Spring Fling is an event put on by BravoArtist and it’s only located in Cleveland, OH. This is the fifth year for the event which saw a total of 15 bands performing. Big named bands included Knuckle Puck, Aaron West And The Roaring Twenties, Real Friends and Mayday Parade. The event took place at The Agora Theatre and Ballroom on April 29th and began in mid-afternoon and went all the way through to midnight. How it works is they have two stages set up, the larger stage being the Theatre and the smaller stage being the Ballroom (past years had a stage even set up in the hallway).
Knuckle Puck was the first of the big named bands to hit the Theatre stage coming out with “Disdain.” The band kept their energy up during songs like “No Good” and fan-favorite “Evergreen,” and the crowd also got the pleasure of hearing “Untitled.” Closing out their set with “Pretense,” Knuckle Puck put in a great deal of energy playing to a, at the time, half-drunken crowd who’d been there all day drinking just to pass the time before their favorites hit the stage.
Aaron West And Roaring Twenties were playing across the way in the Ballroom which was interesting planning. Thinking about Aaron West’s popularity, putting them in a tighter space made for a more intimate experience. For those of you who don’t follow Aaron West, here’s some background. AWATRT are a concept band, their LP, We Don’t Have Each Other is an album that tells a story based on a character named Aaron who is having a very bad year. The best part about it is that it’s all been created and brought to life by Dan “Soupy” Campbell, lead vocalist of The Wonder Years. When you go to see an AWATRT’s show you’re not seeing “the dude from The Wonder Years” (as people around me referred to Campbell as). Campbell becomes Aaron and tells the story of his life.
The set opened with “67′ Cherry Red” and moved swiftly into “Our Apartment.” Between songs, West tells a little bit about his experience eluding to what the next song would be about. The set included “Grapefruit,” “Divorce And The American South,” “The Thunderbird Inn” and closed out on a fan-favorite “You Ain’t No Saint.” Each played beautifully with passion and sadness.
Moving back to the Theatre, Real Friends were up next. Playing old and new songs, bopping around the stage, keeping the crowd amped, their set included “Scared To Be Alone,” “Keep Lying To Me,” and a current favorite of everyone’s, “Mess.” We also got treated with “Late Nights In My Car.” The crowd absolutely loved them. They were definitely feeding off the energy which made for a great show.
Finally, we got to Mayday Parade. Playing Spring Fling was also included on their A Lesson In Romantics 10 Year Anniversary Tour—also known as “The best Mayday Parade show you will ever see in your entire life.” I’m not joking either. MP came out guns blazing with “Jamie All Over,” sliding right into “Black Cat” and then to “When I Get Home, You’re So Dead.” The band very rarely stopped in between songs to talk which made the whole experience that much better. It made you feel like you were listening to the record on your iPod, and that’s actually how good the sound quality was. Not to mention, there was a lot of dancing. Dancing you wouldn’t even think was possible at a MP show.
They closed out that portion with the last track on the album, “You Be The Anchor That Keeps My Feet On The Ground, I’ll Be The Wings That Keep Your Heart In The Clouds.” I was in disbelief, although it very clearly state everywhere that they were playing the album in it’s entirety I was still skeptical. I have never cried at a show. It’s just not something I do. Nothing ever hits me hard enough. But this song means something to me. It actually inspired the tattoo I have on my back so even I teared up as lame as it sounds.
After they played the full album, Derek Sanders, lead vocalist, gets on the mic and says “And just like that ‘A Lesson In Romantics’ in its entirety” and the crowd erupted into cheers and screams. However, the fun didn’t end there. We also got to hear “Terrible Things,” “Kids In Love” and “Three Cheers For Five Years.” Yes, thats right. If you gasped after the last one, I did too. Except louder. They closed out with “Oh Well, Oh Well.”
The only thing that could’ve made this set any better is if they played “One Of Them Will Destroy The Other,” only because it features Dan Lambton, lead vocalist of Real Friends. Seeing as Real Friends did play that night, it would’ve made for a sick on-stage collaboration.
So there you have it. That’s a wrap for this year’s Spring Fling. If there’s a date left that you can still catch on Mayday Parade’s A Lesson In Romantics 10 Year Anniversary Tour, you will absolutely regret not going if you sleep on tickets.