FivePoint Amphitheatre has a lot going for it: Parking is free, plenty of accessible restrooms, and a slew of amazing lineups have been rocking its enormous 124-foot stage all year. Recently, A Day To Remember returned to Orange County for their first show back in six years, and FivePoint hosted their reappearance.
While most people were leaving work, hundreds of concertgoers had already made their way into the venue. Kicking the Friday night show off with a 5 p.m. start time was Orlando’s pop-punk six-piece, Magnolia Park (though the band was sans bass player at this show). With infectious pop hooks, angsty screams, and a label like Epitaph Records backing them, you’re sure to be seeing Magnolia Park open up for a lot of your favorite bands in the near future.
The OC-based group Movements was next to the stage. As they worked through their eight-song setlist in the broad daylight, the band proved that they didn’t need an extravagant light show to captivate the modestly sized crowd. Half of the songs in Movements’ set were pulled from their 2017 album, “Feel Something,” but they also worked in their latest singles “Cherry Thrill” and “Barbed Wire Body.” The band’s set ended with their crowd favorite “Daylily,” and I decided at that moment that I would be adding Movements to my iTunes library. It’s obvious why Movements has such a loyal fan base: The musicianship is solid, their live show is engaging, and their songs are very well-written.
Just after sunset, The Ghost Inside took to the stage and an epic cinematic intro track began to shake the entire venue. “Yo California! It’s good to be home,” singer Jonathan Vigil announced to the eager sea of faces before the band jumped into “Engine 45.” I’m getting goosebumps as I write this, thinking back on these opening minutes of The Ghost Inside’s set. The entire crowd had their hands in the air while singing the closing lines “…But I’ll keep swinging.”
Several expletives inadvertently spilled out of my mouth as I stood stunned watching A Ghost Inside steal the show. The band performed a well-balanced set of songs from their last three albums while also including “Between the Lines” from 2010’s “Returners.”
For anyone unfamiliar with The Ghost Inside’s history, the band was involved in a fatal bus crash in 2015. The band’s tour bus collided with a tractor-trailer, killing both drivers, and the band was in the hospital in critical condition “for a long time.” It was both exciting and heartwarming to see the band in action and I sincerely can’t wait for their next shows in OC.
Next up was The Used who kicked off their set with a cover of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” instrumental intro before jumping into “A Box Full of Sharp Objects” off their debut album. An odd choice, but very entertaining nonetheless.
The second song of The Used’s set was “The Bird and the Worm,” which was followed by “Take It Away.” Spoiler: This would ultimately go on to be one of the best setlists I’ve seen from The Used. Having been a huge fan of mainly just their first three albums, I am excited to report that they focused most of their energy on those three. They did include one relatively new song, which was “Blow Me” off 2021’s “Heartwork.” I have since become a fan of this song and am glad it made it into the set.
If you follow The Used on social media, you might have seen some recent videos of large crowds “booing” and yelling obscenities at the band. It became apparent why that keeps occurring as there were several moments throughout the show where front-man Bert McCracken encouraged the crowd to “boo” the band after each song. It made for some hilarious, self-deprecating humor and I think the rest of the concertgoers also enjoyed the opportunity to “boo” a band they otherwise enjoyed.
With a gigantic curtain now blocking the view of the stage from the audience, the anticipation in the enormous outdoor venue was about to boil over. A bass-heavy, electronic intro track began to blast through the speakers. Bright flashing lights emitted from behind the curtain in unison with the intro music. Only moments into the growing crescendo of the opening EDM track, A Day To Remember jumped into their instrumental build-up that inevitably led right into “Downfall of Us All.” The phonetically sung breakdown that kicks the song off was chanted by every single person in the venue.
The second song in ADTR’s set was their 2010 radio hit “All I Want,” the music video for which features cameos of members from bands like Fall Out Boy, MXPX, Bring Me The Horizon, and Andrew W.K.
“Paranoia” was third in the set and kept the energy levels rising with its fast, aggressive verses that drop into the extremely catchy chorus. Leading into song four of the night, singer Jeremy McKinnon informed the audience that they hadn’t played the song in California in nearly a decade. “If this used to be your shit, I fucking dare you to give us a reason to put this back on the setlist,” McKinnon provoked before jumping into “A Shot in the Dark.”
“Degenerates,” “2nd Sucks,” and the immensely popular “Right Back at It Again” fell next in the setlist with each having their respective sing-along moments.
The Marshmello collab-track “Rescue Me,” along with a very well-balanced mix of songs off their last five albums, made up the remainder of the set. When looking back at their setlist, I noticed that they did not play two back-to-back songs off the same album throughout the entirety of the night.
The encore started as expected with “If It Means a Lot to You,” then “Monument,” “Sometimes You’re the Hammer, Sometimes You’re the Nail,” and “The Plot to Bomb the Panhandle” ended the night, and what an ending it was. On the final lyric, “I’m never coming home,” confetti shot onto the crowd, and onstage, smoke geysers spewed thick smoke upwards like canons. It was an amazing night, at an amazing venue, with several amazing bands!