Originally posted on The First In Line / Clare Mulligan
For Megan, pop-punk offered her classic dreams of an escape from her small-town life. Now she muses on the bands she grew up with, their ever-evolving fan bases, and why the music still holds a special place in her heart.
One of my favorite bands is Deaf Havana. I’ve been in love with them since high school and still NO ONE HAS HEARD OF THEM, and it’s so upsetting because they’re so talented! They were formed in 2009 and used to be a post-hardcore band. They had a clean vocalist and a screamer and I loved that sound. Then their screamer left, and they were very unique in that they decided not to replace him.
So, they totally took a 180 in their sound and it was still really good. But now they’re more like indie-rock, folksy, but still really good. Their lyrics are really well written. I saw them perform when I was studying abroad in England and it was one of the best experiences I had while I was abroad. They haven’t toured in the US yet, so that was my one opportunity to see them. I cried because they were so good.
I want everyone to know about Deaf Havana because a lot of their contemporaries in the UK music industry are well-known and have trickled over to the US. But for some reason, Deaf Havana haven’t been able to break out in the UK or the US yet.
I feel like every concert I go to feels like my favorite concert. Deaf Havana is my favorite band as of yet, but Fall Out Boy was the most influential band for me, because I started listening to them when I was in middle school and I kind of grew up with them. The first time I saw Fall Out Boy was when I was in seventh grade, which was AMAZING. They’re something I can always go back to and it’s very comforting to listen to them, because it reminds me of when I was younger.
I never really felt like I fit in in my hometown. This is such a classic pop-punk answer, by the way- every song is like “I gotta get out of this town.” I don’t want to shit on my hometown, but it was never my favorite place to be and I always wanted to do more things.
Pop-punk music in particular speaks to that element of youth, which I think started with Blink-182 in the ‘90s. Fall Out Boy and Panic! at the Disco talked a lot about the struggles that young people go through and how to break out of that. It was really fun getting into those two bands when I was 12 or 13, and since they’re both still in existence, it’s really cool to see how they’ve changed as a whole. As they’re getting older and I’m getting older, I still enjoy their music. Panic! at the Disco’s second album Pretty. Odd., was terrible, and when I first heard it, I was like “I can’t listen to them anymore.” But now, years later, their music has been amazing.
Fall Out Boy has been pretty consistent. When they took a hiatus, I was heartbroken, but when they came back with Save Rock and Roll, listening to that album felt like I had been transported back to when I was younger- it made me so happy.
In seventh grade, when I saw Fall Out Boy, a lot of Fueled by Ramen bands were opening for them like The Academy Is… and Cobra Starship. There was a moment where each band member was positioned throughout the audience and Pete Wentz was a row away from me. He looked at me and smiled… My heart stopped. Oh my god.
Then, when I saw them again two years ago, it was interesting to see how much the fanbase had changed. I grew up with them, but a lot of fans are only just discovering them now, so they’re a lot younger. Fall Out Boy always closes with “Saturday” off their first album, Take This To Your Grave, and none of the younger fans knew that song because their first experience with Fall Out Boy was probably [the song] “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark.” It was really interesting to see that none of them recognized this iconic song, a song that has a huge effect on me personally.