(“Cleveland Rocks” will be a recurring series of posts.)

If there’s anything you should know about me, it’s that I love my friends and I love concerts. Even more, I love going to concerts with my friends. In the past, we’ve attended the Vans Warped Tour twice, Blink-182, Nothing But Thieves, and The All-American Rejects. We’ve also been to the Alternative Press Music Awards (APMAs) and the APMAs Fan Day. The latter is what this blog will be about. The APMAs Fan Day was at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (one of my favorite places) on an outdoor stage. The concert portion of the event was the last part and seemed to have a decent line up with the exception of one band – State Champs. They are totally awesome and of my friends’ and my favorites as a group. Besides State Champs, there was also Carousel Kings, Sleep On It, Colours, and Broadside.

When we arrived at the Rock Hall, it was extremely hot out (probably because it was mid-July in Cleveland). We arrived a couple minutes before the first show started and then meandered around to see what was going on. I ended up winning a Broadside CD. Things were dandy.  

When it was time for Carousel Kings, the first show, to start, we headed to the back of the crowd around the stage. Carousel Kings did a great job, but my friends and I only knew one of their songs (which was unfortunate because we love singing along during shows); and, we only knew the acoustic version of that one song. As their set ended, we made our way out of the crowd and to a merch table to check out all of the band tees. We then continued our wandering and ended up standing near the stage, but not quite in the crowd as the next band set up.

And then it happened.

Derek DiScanio, lead singer of State Champs (practically the entire reason why we came), walked right past us. I’m sure that I looked foolish standing there and staring at him as he strolled casually past. But, I couldn’t help it; I was in shock! As my friends and I freaked out a little bit, we discussed our options: We could approach him or we could continue on as if nothing happened. Little did we realize that amidst our deep discussion, the next band had started playing. As we calmed down, we came to the conclusion that we would, in fact, approach him. We cautiously walked towards him. When we were finally right next to him, my friend greeted him and asked for a picture.

And then it happened.

Derek DiScanio of State Champs talked to us:

“I wanna catch this set. I’ll be around all day. Let’s get a picture later.”


The word stung.

I was heartbroken. Derek turned us down. Of course, what he requested was completely reasonable. But reason couldn’t stop my disappointment and disappointed was exactly what I was. How could this guy who we all liked so much just refuse us like that? I couldn’t shake the bad feelings. Could I ever listen to their music and feel the same way again?

I didn’t know.

Well, State Champs and the others played their sets. All was well. Broadside did an awesome job and I liked them more than I did before the show. Eventually, the show came to a close and we headed back home. End of story.

So…are you wondering how I feel about State Champs‘ music now?

The answer to that is that it’s still good, but I definitely haven’t listened to it as much since the concert. Before the show, I would put their CD in my car and listen to it straight through multiple times. I have yet to do that since. Is this a little dramatic? Clearly, but I hope it made for an interesting story.

To end this blog, I’d like to give you some advice: Don’t approach a musician/celebrity that you really like. It can totally mess up your image of them. This advice is precisely why I didn’t approach the amazing Ben Barlow of Neck Deep when he was less than 30 feet away; but, that’s a story for another blog.

(P.S. Here’s some excellent songs by some of the bands mentioned in this blog:
State Champs – Remedy (This song is really awesome! Definitely check it out.)
Broadside – Coffee Talk (This song is so catchy and will be stuck in your head all day.)
Carousel Kings – Headphones (acoustic) (Both the acoustic and regular versions of this song are great!)
Neck Deep – Can’t Kick Up the Roots (All the songs on this album are amazing!))

Emily Petsche is a Marketing Assistant at GCPL. She is currently listening to The Peace and the Panic by Neck Deep.
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