Saturday, Jan. 30

If you're wondering what kids are listening to these days ... this is it. And if you're not right in there with them, you're missing out on more than just uncontrollable energy and killer skin tone.

Saturday's foursome of upbeat-sounding bands made the future look a whole lot better—a sorely needed bright spot in a world that's pretty darned dark-looking at present. Spirits were high among the more than 800 fans, but when spirits got too high, the kids could count on the Rialto's security team to keep it safe without being a total buzzkill. Nobody got mad; nobody got hurt. Everybody seemed to look out for each other, even during the near-venue-wide moshing, crowd-surfing and stage-diving throughout New Found Glory's set.

Hellogoodbye earned one of the evening's strongest sing-alongs with "Here (In Your Arms)," from their 2006 Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs! Following a song featuring mandolin, Forrest Kline parried good-natured heckling: "Have you been eating retard sandwiches again?" Humor continued in this vein all night, in the easy patois of the school-locker crowd.

Saves the Day's set included "Freakish" and obliged a fan request for "Cars and Calories." Leader Chris Conley, who was just 15 when he started the band, articulated the point of the evening. "What did you think of Fireworks and Hellogoodbye?" he asked, getting loud cheers in response. "What do you guys think of yourselves?" The response was deafening.

New Found Glory closed with a tougher vibe, driven by a hard-core charge of testosterone. The loose-rocket energy of the band, facilitated by wireless power and amplification, bounded and crashed from stage left to stage right, and all along the added proscenium. The crowd went nuts at the opening chords and never let up, pounding beach balls through the air with Olympic volleyball force.

Following a crowd favorite, "Sincerely Me," Jordan Pundik told the crowd, "Back in 2000, when we recorded that, I was living at my mom's house. We were coming out on a major label, and she was still making me take out the fuckin' trash!"

Many in the crowd could probably relate.



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