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Hawthorne Heights Brings the Twenty Years of Tears Tour to Salt Lake City

June 26, 2024

Emo music was alive and well in Utah this past weekend as Hawthorne Heights brought their Twenty Years of Tears Tour to The Granary Live in Salt Lake City.

The Tour kicked off Sunday with Salt Lake City hosting the first stop and what a scorcher of an opener it was.  The temps hovered around 100 degrees for most of the day but even that heat couldn’t keep the crowds at home as hordes of elder emo’s and music fans flocked to downtown Salt Lake City to see some of the biggest names in emo music that rose to fame in the Myspace era. 

The lineup for the tour is an ever-changing one with bands rotating stops on different dates as this tour and the Hawthorne Heights curated Is For Lovers festival proceed through the Summer.  The lineup for Salt Lake City included This Wild Life, Emery, Armor For Sleep, Anberlin, I See Stars and Hawthorne Heights, who played their debut label album, The Silence in Black and White, in its entirety. 

The difference between this tour and The Is For Lovers festival is that there were fewer bands on the lineup and Hawthorne Heights headlines this one whereas on the Is For Lovers although it is their fest the play in the middle and invite different headliners.  It also was missing a lot of the elements that made the Is For Lovers such a great time as well.  There wasn’t the Dunk a Punk booth which was a great hit at the Is For Lovers fest.  The main difference being that during the Is For Lovers the bands had more interaction with the crowds, walking around after their sets, engaging at sponsor booths, which was missing this day also.  They only carryover it seemed was the CrySpace booth that is a throwback to the Myspace era.  I understand that this was a tour and not a music festival, but those elements were surely missed.  That being said, this day was in no way not a great time for anyone who attended.

Some of the highlights throughout the day included sing-along songs with This Wild Life when they came on first.  It was a great way to get the crowd who came early into the show as they participated and got engaged. 

Seeing Anberlin perform with Matty Mullins, the vocalist of Memphis May Fire, who is now the touring vocalist of Anberlin was different but good.  Seeing the band with someone other than Stephen Christian singing was a shock at first, but Mullins did an incredible job and was a natural fit with the band.  One thing was clear also is that he is a giant fan of Anberlin, so he put his all out there and the fans loved every minute of it. 

I See Stars ripped their set with the whole venue going crazy for them.  This was the first band with nonstop crowd surfers coming in the whole set and pits opening up.  It was my first time seeing this band and I was amazed at how well they performed.  The band grabbed me right from the start and I am already looking forward to the next time they come to town. 

Hawthorne Heights set was the pinnacle of the show for me.  Seeing them perform The Silence in Black and White all the way through was an amazing experience.  This is one of my favorite albums from any band so to say I was ecstatic about this set would still be an understatement.  Their set saw the biggest pit opening up and the crowd surfers that started in I See Stars set multiplied keeping security busy throughout the set.  The best parts were hearing vocalist, JT Woodruff, tell stories about what the album meant to the band.  Stories about how close they were to giving up and calling it quits before The Silence in Black and White broke out touched me.  Seeing how close we came to losing this band that meant so much to so many people makes us realize just how lucky we are that they persevered and kept going.  The fact that they did, and their music touched so many of us and that we are now going to their music festivals just solidifies how much of an impact this band has had. 

Overall, the day was an amazing time.  Fans loved the bands and seeing so many of these bands that meant so much to us at a pivotal time in our life together filled us with a nostalgic feeling that made the whole day better.  If you get the chance to see this tour, I highly recommend making the effort to see it.  It’s a memorable concert and one for the books.  More dates and info can be found here. 

Is For Lovers Review 

July 21, 2023

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