Emo, Pop-Punk, and Post Hardcore fans came together at Terminal 5 to be transported back to their angsty years. Ticket holders lined up outside the venue in Downtown Manhattan on May, The 4th, Star Wars Day, with some fans wearing paraphernalia from the iconic franchise. Others took the perfect opportunity to sport their ‘Bayside Is A Cult’ tee that features the infamous Star Wars font. The band was celebrating the April 5th release of their ninth studio record, There Are Worse Things Than Being Alive, with a US tour under the same moniker. The tracks from this album translate well live and work in simpatico with their classic tracks. Winona Fighter was on the bill for most of the tour. However, the band was not scheduled to play the last two shows. As much as this was a bummer for some NY fans, the lineup was still strong, with support from Finch and Armor For Sleep. The absence of one band was at least met with an extended set time for Bayside.

From the other side of the Hudson, New Jersey’s Armor for Sleep was the first band to grace the Terminal 5 stage. Ben Jorgensen (Vocals), PJ DeCicco (Guitar), Anthony Dilonno (Bass), and Nash Breen (Drums) returned from a lengthy hiatus back in 2021, looking no worse for wear. The Emo Rock band had parted ways back in 2009 to pursue other projects, but their return was well received by fans. The following year, Armor For Sleep released their fourth studio album, The Rain Museum, in September. All four albums received some love during the eight-song set. Their first three tracks alone: “Remember to Feel Real,” “Dream to Make Believe,” and “Williamsburg,” sent fans on a trip down memory lane through all three of their previous albums.

As the band concluded with “Car Underwater,” Jorgensen told fans to meet him by the merch booth to hang out. He kept to his word, taking selfies and sharing stories with anyone who came over to the table. The “There Are Worse Things Than Being Alive” tour may have concluded shortly after the New York show, but there’s no stopping Armor For Sleep. The band soon joins the likes of Hawthorne Heights, Thursday, and Saosin, among others, for a stacked tour dubbed “20 Years of Tears.” The tears start flowing on June 22nd in Stateline, Nevada, and take the band through Council Bluffs, Iowa, on August 24th. The tour continues without them until September 15th. If you’re lucky enough to catch the tour while Armor For Sleep is part of the lineup, don’t miss the opportunity to see the band live and stop by their merch booth.

Armor For Sleep

Like Armor For Sleep before them, Post Hardcore outfit Finch had recently come back from a hiatus. The band had broken up in early 2016 due to some internal issues. Time heals all wounds and in 2023 the band announced that they were reforming to play at Las Vegas’s When We Were Young Festival later that year. To gear up for the festival stop, the band announced the What It Is To Burn 20th Anniversary Tour. Randy “R2K” Strohmeyer (Lead Guitar), Alex “Grizz” Linares (Rhythm Guitar), and Alex Pappas (Drums) rejoined Nate Barcalow (Vocals) while new member Kenny Finn filled in on bass. The tour was enough to keep the band hungry for more.

Fittingly, it was drizzling outside when the band hit the first few chords of “Rainy Day” to start things off. The band kept their lighting dark and moody as fans were treated to “Letters to You” which had fans belting out the lyrics. Their entire set of nine songs was an absolute ride of emotion, concluding with “What It Is To Burn.” Time flies by when you’re having fun and for fans inside Terminal 5, their time with Finch may have seemed over too quick. Still, their set hit all the right notes, leaving fans wanting more.

The paths of Armor For Sleep and Finch cross one more time on June 22nd when both bands take part in the Lake Tahoe is For Lovers Festival. Shortly after, Finch heads overseas for a tour through Germany and Austria. That tour will commence on July 11th and culminate a month later. Over its short history, When We Were Young festivals have sparked the reunions of many bands. Finch fans can rejoice that the California-based unit is back in spades.


Bayside showed they knew how to make an entrance when they took advantage of the venue’s disco ball, lighting up the crowd as the loudspeakers played Frank Sinatra’s “My Way”. Anthony Raneri (Lead Vocals), Jack O’Shea (Lead Guitarist), Nick Ghanbarian (Bassist), and Chris Guglielmo (Drummer) came to the stage to a hometown hero’s welcome. Bayside started things off with “Pigsty,” and “Montauk,” two early tracks that got the crowd singing their emo hearts out. The band then blasted into “How to Ruin Everything (Patience),” a new track off The Blue EP.

After the band played, “They’re Not Horses, They’re Unicorns,” the band took their first real break in the set and wished fans a happy May the 4th while noting the Star Wars shirts in the crowd. The New York natives also pointed out fans wearing hockey jerseys and took some time to make a sweeping declaration that the New York Rangers were going to win the Stanley Cup this year. The NHL team was just coming off a four game sweep of the Washington Capitals and were gearing up to take on the Carolina Hurricanes in the second round of the playoffs. This got a chant from the New York crowd. The band went on to mention how there was wrestling (a show was taking place in a nearby arena), Star Wars, and a Bad Religion show in town, all of Ghanbarian’s favorite things. Raneri continued to say how Bayside has been a band for 24 years and gave a quick history of their uprising. Bayside then brought fans back to 2004 with “Masterpiece,” fans gave their all in the mosh pit while the crowd ran their voices hoarse.

From old to new, the band continued with “Castaway.” The mosh pits and crowd surfing increased throughout the night. Later on, after “Prayers,” the band polled fans to see who was seeing Bayside for the first time (mild cheering) and who had seen them a billion times (a much more sizable cheer, naturally). Raneri then led a sing-a-long with an acoustic rendition of “Don’t Call Me Peanut.” The band closed out their main set with “Blame It On Bad Luck” before shortly returning for a three-song encore that included the likes of “The Devils” and “They Looked Like Strong Hands” before ending the night on “Devotion and Desire”. The Star Wars theme song then played over the loudspeakers, sending fans back to the streets of Manhattan with smiles on their faces.

The following night concluded the There Are Worse Things Than Being Alive tour. That doesn’t mean you can’t find Bayside live soon. You can still catch them during some upcoming festivals between June 2nd at the Not Just A “Phase” Fest to October 20th for the When We Were Young 2024 Festival in Vegas. The force is strong with Bayside. Over twenty years of giving fans a reason to sing and dance along, the saga is far from over.