No one wants to see their favorite band break up, but I seem to have this deadly curse that’s meant I’ve gone through it four times.
At a very early age I was introduced to late 90’s/early 00’s pop punk by my brother, and that was when I decided Midtown were my favorite band. It’s likely I just had a little girl crush on Gabe Saporta, but even now I could quite happily sit and listen to Forget What You Know in its entirety. I managed to catch them live twice— once at my very first concert, in Tempe; dubbed ‘Fueled By Ramen & Friends’ which featured the line-up of Fall Out Boy, The Academy Is…, Gym Class Heroes and, of course, Midtown, then again at an all-ages festival in Tucson that I went to with my family.
“Midtown Saves” was a catchphrase, and certainly something I lived by. It wasn’t long after I saw them live that they called it quits and Saporta decided he was better suited for making dance-pop in Cobra Starship.
Another childhood favorite of mine was the ill-fated My Chemical Romance, and this is where my obsessive fan girl stage kicked in. I saw My Chemical Romance live a total of 45 times in several different countries. I followed an entire UK tour, went to multiple festival dates on the same weekend and at one point even spent Halloween in New Orleans just to watch them play. I was in the thick of my emo stage and they were the only thing that kept me going. I was one of those people, the kind that say that bands saved their life. In reality, I was saving myself but found comfort in their music.
When My Chemical Romance broke up in 2012, I tore down every single poster I had of theirs on my bedroom wall. I was distraught.
In my later teen years, I found solace in One Direction. It seems like a strange choice given my history but I was a huge fan of their catchy tunes and Harry Styles wasn’t exactly hard to look at. I liked them because they were positive, and in comparison to what I had listened to before it was a much needed change. I came in to the fan base quite late but I had seen them at the iTunes Festival in 2012 and not thought much of it. I managed to clock up quite a few shows once I became “indoctrinated”, at Wembley Stadium, Cardiff Millennium Stadium, Apple Music Festival 2015 and beyond.
I was lucky enough to go to one of their final shows in Sheffield before they went on hiatus, and while it’s not technically a breakup I think we all know there’s not much chance of a reunion any time soon given the success of their solo careers (Harry’s and Niall’s, at least).
The band that well and truly broke my heart was the band that I more or less grew up with. The Summer Set have been my constant for the last ten years throughout all my ‘phases’ and it’s safe to say that I dedicated a huge chunk of my life to them. I’m appreciative of the fact that through them I was able to travel extensively; I ended up going to 106 of their shows in 12 countries across four continents… it’s safe to say that I was a devout fan.
In January of this year I travelled to Arizona to attend 8123 Fest. Set up by The Maine in celebration of their ten year anniversary, The Summer Set were billed as main support and since it 2017 also marks ten years together for them I saw it as important for me to attend. What I didn’t realize at the time was that it would be my last ever The Summer Set show.
Thanks to a lengthy radio silence, it was pretty obvious that there wasn’t a future for this band but it was only last night that they officially called it quits. I’ve known for quite some time that they weren’t able to make it work but seeing it right there in black and white was unbearable. The great Oasis once said, “please don’t put your life in the hands of a rock ‘n’ roll band,” but I did and it was 100% to my detriment.
Unless you’ve been in the position where a band means absolutely everything to you, it’s unlikely that you’ll understand the kind of pain you go through when they break up. It’s almost like breaking up with your partner as you lose that safety blanket; that warmth that inspired you to keep going. It’s a gutting feeling when you listen to the music again, something that I struggle with in regards to The Summer Set, because you know they’ll never make another record again.
My heart is broken and I’m not sure what I can do to fix it.