Rebirth and Old Hopes Realized
Some of us who fall in the Millennial generation will remember a time roughly 12 years ago in which rock and pop punk were the cool music subcultures to identify with. New music was discovered and spread through sources like Myspace and Hot Topic, Youtube still only had support for 240p videos, and Tumblr was but a fetus. One of the big names in this era was the band Meg & Dia, fronted by the eponymous sisters. With hit rock songs like Monster, Roses, and Black Wedding that became the anthems of “emo” teens everywhere, as well as with their clever and delightfully cryptic songwriting inspired by literature, Meg & Dia distinguished themselves in an otherwise rather homogeneous music scene.
You can read more about the band’s journey and eventual breakup here. I actually didn’t get fully into their music until college, at which point they had already broken up, but their songs were tracks that I would always go back to and never tire of. I remember thinking how great it would have been to see them live in their heyday at something like Warped Tour, playing the songs that I loved so much.
I kept up with Dia’s musical endeavors post-breakup, and I always admired her creativity, determination, and work ethic. In 2016, I got in touch with her in an effort to get her on my DISCOURSE project here on the blog. Unfortunately it didn’t work out because that project required me to meet with the subject in person, and she wasn’t planning to be in the Bay Area at that time, but she did say that she was open to meeting up in the future, which happened when I visited LA in 2018, and she was even more sweet and gracious in person.
While we were hanging out, I wanted to express my appreciation for the band’s music and just how much their old songs impacted me, but I didn’t want to be yet another old fan keeping her in the past instead of embracing what she was doing in the present. So instead, I focused the article she wrote and asked her if anything had changed for her in the two years since she had published those thoughts. You can read her response here. Little did I know that at that same time, something new was in the works.
Fast forward to Spring 2019. I saw on social media that Meg & Dia announced that they would be joining the Disrupt Tour during the summer. This was my chance to fulfill my dream. The closest Disrupt show to me that they’d be at was San Diego, and I seriously considered making a trip down there just for their set. However, soon after, they announced that they would be joining the Warped Tour 25th Anniversary in Mountain View, which was a much better option for me. On that day, they played all of their biggest hits from back in the day. I left feeling like I could die happy, because after all, that was all that I had wanted and my wish came true.
I thought that the summer appearances were a one-time nostalgia reunion for them, but, in what was the biggest plot twist of the year for me, I woke up on the morning of July 26th, checked Facebook, and saw that Meg & Dia’s official announcement that not only were they were back together, but they had released a new album that they had been working on in secret for the past year. Not even a release date announcement, but the actual release. Somebody pinch me please. That album turned out to be a breath of fresh air. Even though it wasn’t their old rock sound that I loved so much (especially because I play guitar), it felt very mature and just right for 2019. The intelligent songwriting was still present, and the instrumentation, arrangement, and production sounded really slick. On top of that, they announced that they were going on tour to promote the album, with one date being in SF.
I was able to meet up with the sisters when they came to SF and do a quick shoot with them around the venue in Hayes Valley after their soundcheck and before the sun went down. We had to work quickly to catch the fading light, but luckily, Hayes Valley has a few good spots to shoot.
After that, because their set wasn’t scheduled to start until super late, we got to hang out during the down time, during which I got to hear more about what they’ve been up to, and get a glimpse of what tour life is like. I already knew Dia a bit from the time I got to spend with her last year, but this time I got to know Meg as well. Both of them are among the most gracious, hardworking, easygoing, and genuine people I’ve ever met.
When they did go on, they were greeted by an extremely enthusiastic crowd, many of whom had been waiting for hours (Over 8 years, really, for this moment). They played a 90-minute set full of new songs as well as classics, with plenty of good-natured interactions with the audience between songs. Both Dia and Meg shared from the heart about how it’s never too late for new beginnings, and to always maintain a hopeful, brave, we-can-do-anything attitude and drive more commonly found in youthfulness.
It was a really special night, so many emotions and positive vibes. Thanks so much to Meg and Dia for being so open and friendly, and for putting on a killer performance. Their new album Happysad is available on all platforms now.