Arts & Life, Events, Features, Music

When We Were Young festival reminds fans of who they are

At the beginning of the year, 29-year-old Carmen Villanueva was scrolling through Instagram and saw an announcement for the When We Were Young Festival in Las Vegas.

A festival catered to millennials to reminisce their teenage years seemed almost too good to be true. Fans were thrilled to have an opportunity to watch their favorite bands perform live again.

Villanueva ran excitedly to her husband when she noticed that tickets were going on sale that same week.

There was one band that motivated Villanueva to attend the festival. My Chemical Romance.

“They were my first concert when I turned 13. Now, I’m turning 30 and I’m going to my first festival which also has MCR in the lineup,” Villanueva said.

Nostalgia is key when it comes to bands like MCR, especially since fans didn’t think they’d see them again since their breakup in 2013.

MCR recently performed a week of shows in Los Angeles at The Kia Forum. Original show dates were rescheduled due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Other bands such as Paramore, Bring Me the Horizon, Hawthorne Heights and more were part of the festival line-up.

This celebration was intended to be a one-day event on Oct. 22, but fans had other plans. Tickets sold so quickly that two additional dates were added.

Unfortunately, the first day of the festival was cancelled one hour before due to high winds.

Fans who planned on attending the first day were disappointed because of all the money they spent for hotel rooms and travel.

Despite the first day being cancelled, many bands found venues to perform free shows for those that were supposed to participate on the first day of the festival.

Hawthorne Heights performed a free event called Vegas Is For Lovers with Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Armor for Sleep and more to ease broken emo hearts.

Villanueva didn’t worry about attending the free shows with her husband because they also had tickets for the second day.

Death Cab for Cutie and Underoath were added to the lineup on the second weekend after singer Avril Lavigne canceled her performance.

An announcement was made on Oct. 11 the week before the festival; it’d return for a second year with Blink-182 set to headline.

Member Tom DeLonge’s return to the band was publicized on the same day.

“I remember just this feeling of happiness when I heard the tease for ‘Edging’ because I heard Tom’s voice, I was so happy,” senior journalism major Thomas Murray said.

“Tom is honestly someone that I grew up looking up to.”

Murray’s girlfriend woke him up at 6:30 a.m. to break the news of DeLonge, a musician he idolized since he was five years old, returning to the band.

“The fact that I listen to pop-punk music is because of him, he’s the reason I picked up a guitar and inspired me to skate when I was young.”

Murray knew it would be a matter of time for DeLonge to return with the band amid Hoppus’ cancer announcement last year.

Vocalist Matt Skiba of Alkaline Trio joined the band in 2015 to take over as the vocalist while DeLonge left the band.

Blink-182 will perform at the Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles on June 16, 2023. An additional performance date was added for the next day.

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