If you haven’t seen Streetlight Manifesto live, then you haven’t truly experienced life, much less a live show. The energy and power that the crowd and musicians alike exude is something that I have never experienced and will not experience until I see them live again. Because I swear to God and all that is holy, I will hear “Point/ Counterpoint” live. The instant that you hear any Streetlight song, and I mean any song, there is just a burning desire to dance and dance until you cant dance anymore erupts inside of the soul.
The first time I saw Streetlight, I went so hard during their opening band, Reel Big Fish that I ended up getting pretty dehydrated and sick during Streetlight’s set. That’s not to say I didn’t still have an amazing time. Hearing “Such Great Heights” was one of my highlights of that summer. But I knew one day, I would need to see them again and actually be physically well to skank the entire set.
Warped tour was that opportunity for me. For me to redeem myself. For me to finally rock out and skank to my heart’s content to what may be my favorite band of all time. I’ll be honest; I have no idea what songs they played. My brother knows, he always knows, and put up the exact set list on Setlist.com hours after we were done, collapsed on the couch of our grandma’s house. What I do know is that there was not one single moment I did not enjoy of their extremely short set of 45 minutes. The crowd was unbelievably into it. Streetlight has an insane cult following that seems to have the stipulation that one must know at least 75% of all lyrics before they are allowed to go see them live. Sometimes the crowd can begin to overpower the band with how loud they’re singing. I sang myself hoarse that show with how loud I got. Not only was I hoarse, but also trying to sing and skank at the same time is one of the hardest things that I have ever done. I was out of breath, head pounding and legs starting to give under me as I launched myself around the circle pit.
Ska music really gives itself over to being the easiest music to dance to but for some reason Streetlight just makes it ten times better. They have the most complicated licks for any horn section that’s for sure. And the vocals are quite fast, making for the need to dance as fast as you can. It helps when the crowd is just full of people who are brought together by one common love. People are nice, helping up each other when they fall and basically just being decent humans. But all of that is happening while we listened to Streetlight, making the moment about 1000 times better.
Streetlight has been there for me in some of my roughest moments and some of my best, so no matter what, I have an emotional connection to them. I will see them as many times as I can in my life, it doesn’t matter if that means I pay the money to see them 30 times. If they continue to tour into my later years, I will always go and see them. At the moment though, I still have quite a few songs I need to hear live, so if you hear Streetlight is coming, someone better let me know. Immediately.