Do you remember the first real concert you ever went to? Mine was in the Spring of 2009. I was in the 8th grade and with a big group of friends. We went to the House of Blues in Houston to see nevershoutnever!, We the Kings, and Forever the Sickest Kids. It was after seeing this show that I fell deeply in love with pop punk as a genre, and the reason why I will always associate FTSK with the beginning of my involvement in the scene. We all have that band that was our gateway. It pulled us away from top 40 hits or whatever our friends where listening to, and introduced us to a whole new world.
This past weekend was the South by So What?! Festival. If you have seen the line up, you might have been surprised to see Forever the Sickest Kids on the bill. After all, it has been almost four years since we’ve heard from the band. The group reunited for the Dallas festival along with one other show in Houston. This reunion was in celebration of the band’s first album, Underdog Alma Matter turning ten years old this year. I think we can all appreciate what a wonderful year 2007 was for the the pop punk scene, and getting to relive it for a night was euphoric for a pop punk lover, like myself.
Forever the Sickest Kids took the upstairs stage at White Oak Music Hall. Kyle Burns, the group’s drummer, played on a drum set that showed off his adorable puppy, Luna, on the base drum. Jonathan Cook sang from a microphone perched on his signature FTSK mic stand. The group played many of their classics from UAM but other favorites as well such as, Keep on Bringing Me Down and I Guess You Can Say Things are Getting Pretty Serious. A few songs into their set, FTSK addressed the rumors that had spread about the show being cancelled. The band clarified that they didn’t care if they got $0 for the show, as long as they got a chance to play again for their Houston fans for what might end up being one final time. It is great to hear when a band you care about cares so much about their fans and is not in the business for the money and glory.
FTSK showed their concern for their fans who could not be in attendance at the Houston show and asked the audience to live stream the rest of the show on Facebook or Instagram, so that those who could not be there could still see their performance. If you follow SupremeWave on Insta, maybe you caught a bit of our stream!
A little after half-way through their set, they asked, “What do y’all want us to play?” The response was a room full of various shouted song titles and the band playing Breakdown and an A cappella version of the first half of Coffee Break in what ended up being more of a singalong than an actual performance.
For their encore FTSK took a few suggestions from the audience once again, sang the opening line for each one, and the one with the biggest response was to be the last song. I requested What Do You Want From Me, but ultimately She’s a Lady won and was preformed as the very last song that FTSK would preform, if not for forever, then a very long time. Jonathan encouraged the fans to rush the stage and several of us climbed up to rock out with the band for that last song. The last song really brought the party vibes and we all danced and screamed the lyrics like it was the last time we ever would, because, well, it very well might have been. The best shows are the ones where it feels like a big dance party where everyone in the audience is thinking, “Oh! This is MY SONG! I’m going to give it everything I’ve got!”
At the end of the show the band offered all of their merch that was left for whatever price the fans wanted to pay, and if they didn’t have any money, it would be free, with Jonathan stating that he wanted everyone in that room going home with a shirt or a hoodie. While there were size limitations on what was left, many people left with their arms full of FTSK swag. After they had cleared the stage, every band member stuck around the venue to chat and take pictures with the fans. I was really impressed with how long they stayed around. They were all very sweet and genuine people.
Now the guys of FTSK live in different states all over the country and have started their own families and lives outside of the band. Jonathan Cook is married with a young son and now works in real estate. Austin Bello is married and works as a songwriter and producer. Caleb Turman is also married but I am not aware of what he does for a career. Kyle Burns is engaged to Mindy White, who used to be the vocalist in Lydia, an indie rock band that is a part of 8123, The Maine‘s management group that was created by the band.
Now that the boys seem to have officially closed the book on Forever the Sickest Kids and start the next part of their lives, we wish them nothing but happiness and success in their futures. Forever the Sickest Kids will always have a place in my heart and bring forth happy memories of how I got into and why I continue to love this genre that I hold so dear.