Keefe, and lead guitarist Paul DiGiovanni. However, Bryan left in 2011 and Morgan Dorr replaced him. While it sucks that the original four were unable to perform their debut album together on their tenth anniversary, Morgan did not let us down.
Going into the venue, I was worried that Martin’s voice would no longer be as vibrant as it was a decade ago, but he was good, if not better, than what I remembered. As always, there was an opening act no one looked forward to because who wants to hear random people sing, when Martin was backstage? However, Old Fashioned was a decent opening act, contributing to the mounting excitement and anticipation that we felt towards the main event.
When BLG finally came out a little after 9 p.m., I honestly thought I died because of the intensity of the throwback, and because of how much hotter Martin got. When I first listened to BLG, boys were annoying and BLG songs were only good for their addictiveness, but now that I am older, these songs are so much more relevant and fun to listen to. While 2016 was hotter, his tinted glasses were not, as they covered his good looks, and made him look like an ’80s serial killer, albeit a hot one.
BLG opened with everyone’s favorite, “The Great Escape,” and I think I lost my voice from screaming out the lyrics. My voice was fueled by the nostalgia, the love I felt towards this beautiful band, and the memories it left behind; even when I physically felt like I could no longer sing, the chords always brought me back in. Their set list was their album in order, plus three other popular songs from their Love Drunk (2009) album. Below was their New York concert setlist
- “The Great Escape” – 3:28 min
- “Five Minutes to Midnight” – 3:47 min
- “Hero/Heroine” – 3:52 min
- “On Top of the World” – 3:36 min
- “Thunder” – 3:56 min
- “Me, You and My Medication” – 4:28 min
- “Up Against the Wall” – 3:39 min
- “Dance Hall Drug” – 3:29 min
- “Learning to Fall” – 3:04 min
- “Heels Over Head” – 3:08 min
- “Broken Man” – 3:31 min
- “Holiday” – 5:08 min
- “Love Drunk” – 3:46 min (Encore)
- “She’s Got a Boyfriend Now” – 4:05 min (Encore)
- “Two is Better Than One” – 4:02 min (Encore)
- “The Great Escape” – 3:28 min (Encore, Finale)
I loved the breaks between songs, where Martin shared the backstories to some of their songs, even the not-so innocent meanings behind a few that we were led to believe. He also recalled the days when we had to ask our parents to take us to concerts, making them stay out late on a workweek, just to make sure that we got home safely. Maybe it was the venue, but Martin made us a close-knit family again, enjoying a jam session with ten year old tunes. Thank you BLG and your record company for bringing back Boys Like Girls and making us enjoy what happiness felt like again.
the girl who can’t stop learning to fall gain
p.s. Below are links to the videos from that night, courtesy of my friend who kept his phone held high even when the crowd jostled him to the sound of the beat. Thanks Steve!