Paradise Fears "Sanctuary Mini Tour" Concert Review

I have been to many concerts in my life, especially in the past few years. Lately I seem to be going to one almost every week. Each one seems to be a little bit better than the one before, and I’ll admit I’ve said that a lot of them were the “best concert ever.” But nothing, NOTHING, compared to the Sanctuary concert in Vermillion, South Dakota this Father’s Day. If you are a fan of Paradise Fears, you’ll know that they just wrapped up their very first headlining tour, which consisted of eight dates. The tour started in Boston and ended in their hometown of Vermillion, South Dakota. At least three of these dates sold out, including Boston and Philadelphia.

We were told by singer Sam Miller during the show that there were 20 states represented at the Vermillion show. I myself traveled about 18 hours from Salt Lake City, Utah to go to this concert. I think it is absolutely incredible that these six guys from a small town in South Dakota have come together to make music and have made such an impact on so many people that they are willing to travel hundreds of miles to see them. That just goes to show how powerful music can be. It’s amazing. The car ride may have been very long for us, but I have zero regrets. It was worth every single minute, especially to be front row. There was no way we were traveling that far and not getting front row, so we got to the venue sometime between 10:30-11 a.m. and there was only one person in front of us in line. Yes, we are very dedicated fans.

The show opened with a local band called God Awful Noise. They did pretty well considering you could tell how nervous they were. They played about three songs.

Hello Highway

Hello Highway was next to play. For those of you who don’t know, Hello Highway is Daniel Sumstine, from San Diego, California. He currently has one EP out and a new album coming this summer! If you’ve never heard of him you are missing out and you should definitely check out his music and follow him on Twitter! He is seriously one of the sweetest guys I have ever met. We were able to hang out with him before and after the show, as well as the next day. Since he was only on two dates of the tour, he opted to play an acoustic set rather than full band. This was perfectly fine with me because acoustic is my favorite. He played three songs off of his self-titled EP, and also covered Parachute’s “Forever and Always” and John Mayer’s “Edge of Desire.”

My Girl Friday

The final opening band was My Girl Friday, an alternative/rock/country band from Phoenix, Arizona! They played all but one song from their “American Kids” EP, two songs off of their self-titled EP, and two covers. They covered Tim McGraw’s “Felt Good on My Lips” and the chorus of One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful.” I really enjoyed them. If you don’t know who they are you should check them out as well!

Then it was time for Paradise Fears! Since this was their hometown show, and the last show of the tour, they decided to double their set list. They opened with “Last Breath” from their album “Yours Truly” and went on to play most of the songs from that album and their EP “Make Them Believe.” They also played “Kid in Demand,” from their EP “The Secret to Dropping Out.” Since this was the last stop on the tour, it would not be complete without a prank. During “Fall on Me,” My Girl Friday and Hello Highway came back out and “fell” on the stage. The Paradise Fears guys seemed to enjoy it, because some of the members sat down on the guys laying down on the stage. The Goo Goo Dolls’ “Iris,” Carly Rae Jepson’s “Call Me Maybe” and Maroon 5’s “Payphone” were all covered. Everyone went crazy during “Payphone,” especially when they got to the rap, which Sam rewrote to better fit the band.

Paradise Fears

For the encore they premiered their new single “Home,” which comes out next Tuesday, June 26th. They then closed with their current single which holds the same title as the tour, “Sanctuary.” This is a very special song to all Paradise Fears fans. It has touched the lives of so many people. To me, it’s one of those songs that you just can’t explain. It’s something you just have to listen to. The best way I know how to describe it is it basically gives the message “I swear that everything will be alright,” which is a lyric from the song. If you’ve never heard it, watch the official video on YouTube, and really pay attention to the speech in the middle.

After the show, all the bands came out to meet fans. Everyone stayed until they kicked us out, and then we all just moved outside of the venue. Every band member did their very best to meet and talk to everyone who came to the show. I really hope that everyone single person reading this was able to go to at least one of the shows on the Sanctuary Mini Tour. It was definitely a one-of-a-kind, once-in-a-lifetime experience. I’m so grateful that I was able to travel to South Dakota to support Paradise Fears in this great milestone in their quickly growing career. I can’t wait to see where the future takes them! I know so many amazing things await them!


Author: Ariel Walborn

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