Pictured above is myself, the Lead Singer of Saves The Day, and my buddy Jim after a very very long day and night in 2013….the camera was bad, it has nothing to do with the alcohol consumed…
Back in 1998 my musical tastes consisted of whatever was popular or whatever was on the radio at the time. But, my roommate in college, Jim, was not that way at all. He had an older brother who introduced him to all different music. Since we lived in the same town, we would come home on some weekends to hang out with people at home, and I would have my Sunday Dinner with my family and we would drive back together on Sunday night. Since his older brother was on the way, we would drive him back to school too. He would put in a CD and they would blast this weird music. Today the kids might call it Emo music. I used to hate it, but I started to find a few songs I liked and we would listen to them on the ride.
There were lots and lots of bands… and if they got too popular, like say Blink 182 we would stop listening to them. My roommate’s brother, Tom, always had another band ready for us to listen to; there was never a shortage of good songs to hear.
One of these bands, Saves the Day, my roommate and I really liked. We started playing them at school for our friends, at parties and stuff. They really became the band I think of when I remember back to my college days.
After college, they would come to town for a show and we would get tickets to see them. They are a really good live band, and even if they sucked we probably would still go, just to be able to transplant yourself back to much easier times in your life. When you are in it you probably think college is tough. Getting up at 8 am after partying all night seemed like the worst thing that could ever happen to you. And then you grow up and wish you were back their right now. What would you give to relive those years again?
Jim, 16 years or so after college is still one of my best friends. We still hang out every couple of weekends together. Actually, I am also close with his brother Tom now as well. On one of these nights back in 2012 or 2013 Jim saw a post from the band saying they were offering to come and play at your house, a backyards and basements tour. Jim and his brother Tom decided to invite them to Jim’s house to play a show. They booked us for a Sunday in June; actually it was my wife’s birthday so it was especially cool for me. They invited all the people they got to like this band over the years. So, there was a good mix of people there.
The night was awesome. After the initial awkwardness of meeting people you consider larger than life it turned out to be a great time. A few beers together and then they were just dudes, not these mythical people, they were just dudes. They played a bunch of songs outside and we all sang along and had a great time. The police showed up and told us to move inside, so we did. They played in the kitchen with a guitar and the drummer using a spoon and a bowl and we sat around and sang a bunch of their tunes. We moved to the basement and sang more songs. They even sang Happy Birthday and a New Kids on the Block song for my wife. It was a great day that turned into a very late night. For some who were there, that night was another night, a cool night meeting some new people. But for Jim and I and a few others, it really was a dream. Sounds corny or whatever, but we spent a lot of years in that car blasting that music. Seeing something like that come together was really special.
So, it has been a few years now and we have seen them at a few more shows. We saw the band before a show a couple years ago and hung for a minute before the show. They sometimes even shout Jim out while playing a show saying how cool it was to play there.
On Monday night they had a show in Boston that we got tickets for. I took Tuesday off work because you never know when you will get the chance to hang out with them. Chances were that we would probably go to the show and then head home, but I didn’t mind taking the next day off to recover anyway. Jim surprises me when I get to his house to head to the show with another college roommate who also had a ticket. The shows they play are small, not 3000 seat places, more like 250 people standing and singing and cheering. This show was awesome. They sounded the best I had heard them in years. We had a few drinks, lots of laughs and a really great time.
Then we meet up with the people we went to the show with outside and plan our next move. My roommates brother and his car full of people decide to go home, you know, because it is 11 pm and they are adults with real lives. So, it is just myself and my two college roommates hanging outside the show. Before the show we did see the band and they mentioned to wait after the show to hangout, but we wonder how many people they say that to and then skip out the back door. We waited for 10 minutes or so and were about to take off when my college buddy says “I don’t get to see you that often, we are waiting here to see where this night takes us” and it was the boost we needed to stay. We stayed and talked for 30 minutes or so, making fun of everyone we could think of from our college days.
Eventually, out walks the guitarist. He sees Jim and they strike up a conversation. We talked with him for a while, about that night they played there, about music, about lots of shit. Then he tells us to go to this bar, we say ok, and walk back to the car and all have thoughts of “ok, we will go, but I doubt they will show up.”
We show up to this bar, order a drink. It is now 11:30ish on Monday night. In walk the guitarist and also the singer. There were only a handful of people in the bar. We talk, we drink, we talk some more, we drink some more. Every couple of minutes I have to collect myself and say “these are just people, just like you” so I don’t pass out. Of course we all try to act cool so we aren’t asking for pictures or autographs or anything, so I have no proof any of this happened, but I do share that experience with two guys I go a long way back with. Something I will remember for forever. It was really cool.
We finally leave the bar and all the way home I can’t stop thinking about what the hell just happened. From a cd in a car in 1998 to a concert in Jim’s backyard to a bar in Boston in 2018, life is pretty cool. For me, I get to tell the kids about the night I hung around with Saves The Day. A band they love now because every time we are in the car together there is a strong likelihood a Saves The Day song will be playing. My kids are awesome in that way. They embrace the weird music their Dad likes. But, more importantly for me, it was a night I got to see my buddy live out a dream.
Nights like this don’t happen often, if ever, and if this two day crippling hangover is the cost I would pay it every time.