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F*ck Yeah America Party 2018

17 Jul 2018

written by Croma

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F*ck Yeah America Party 2018

Text by T. Ryan Borland, Anna Sheffield, and Bioncia Q.

Photos and editing by T. Ryan Borland, Add. photos courtesy of Yesterday Tomorrow

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Many people enjoy bragging about their Fourth of July plans, but how many people ask about July 3rd? The day before the big explosion is the perfect time for a patriotic pre-party, and one of the best options in downtown Mobile for 2018 was the F*ck Yeah America Party at Alchemy Tavern. The event was densely packed with people who showed up to hear Emo covers performed by host band Yesterday Tomorrow. There was also a Best Dressed American Contest, where guests in costumes competed to look just like Uncle Sam. With three members of the Mod Mobilian team in attendance, each of us decided to share our own unique experience of the party.

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Bioncia rocked out:

The show was phenomenal! I found Alchemy’s upstairs area to be spacious enough to fit a very large crowd. The atmosphere was buzzing with excitement in the moments between Yesterday Tomorrow’s performances. Surprisingly, one place I had a lot of fun was the bathroom. The large mirror is perfect for selfies and there was entertaining graffiti in the stalls. The bright colors, in contrast with the brick wall near the back of the bar, added to the bubbly vibe of the night. When the show started I found myself in the midst of hyper people and flying beach balls. The music was so enjoyable and it took me back to my emo days of chunky heels and black journals. I saw familiar faces all night, which led to having an overall great time ‘at the rock show’!

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Anna relived fond memories:

As one of the emo kids of the past that has grown into a full on coffee shop barista, I truly appreciate a good cover of all my high school angst anthems. Yesterday Tomorrow had me singing, or screaming, along with every word. As the music of bands like Underoath and Taking Back Sunday immersed me into a mixture of my past and present, all I could think about was how cool my high school self would think I was sipping my mixed drink and head banging to Fallout Boy. Upstairs Alchemy brought me back to the summer days of local, sweaty hardcore shows where I did my best to both blend in and stand out as an individual. An older and far more comfortable me stood in the crowd hearing the music of my youth at the F*ck Yeah America Party. I was able to really reflect on how far I have come.  I was grateful to be surrounded by a crowd that truly enjoyed a live rendition of some of our favorite alternative, and in my case parent-worrying, tunes.IMG_0904

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T. Ryan was pleasantly surprised:

Initially attending a night steeped in nostalgic emo seemed to be a bit over my head. In high school, I was listening to the likes of several “The” bands like The Strokes, The White Stripes, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Emo got huge just after I graduated so it was a little bit after my time, even though I had several friends with peter pan syndrome who enjoyed the genre well into their 20s. What struck me at the F*ck Yeah America Party is how much this music has permeated present day American culture. Much more than a simple fad, the impact of a good genre continues to trickle down over the years. Emo has certainly aged better than Nu Metal, and for good reason. There was a wealth of great bands, many of which sound vastly different but eventually became lumped into the same umbrella category. In spite of all my reservations, I must admit that I ended up knowing nearly every song on the setlist. From “Helena” by My Chemical Romance to “Sugar We Are Going Down” and “Dance Dance” by Fallout Boy. The band even covered “Taste of Ink” by The Used, a “The” band from my youth.

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All musical genres seem to occupy a certain space and time in a listener’s mind. Regardless of whether a person chooses to participate in a particular music aesthetic or not, expect radio favorites to trigger memories. Some of these songs were so ubiquitous in the mid to late aughts escaping their airwave influence would be quite difficult. As for the venue Alchemy Upstairs, the space has only gotten better with time as more and more improvements are made. A new center stage catwalk allowed guitarist and vocalist Brian Wattier to interact with the crowd more, and audience members could often be seen mouthing along with familiar words as the band performed. Drummer Daniel Howard styled his outfit to match the theme of the evening complete with striped sleeve socks and smeared guyliner.  Red, white, and blue decorations adorned the ceilings and walls, and even some of the audience.

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Yesterday Tomorrow performed more than capable renditions of a number of familiar tracks from a large group of diverse sounding bands. The band operates almost like a supergroup of Mobile musicians, combining performers from SouthSounds Festival alums such as Glass War and Of Legends and Liars. Yesterday Tomorrow takes the musical quality of the covers seriously, while not taking themselves too seriously, a combination that easily won over the large crowd. The concert was perfect for music fans desiring a bit of a time machine; the nostalgia factor was turned up to 11, and everyone present allowed a tiny bit of their former angsty teenage selves to temporarily reemerge.

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