After what feels like an eternity of tours that avoided the Philadelphia area like the plague, Ocala-bred metalcore band A Day to Remember made a stop in the neighboring town of Trenton, NJ, on Nov. 10. With support from punk and metalcore powerhouses — Can’t Swim, Beartooth and I, Prevail — “the Degenerates Tour” packed Trenton’s CURE Insurance Arena for a loud and rockin’ Sunday night gig.
It’s been quite a number of years since I had the pleasure of seeing A Day to Remember. Last time I saw them, they took the stage before blink-182 — prior to the release of their 2016 studio record “Bad Vibrations.” Since then, the group has taken time off to record, with their seventh full-length album coming in 2020. I had some doubts about whether the show would be as good as I remember, and for the first time seeing them as headliners, I was once again blown away by frontman Jeremy McKinnon’s talent, demeanor and energy.
Playing to a nearly sold-out arena and packed floor, they started with cult favorite “The Downfall of Us All.” Almost immediately, crowd surfers came flying over the barricade with smiles on their faces, as per usual with any hard rock show. Also played were “All I Want” and “Paranoia,” before McKinnon introduced the crowd to his infamous “crowd surf on a crowd surfer” antic, wherein, you guessed it, a crowd surfer stands aboard another crowd surfer surfboard style as they make their way up to the barricade. People surfed their way up to the barricade during “Better off this Way” and “Sticks & Bricks.” From there, the group then switched into a heavy cover of none other than Lit’s “My Own Worst Enemy,” which flowed perfectly into “Right Back at it Again,” from their 2013 album “Common Courtesy,” one of my personal favorite records.
Playing other hits such as “Have Faith in Me” and tour title song “Degenerates,” A Day to Remember ended their set with “I’m Made of Wax, Larry, What are You Made of?”.
However, everyone knew the show wasn’t over. As McKinnon and his bandmates rejoined on the stage to perform their most recognizable track, “If It Means a Lot to You,” the crowd erupted into screams for the guitar-driven ballad.
The three-song encore included the aforementioned “If It Means a Lot to You,” “All Signs Point to Lauderdale” and “The Plot to Bomb the Panhandle,” during which confetti cannons erupted, filling the arena with streamers. If one thing’s for sure, A Day to Remember surely made it a night to remember.
Be on the lookout for their 2020 record “You’re Welcome” coming early next year.