June 9th, Thursday – Since 2005, The Taste of Chaos Tour has always been the stepping stone for many post-hardcore acts. Unfortunately in 2010, t’s founders decided to retire the tour and replace it with the Uproar Festival which featured a more prominent metal sound. But with a successful run in 2015, the Taste of Chaos Tour returns with The Early November, Saosin, Taking Back Sunday and closing the night off was Dashboard Confessional.

Unbeknownst to me today was that Patent Pending, along with a local act, as opening today’s show.

As I researched the location of the event, Google Maps shows me a picture of a large open field. Confused, I asked a friend who’s a local to the area: “It says this show takes place at the Pocono Mountain Carnival Grounds.” “Yeah, it’s at the carnival grounds but there’s no carnival… yet.” My heart sank. For a moment I had dreams of corn dogs and funnel cakes. I love funnel cakes.

After driving through some desolate looking roads, the GPS said “Turn right onto Murray St.” “What the hell is this!? Is this someone’s backyard!? I see residential buildings!!” My passenger was as confused as I was. Pulling up to the attendant, I was greeted to a $15 parking fee that was never mentioned. As we walked towards the entrance, the wind up here was fierce! The temperature dropped drastically from the bottom of the mountain. I was not prepared for this. I noticed the long lines for entry (everyone was subjected to a full security pat down). I have no qualms with this. Unfortunately the line to get credentials was even longer. I have qualms with this one.

Pictures coming soon #rockstarenergy #tasteofchaos

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After getting through the gates, Saosin was well into their second song. By this time I know there was just no way for me to gear up and fight my way to the photo pit so I might as well just fall in line with the obscene portapotty line. More lines? Yep. Seems to be the trend here today. From a distance, Saosin looked and sounded amazing. Like a live wire dancing on the pavement after a hurricane, frontman Anthony Green was giving the fans a performance they have waited a decade for. The band plowed through songs from their new record ‘Along the Shadow’ plus many fan favorites from their discography. The band did not disappoint.

Photo By: Henry Chung
Photo By: Henry Chung

After running into several other familiar photographers, local newspaper writers, and PR agent (Hi Gary!) I had learned that Taking Back Sunday was next. The sun was beginning to go down and the infamous “golden hour” was upon us. I had tried many times to photograph TBS in the past but have never ended with shots I was happy with. I’m hoping that today would be that day.

Photo By: Henry Chung
Photo By: Henry Chung

Starting their set off their 13 song set with “Cute Without the ‘E’”, then “Liar” and followed by “Flicker, Fade” . They debuted a new song song called “Ring Song” towards the end that had very poppy 4/4 rhythm that garnered a warm reception. As the band continued through their set, planes were seen over head as there’s a small airfield next-door. Overall, it felt like the band had a toned down performance compared to the many times I’ve seen them in the past. Perhaps it could be the ungodly frigidness and continuous freezing wind throughout the night. Ending their set was “MakeDamnSure”.

Photo By: Henry Chung
Photo By: Henry Chung

Next up with Dashboard Confessional. Many will hate me for saying this but I’ve always seen frontman Chris Carrabba as this generation’s Bob Dylan. Now hear me out. If you asked any early-mid 30’s scenester about Dashboard Confessional, you’ll be greeted with many murmurs of ‘I remember when it was just Chris on acoustic’. A different place, a different time. But all that will always ring true is that after all these years, the songs still touches you from the first time you heard it.

Photo By: Henry Chung
Photo By: Henry Chung

As the band takes the stage, one of the first thing I noticed was that these guys cannot stay still. Everyone was jumping all over the place like children at recess. Glancing over their setlist, I was thrilled to see so many of my favorite songs on there. Did someone discover my secret Dashboard mixtape I made for a girl in college who ‘wanted to just be friends’!? This is too good to be true. Opening their 16 song set was “Vindicated” and closing with “Stolen” as well “Hands Down” as the perfect encore to close the night out.

Photo By: Henry Chung
Photo By: Henry Chung

While walking around the venue trying to shield myself from the wind, I ran into an old friend from SLP Concerts who booked the show and she elaborated about the Sherman Theater’s decision to host their Summer Stage here. All in all, the lot rental will be a donation to the firehouse, the $15 parking fee goes to the firehouse as well for the on site staffing and open kitchen with hot food (I cannot thank them enough for that). In the end, everybody wins. Fans get an awesome amount of space for an outdoor show, the sound and lights were fantastic, the staff was friendly, and money gets donated to a good cause.

And when you tell all of your friends, remind them to bring a hoodie!

Words & Photos By: Henry Chung

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