Indie-pop band Bleachers really brought the heat to San Jose, CA on Tuesday night as their How Dare You Want Tour came through town. The band is currently touring in support of their third album, Take The Sadness Out of Saturday Night, which was released via RCA Records in July 2021.
Bleachers kicked off their set with “91,” “Dream of Mickey Mantle,” and “Wild Heart” – a great first three that provided fans with an ode to all 3 of their albums. The first three songs happen to be the first three songs on each of their albums, which really set the tone for the rest of the night. From the second the lights went down and the introduction into “91” started, it seemed like everyone at this Bleachers show was best friends – they screamed together. They cried together. They sang together. They hugged each other. It’s such an incredible energy to observe.
There’s something so magical about Bleachers shows. From their incredible energy on stage, to their connection with their fans, to their ability to float in and out of joking around and being incredibly vulnerable with their crowds – it’s truly something that’s so special to witness. When you are standing in the crowd at a Bleachers show, if you look around at all of the fans around you, it just looks like every single one of them is having the best night of their life. The emotion, feeling and connection that comes along with this band’s shows is so pure and incredible to witness.
Throughout their set, Bleachers covered the perfect amount of songs from all of their albums, and even managed to throw in their song “Alfie’s Song” from the coming-of-age film Love Simon and a cover of Tom Waits’ “Jersey Girl”. Lead singer Jack Antonoff even took some time in-between songs to attempt to settle a debate about a New Jersey delicacy’s name. Antonoff and the audience member never came to a resolution on Taylor Ham vs Pork Roll, but Antonoff deemed it was a great exercise in “conflict resolution.”
One of the strengths of Bleachers is being able to write songs that are sad yet hopeful, but are masked by extraordinary synths, horn arrangements and general instrumentation. Songs like “Nothing Is U” and “45” brought not only the melancholic feeling, but also provided some levity for the dark times we’re living in. But when the band played “I’m Ready To Move On/Wild Heart (Reprise),” there seemed to be so much weight behind every word of the song. When guitarist Mikey Hart sang the phrase “I’m ready, I’m ready, I’m ready to move on” there seemed to be so much truth to that phrase after the last several years that have brought so much loss and devastation. There was a huge emphasis on hope and growth as the band played the song, which created such a special moment in the show for the band and fans alike.
After the crowd was given some time to sit in their sadness, the band ended their set with fan favorites like “You’re Still a Mystery,” “I Wanna Get Better,” and “Don’t Take The Money.” Both the band and fans left everything they had in the San Jose Civic Center. They played off each other all night long, and it culminated in a beautiful celebration of light and belonging right up until the last notes of their final song “Stop Making This Hurt.”
Take a second to imagine what you’ve felt like whenever you’ve seen your favorite band in concert. That’s what a Bleachers show feels like – whether they’re your favorite band or not. The unabashed electric energy matched with an unwavering collective adoration for the band is in the air at Bleachers shows and it’s a feeling that is so contagious. It’s at shows like this that you simply cannot deny the community and importance of music, especially in the live capacity.
Bleachers is currently halfway through their US tour. Visit their website for ticket information. To stay up-to-date on all things Bleachers, make sure to follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Check out our photos from their show in San Jose, CA below!