Show Review

The Summer Set

Live @ The Grog Shop

Courtney Hill
I’m working on my 12-step program.

I am acknowledging that I have a problem.

The gutter I woke up in that spurred this sudden realization was last nights The Cab/Summer Set tour stop at the Grog Shop.

I’ve seen The Summer Set about a half-a-dozen times and they have yet to disappoint. They are fun, they are energetic they are passionate and continually growing and improving. It doesn’t hurt that the lead singer, Brian Dales, used to date Disney darling Chelsea Kane from Jonas L.A.

*Breathe…One problem at a time…once I get a handle on the pop punk I’ll work on my issues with Disney celebrities.*

But back to what’s most important, when I realized I’m too old for this.

I would wager to say the general age for fans of bands like The Summer Set is 14-16. This is not an age range I fall into. The fact of the matter is, I am two months shy of 27. I am getting married to a lovely man in his thirties; we have a house, college degrees and wake up every day and go to “adult” jobs from 8-5, five days a week.

For years I’ve waited in lines to stand (and jump, jump, jump) with people my age. I never realized that the gap between me and the rest of the crowd was forever growing. My fellow concert goers are a blast, I wish we could have been friends a decade ago. They dress cool, they have fancy cell phones, they are dancing and singing their heads off all while mom and dad sit at the bar and sip their adult beverages. At first I tried to relate to the kids, moms and dads are lame, they should have waited in the car. They are TOTALLY harshing my vibe.
Then I saw the daddy-daughter combo that started the collapse…

She was 8? Maybe 9? He couldn’t have been a day over 30, probably closer to 25, 26.


These kids aren’t my peers, their parents are. I am the lame adult taking up space, drinking a beer and being generally lame.

Then I looked around, the majority of the bands playing aren’t even my age. Hell, I bet half of them weren’t old enough to drink. The opening band Paradise Fears, from North Dakota, was playing their second Cleveland show ever. The first show sold zero tickets, this time they were opening for a sold out crowd. They spent the evening mingling, taking pictures and generally being stoked to just be a part of this. They range in ages from 18-22 and are on their second cross country tour, oh and did I mention they have only been a band since July of 2010. Killer. Every band graciously referred to them as the hardest working band, they are playing multiple shows a day while on tour and have taken every experience this opportunity has provided and done it with a great attitude.

I am totally impressed and amazed by the things young people can do when they put effort and passion into something.

It wasn’t just the bands that were impressively professional, the Grog Shop really stood out that night too.

The Grog Shop has played host to so many memorable shows in my life it’s hard to point out specific moments when they impress me more than others. As I rounded the corner at Coventry and Cedar I saw a site I’ve seen plenty times over…a line 100 kids deep leading to the single entrance to the Grog.

Being the” adult” that I am, I groaned and mumbled about having to stand out in the cold (it was one of those awesomely warm February days we were blessed by this year) and snagged a place in line with my show buddy that had driven up from Canton to meet me. Then a something magical happened, a second door opened and two lines formed.

This had never happened to me and I’m still shocked that this second entrance exists and why I had never been privileged enough to use it all these years.

So thank you Grog Shop for acknowledging the groans coming from myself and those of all the other “old people” standing in line with their kids and cut the wait time in half, my old bones can’t handle the cold like they used to.