With the cold of the end of the year and the holiday season upon us, The Aquarian Weekly’s Holiday Concert Series is here to please, with the warm embrace of great music to ensure your 2013 goes out with a proverbial bang.
Between Dec. 12 and Dec. 29, the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville will be hosting several eventful shows, featuring bands like Hot Water Music, Jimmy Eat World, August Burns Red, The Devil Wears Prada, Brand New, Bayside and The Starting Line.
Coming along for the ride, several groups will be appearing as supporting acts for the namesake groups including, but not limited to, Blessthefall, Texas In July, Major League and Man Overboard, adding to an already powerhouse lineup across the scheduled dates this month. For tickets and additional information, go to starlandballroom.com.
Hot Water Music – Dec. 12:
Kicking off the series, Hot Water Music will be performing with Torche and O’Brother for the first night of debauchery ahead. Their latest studio album on Rise Records, Exister, charted at number 34 in the U.S. and number 96 in Canada, with Live In Chicago, a live album on No Idea Records, and the Rise reissue of the 1997 full-length, Forever And Counting, marking their 2013 releases. Immediately following their appearance in Sayreville, Hot Water Music will be performing at The Trocadero in Philadelphia on Dec. 13 and at Webster Hall on Dec. 14.
Jimmy Eat World – Dec. 13:
On Friday, Dec. 13, Jimmy Eat World and X Ambassadors will be performing with a powerful vibe and high-energy movement from the stage to the crowd below. Damage, the group’s eighth studio album to date, dropped on RCA Records in June, self-described as an attempt at an adult breakup record with lyrics heavily reminiscent to their earlier release, Clarity (1999). Having appeared at the iTunes music festival this fall in London, the group also released an EP for the six performed songs—including one of their most recognizable tunes, “The Middle”—in November, giving fans who couldn’t attend a chance to experience the concert.
August Burns Red – Dec. 14:
August Burns Red keep things rolling on Saturday with guest performers Blessthefall, Defeater and Overseer, making for one helluva metalcore lineup. The band released their sixth studio album, Rescue & Restore, this summer, and it debuted at number nine on the Billboard 200, giving great promise to an act known for extensive touring. Saturday, Dec. 14, shapes up to be a can’t-miss concert for anyone looking to indulge in great modern metalcore. Don’t miss out on this one.
The Devil Wears Prada – Dec. 15:
Topping off the first weekend’s string of performances, The Devil Wears Prada close out the consecutive set along with The Ghost Inside, Volumes and Texas In July. Another tasteful night of the dark and heavy is ahead for Sunday’s shindig, especially given the latest from TDWP, 8:18, which just dropped this September. Following the departure of keyboardist James Baney for undisclosed reasons, Jonathan Gerring, currently acting as the group’s touring keyboardist, will be present and accounted for. After Starland on Dec. 15, TDWP and crew head to the Best Buy Theater in NYC on Tuesday, Dec. 17.
Brand New – Dec. 21
With the year almost at an end, Brand New aim to bring us out with a stint of four final shows of 2013: two on the West Coast and two on the East. Unsurprisingly, their last show of the year at Starland is already sold out, but if you’re one of the lucky few that grabbed a ticket or will be on the lookout for scalpers the day of, you’re in good hands. Brand New are looking to perform all of their old material, including two full albums per concert from their four studio albums since 2001’s Your Favorite Weapon. These include the aforementioned plus Deja Entendu (2003), The Devil And God Are Raging (2005) and Daisy (2009). More than likely, the band will be performing these in their entirety. The group recently announced that they’ve been working on new material, so hopefully a new album is in the works.
Bayside – Dec. 28:
On one of the final days of the year, the punk rock group Bayside will be coming to town with Man Overboard, A Loss For Words and Modern Baseball. After recently signing with Hopeless Records in August, and a long-awaited announcement in November, Bayside’s fifth record, Cult, is officially slated for release on Feb. 18, 2014. In April, they are planning a UK tour with Alkaline Trio in support. Their latest release, Killing Time, fired up audiences in 2011, and with support from bands like Man Overboard on this trek, promise to make one of the last few days of the year special.
The Starting Line – Dec. 29:
Closing out the Holiday Concert Series will be The Starting Line, headlining with support from Vinnie Caruana (I Am The Avalanche, The Movielife), Major League and Real Friends. Following their hiatus in 2008, and their last release, Direction, in 2007, little has come to light as far as new material goes, but there is a set of priceless nostalgia and long years that have refined their live stage presence. The fresh pop-punk stylings of The Starting Line will close out a fantastic year of music and performances in 2013, and top off the Holiday Concert Series with one last burst of raw energy and passion.
This final blowout of 2013 may be exactly what the doctor ordered for East Coast rockers everywhere who missed out on the chance to see their favorite artists, and for anyone who’s just as stoked to see them again. It’s been a good year for music releases on the whole, with bands blowing up, debuts coming to light, and seasoned veterans continuing to thrive, and the Holiday Concert Series aims to wrap all this up and more in a tight bow and send us into the next year with a bang.
Until we find out what 2014 has in store for the industry—and by extension, the fans who make it all possible—spending these last couple of days with some of your favorite artists in the Starland Ballroom could be the ultimate way to not only shut the door on a year of tours, concerts, albums and chart-topping singles, but a fantastic way to say hello to the future and whatever comes next as well.