Chill on the Hill 2015 Part II: The Wombats, We Came As Romans, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, Panic! At The Disco, and Weezer

The second half of  day one of Chill on the Hill 2015 was packed pretty tightly with bands that I was very excited to see which is great because with how ill prepared I was for the cold, I’m not sure I could have made it through without them.

The Wombats are a band that I’ve waited years to see live and they were definitely well worth the wait. Not only do they sound amazing live but their show is so fun that there didn’t seem to be one person in the crowd that could resist them. Lead singer Matthew Murphy and bassist Tord Øverland Knudsen seemed to have a never-ending supply of energy as they jumped around the stage. It didn’t take me long to abandon my note taking so I could truly enjoy them. Their set seemed to be over much too soon and now I’m waiting patiently for them to make their way back to Detroit.

No surprise that the crowd wanted to give hometown band, We Came as Romans, a warm welcome back to Detroit when they closed out the small stage for the day. They aren’t a band that I listen to but I did enjoy watching their set specifically because they really wanted to give their hometown a great show. Lead singer, Dave Stephens, wasted no time, calling for the crowd to circle up for a mosh pit only a few lines into their opening track. The crowd also didn’t hesitate to oblige him, creating a massive mosh pit surrounded by thrashing fans that could be seen from the hill. 

It’s been almost three years since I’ve seen Andrew McMahon perform live and I hope to never go that long without a live show again. McMahon has been a staple in my regular music rotation since college when I heard Something Corporate for the first time. I felt my anticipation growing rapidly as they started to place large balloons around the stage before wheeling his piano out. His too short set was packed with my favorite SoCo song (“I Woke Up in a Car”) as well as a couple of my favorite Jack’s Mannequin tracks (“Holiday from Real” and “Dark Blue”). The Balloons were eventually sent out into the crowd, exploding in confetti during “Cecilia and the Satellite.” Even better was when he wanted to take everyone back to their childhood by covering a portion of the pit with a large parachute to dance under to close out his set. Once again McMahon puts on a show that was fun and filled with nostalgia, reminding me of why I’ll continue to fall in love with every track he releases.

Panic! At the Disco is one of those bands that I feel anyone that enjoys going to concerts should see live. Brandon Urie’s stage presence and charisma make it an unforgettable experience and I’m sure they walked off the stage with new fans that never even liked the band before seeing them play live. There was not one person that I could find that was not up and dancing along. Not only did the guys play their greatest hits, they also gave some impressive renditions of “Bohemian Rhapsody” and snippets of “Any Way You Want It” and “You Shook Me All Night Long.” Urie was a blur of gold glitter as he moved across the stage, back flipping off the drum set and playing to the crowd, making sure everyone was having a fantastic time. Seeing them play live again was a reminder that I do not listen to them enough and that missing them whenever they are playing in Detroit is not acceptable.

As much as I was excited for many of the bands on the Chill on the Hill bill this year, seeing Weezer on the list was really all I needed to know that missing this year was not an option. The amphitheater was buzzing with excitement as we waited for them to take the stage, exploding with noise as soon as they did wasting no time and jumping right into “My Name is Jonas,” a personal favorite track of mine. Typically I prefer a band that spends some time talking to the audience but the fact that Weezer just played as many songs as they could was fine by me. It was almost surreal hearing so many songs that I’ve grown up with and that have shaped my musical tastes live, I honestly don’t know if there are other words I can’t use to describe it. There wasn’t a moment that the audience was not singing along and it was truly an experience that I will cherish and never forget. I really can’t think of a better way to have ended day one of Chill on the Hill 2015.

Don’t forget to check out the rest of our recap:
Part I featuring Arkells, Coleman Hell, Vinyl Theatre, Beartooth, Night Riots, and Thousand Foot Krutch
Part III featuring Five Hundredth Year, Kaleido, The Struts, Civil Twilight, Robert DeLong, and The Glorious Sons
Part IV featuring JR JR, X Ambassadors, Cold War Kids, Coheed and Cambria, and Cage the Elephant