June 8, 2023 by Todd Markel
Music lovers: prepare yourselves for the fourth annual Sad Summer Festival! The highly-anticipated event returns to Southern California on July 29th, at Irvine’s FivePoint Amphitheatre. With its eclectic lineups, Sad Summer Festival has quickly become a not-to-be-missed fixture on the alternative music circuit, and this year’s lineup is no exception.

Headlining the festival is the always exciting Taking Back Sunday. Known for their catchy melodies, emotionally charged lyrics, and high-energy live performances, the band has rightfully earned their spot at the top of the Sad Summer Festival lineup. Lead singer Adam Lazara and crew have left Orange County fans pining for another opportunity to see them since their last Irvine show in August 2022.

The main support act for the Irvine date will be Orange County’s own Andrew McMahon (main support does vary by city). McMahon has an extensive catalog of songs he can pull from and I am excited to see what surprises he may have in store for this show.

Sharing the stage as additional main support on this tour is the celebrated band from Arizona – The Maine. It has been far too long since The Maine graced Orange County with their electrifying live show; their last performance in Anaheim was in April of 2022. The fans of Taking Back Sunday and The Maine alone could effortlessly sell out this show, but that’s not all.
Also performing is Massachusetts-based rock trio, PVRIS. Led by the compelling vocalist Lynn Gunn, PVRIS seamlessly blends rock, electronic, and pop elements to create a unique sonic landscape. With this being my first time seeing PVRIS, I can’t help but be caught up by the incredible buzz surrounding this band’s onstage magic.
Hot Mulligan is next on the bill and if you haven’t heard of the band, it’s probably because you’ve been living under a rock. Hot Mulligan has managed to cultivate a fervent following that would make even the legendary Grateful Dead turn their heads in awe. I admittedly didn’t understand the hype behind Hot Mulligan until I experienced their live show firsthand. Mom Jeans, Stand Atlantic, and Cliffdiver are rounding out the Sad Summer Festival lineup.

With each passing year, the festival’s reputation has grown, attracting larger audiences and cementing its status as a must-attend event for enthusiasts of pop-punk, alternative rock, or live performances in general. Last year the festival took place in the parking lot of the City National Grove of Anaheim and featured bands such as Waterparks, Neck Deep, Mayday Parade, and State Champs.
It is exciting to see the jump to a much larger venue for this cross-country festival and I couldn’t be happier to attend another event at Irvine’s FivePoint Amphitheatre. With its stress-free parking experience, spacious outdoor layout, and excellent acoustics, FivePoint Amphitheatre provides the perfect environment for large-scale concerts and festivals, and Sad Summer made the right choice to hold the festival in Irvine this year.
Tickets are currently still available, but I suspect they will go fast.



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