When We Had been Younger Competition 2023: This is What Occurred

Center college is not a simple time for anybody. Really, perhaps I am simply saying that to make myself really feel higher, and the typical pre-teen expertise for my fellow millennials was a flourishing social life with no braces or ill-fitting Abercrombie tops in sight.

I personally did not discover my stride till I met a giant group of like-minded ~weirdos~ in seventh grade, who had a ardour for emo music, skinny denims, black eyeliner, and outsized hoodies from Zumiez. I imply, what higher solution to categorical your angst than screaming alongside to Fall Out Boy in your buddy’s basement?!

I am fortunate sufficient to nonetheless be shut buddies with two of those heathens, Abbie and Maggie. Right here we’re on the mall taking compulsory iMac selfies on the Apple retailer in 2008:

And this is one in sepia with our tongues out as a result of…duh:

Quick ahead 15 years (relationships got here and went, however again ache was right here to remain), we determined to tackle When We Had been Younger competition in Las Vegas. Right here was the fateful lineup final weekend:

As somebody who practically bought crushed by a crowd surfer in a mosh pit at Bamboozle competition in 2008, I used to be positively nervous in regards to the vibes main as much as the occasion. However my nerves have been relieved by waves of anticipatory nostalgia, and I used to be able to rock the fuck out with my besties. This is a play-by-play of how the day went:


My brother’s beautiful girlfriend Jess determined to sacrifice her sanity and include us to Vegas for the weekend. Right here she is with Abbie and Maggie ingesting in our resort room earlier than 11 a.m. The depth of this pregame would later be regretted:


We needed to snap a pic of the OG center college crew earlier than we headed out:


We handed by some valuable emo newlyweds as we wove by our resort’s on line casino:


It was 92 levels out and the stroll to the competition was approach longer than we anticipated . However…


Sadly, there was no time to admire the surroundings since Movement Metropolis Soundtrack was enjoying and we needed to race to the stage. All the pieces was certainly NOT alright as a result of we missed the primary half of the set, however they nonetheless bopped:


Subsequent up was…THE VERONICAS (of “Untouched” and “4ever” fame)!!!!!! They have been in all latex and sizzling as fuck (actually and figuratively):


This was the proper precursor to none aside from MICHELLE BRANCH:


These two have been actually having fun with it:


Yellowcard was once we began feeling the alcohol. I do not know if it was feeling or a nasty feeling, but it surely was definitely a sense. IF I COULD FIND YOU NOW / THINGS WOULD GET BEEEEETTERRRRRRRRR .


We realized at round 3 p.m. that we had a two-hour interval the place we weren’t dying to see anybody, so we determined to take a break. That is when issues began to go downhill for a bit. I insisted we stroll a mile to get lunch at a pleasant resort, not fairly conscious of how dire the group vibes have been. Let’s simply say the booze was hitting, the stomachs have been growling, and the faces have been obvious. See, Maggie? I am taking the L on this one! Anyway, right here we’re feigning smiles whereas wandering aimlessly by the Wynn:


After about 45 minutes of panic, we lastly discovered meals! Blessed, bank-breaking meals! Within the second, it was price each truffle fry:


By the grace of god, we one way or the other made it again into the competition grounds for the second half of our units. Good Charlotte fortunately got here prepared with the hits and particular results. Hello, Joel!


Easy Plan performed all of the deep cuts and albeit introduced us again to life, though it may not appear that approach from this pic:


Abbie and Maggie needed to get a great place at blink-182, and I needed to see considered one of my favorites (Say Something), so Jess and I cut up up from them. Due to our media passes, we have been up shut and private with my Jewish pop-punk king, Max Bemis. The person certain is aware of the way to work a microphone stand:


This is my compulsory dance break throughout their most well-known music, “Wow, I Can Get Sexual Too:”


Lastly, it was time to move over to our final present: blink-182! For no matter cause there was no media entrance, so Jess and I chilled behind the GA crowd whereas considering what we needed to eat once we bought again to the resort. I do know all the favored blink-182 songs, however have by no means seen them in live performance or listened to them extensively. Due to this fact, I had no concept that their shtick was being kinda imply . They have been like, “Las Vegas has some of the world’s hottest women. Too bad they couldn’t make it tonight,” and we have been like “.” After which they talked quite a bit about Travis Barker’s alleged huge penis that they name “the hammer” and made jokes about banging one another’s mothers. All in good enjoyable I assume ¯_(ツ)_/¯:

Jess and I dipped out early to beat the group, however Abbie bought this sick shot of the fireworks on the finish of their present:

And H/T to Matty Vogel for snapping this epic pic of the boys:


With just a few snack stops and anti-nausea meds to get us by the drive, we made it again to LA in a single piece the subsequent day:

Regardless of my blisters, backache, and exhaustion from the weekend, I am unable to cease smiling every time I give it some thought. Yeah, 2007 is perhaps lengthy gone, however emo won’t ever die.