In 2001, Louis Posen thought up the Take Action! Tour, rounded up some punk rock bands, and sent them across the country to promote suicide prevention. In its sixth year of existence, the tour continues on its same mission as it started with in 2001. With big-name bands and big-name sponsors, Take Action! is saving lives one venue at a time. On April 21, Philadelphia's Electric Factory played host to five bands who were there not just to perform for their fans, but to spread the word on suicide-prevention. Present were punk-pop artists Matchbook Romance, The Early November, Chiodos, Amber Pacific, and Roses Are Red. Sadly enough, only Amber Pacific and Matchbook Romance actually made mention of the purpose of the tour. Besides these two acts, a tour spokesperson appeared on stage before the Matchbook Romance finished off the night to discuss suicide and the help that is available: 1-800-SUICIDE and 1-877 YOUTHLINE. He also mentioned how there is currently no government funding going towards suicide prevention and asked the crowd to take the time to sign a petition for such funding before leaving the venue. Opening the night was one of Trustkill Record's most recent additions: Roses Are Red. Considering the heavier nature of the bands that the label has traditionally signed on, Roses Are Red is certainly a step in the more radio-friendly, punk-pop direction for Trustkill. Coming off their positively-received September release, Conversations, Roses Are Red has great potential. Drawing primarily from their recent release, Rochester's very own played the album's opener "White and Gold," and finished off their energetic set with "300 Motion Pictures." Following Roses Are Red was Seattle-based Amber Pacific. With music somewhere along the lines of Store of the Year and All-American Rejects, this energetic quintet received the crowd's approval. Before starting their set, lead singer Matt Young made sure to address the issue of suicide, informing us that 10% if the tour's profits goes to funding the abovementioned hotlines. With tracks such as "Poetically Pathetic," "For What It's Worth," and the suicide-focused "Save Me from Me," Amber Pacific captured the crowd with its catchy, mostly melodic tunes. Aside from their musical performance, the band decided to perform some physical feats such as backflips (thanks to guitarist Justin Westcott) and choreographed jumps off of the stacked amps on stage. I honestly don't see where antics such as these fit in-to each their own. Chiodos, a six man act out of Michigan, took the stage next with a heavier, edgier sound than the two previous acts. Also distinguishing them from Amber Pacific and Roses Are Red was the use of a keyboard, a nice addition to their compositions that gave a more atmospheric, fluid feel to the songs. Chiodos stuck to their July 2005 release, All's Well That Ends Well, serenading fans with "All Nereids Beware," "Baby, You Won't Last a Minute on the Creek," and "We're Gonna Have Us a Champagne Jam." The Early November changed the pace of things with their generally more mellow sound. Highlights of the set include tracks from their only full length release, The Room's Too Cold, such as "Ever So Sweet," and "Something That Produces Results." Also of note was bassist Serg Anello's stage dive into the crowd with bass still in hand as well as Amber Pacific's Matt Young one song guest appearance to croon with Early November's Ace Enders. Capping off the night was Poughkeepsie, New York's Matchbook Romance. It was immediately clear once the band stepped onto the candlelit stage that they were the stars of the night. Despite the fact that they are still a young band, it was evident that they were the veteran group that night. Having just released Voices (February 14), lead singer Andy Jordan and co. made sure to play new tracks such as "My Mannequin Can Dance," "Monsters," "Fiction," and "Surrender." But they also treated their true fans to songs off their first album Stories and Alibis like "Lovers & Liars" and "The Greatest Fall of All Time." Jordan appropriately addressed the purpose of the tour (they are the headlining act after all), informing the crowd of where their money was going, what hotlines are available for help, as well as the petition they could sign. The Take Action! Tour is no doubt a positive movement in the music industry. It is inspiring to see bands (especially punk bands, whose music has been known for emphasizing the negative things in life) willing to work together towards a good cause, and not just making money. Hopefully the tour will not just make people aware of the resources available to them, but result in people taking advantage of these resources and save lives across the country.


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