Written by: Eva Zhu
The Vogue Theatre is one of those theatres that looks really comfortable and homely, like you’ve walked into a lecture hall you’ve been in a hundred times. Waiting in line for the venue to open was a breeze, thanks to the other respectful concert-goers (unlike the loud high schoolers from the Neck Deep concert I attended at the Vogue in February) and the balmy spring weather. Unfortunately, the Vogue did not open the doors at 6 p.m. as scheduled, but waiting in 18 C weather for another half-hour wasn’t the worst.
The theatre was decorated in shades of deep red, yellow, and wood-toned colours, which added to the cozy aesthetic. The lower level housed the bar and the Wonder Years merch table. There were lineups for both, which caused a bit of congestion for people who wanted to use the upstairs bathrooms or check out the other bands’ merch tables. Kudos to the merch guys, though; they dished it out fast.
Speaking of the upstairs bathrooms, they were very clean and quite large. Seven people did not have to line up behind one sink to check their sweaty selves after the show.
Before the concert started, my boyfriend went to buy some water. I handed him a $5 bill hoping to get at least $3 in change. NOPE. A small bottle of water cost $3.50. I was a little salty.
The Vogue had two or three wheelchair-accessible ramps leading to the seating and stage area which led all the way to the floor area/pit. A wheelchair user could either sit in the front row and fold up their chair or park their wheelchair along the sides of the room.
What I didn’t like was that — as far as I could see — there were no wheelchair-accessible bathrooms on the lower floor. There were also no visible elevators going to the upper level. What does the Vogue expect wheelchair users to do? Hold it in for close to four hours?
Worriers, a queer melodic punk band from Brooklyn, opened the concert. They put on one hell of a show, even though I could barely hear the vocals over the lead guitar. The guitarist was super cute and she played guitar better than I ever could. Worriers not only makes amazing music, but are also fighters for LGBTQ+ rights, which makes them my new favourite band. Go listen to their album Survival Pop!
The next act was Tiny Moving Parts, an emo and math rock family trio of two brothers and a cousin. Holy shit, their stage presence was out of this world! Dylan Mattheisen (lead guitar and vocals) used the stage to his advantage and jumped tirelessly from one end to the other while keeping perfect pitch and playing guitar like a god. I’d like to find out if he’s even human. After the show, my boyfriend bought a vinyl record of their new album Swell and I gave Dylan a hug.
Next came Tigers Jaw, and they didn’t have much of a stage presence at all. Their songs were very plain and I felt like I’d heard their sound a million times before. The hype Tiny Moving Parts instilled in me was gone by their third song. Thankfully, they did play a couple of catchy songs at the end that partially redeemed them, so it wasn’t a total waste of my time.
Lastly, Philly pop punk band The Wonder Years came on stage and slammed into a 20-song set that knocked everybody’s socks off (even if they weren’t wearing any). The entire crowd got hyped as fuck listening to Dan “Soupy” Campbell’s voice do every single song, old and new, justice. Their set felt emotional and overwhelming in the best way possible, like feeling the soaring crescendo of a symphony orchestra.
There was a slight hiccup in the middle of their set when security failed to notice an incoming crowd-surfer, but Dan showed just how much his band loves their fans by jumping into the pit to catch the surfer before getting back up on stage, finishing the song, and giving the security guards a good lecture afterwards. I mean, which dumbass predicted that no one would crowd surf at a pop punk concert? Other than that small incident, though, watching The Wonder Years play their hearts out on stage made the tickets worth every penny.
Other than the wheelchair-unfriendly bathrooms, the security mishap, and Tigers Jaw being super boring, this was a fantastic concert in a beautiful venue with bands who really knew how to put on a show!