This past Sunday was a pretty special one — to say the least. And for once, I’m definitely not talking about how I dressed for Sunday brunch. It was an early, bright and sunny weekend day as I trekked out of NYC — first to Philadelphia, then to nearby Camden (that’s New Jersey) — for the Radio 104.5 Birthday Celebration , headlined by none other than … The Killers. As we all know, we here at The Style Guide can never pass up a brilliant show — and by we, I mean me. Why the quick trip and the multi-state trek? The headlining act says it all — but the one-day mini-festival, much like Governors Ball 2017, was packed with a plethora of other worthwhile, fun and enjoyable acts (from Foster the People to Bleachers). Of course, prime music festival style was in order. Undeniably though, the main attraction was one of the most extraordinary bands of this generation, The Killers. Having seen them at Governors Ball 2016, I thought I was ready for it — does anything really prepare you to hear songs you’ve loved for half your life, though? For the occasion, I certainly had to take along a few choice #menswear pieces — and my air guitar (… and my air drums). Of course, that journey was preceded by a stylish weekend in Brooklyn, too. So, strike up the band, cue up “A Dustland Fairytale” and let’s hit the road.
To prep for my trip while staying productive, I trekked to a favorite Brooklyn haunt on Saturday — the rugged, well-appointed and tranquil Upstate Stock in Williamsburg. From breezy days off to sunny Sunday afternoons to a Fourth of July weekend visit last summer, I can never resist the excellent iced coffee, handsomely designed menswear and crisp home goods on display at one of my favorite shops in the city. For an afternoon 0f blogging — and a mix of comfort and laidback style — I teamed the USA-made Simon Versus Rotterdam T-Shirt with my stretchy, athleisure-inspired Influencer Stretch Twill Pants from Kit Culture. Seeing as I also took the chinos on a February trip to New Haven to see Young the Giant, it was fitting that I broke them out this weekend. When rolled up, I was able to easily slip on my new, neatly designed Blu Kicks Cali Bear Slip-ons — they personify laidback cool and West Coast vibes, something that can be hard to channel in NYC from time to time. I matched up the ensemble with my equally laidback Electric California Leadbelly Sunglasses, a perfect (and California-centric) complement to the look. As always, my LSTN. Sound Co. Fillmore Headphones from the terrific Bespoke Post Vibes Box helped me prep for Sunday’s festival with both style and excellent audio quality.
Sunday brought with it an early train ride out of the city (and a much-needed stop for a delicious pick-me-up at Rival Bros. Coffee in Philadelphia) before venturing across the Delaware River to the BB&T Pavilion. To haul my everyday carry, I toted along my Graf Lantz Traveller Bag and Owen and Fred Flight Brief for the occasion — per usual, both proved sturdy and sleek. For comfort and style, it was tough to beat my Florsheim Forward Lo Lace-ups. They combined the slick look of a dress shoe with the comfort of sneaker — they were versatile and comfortable for getting to the train, getting to Philly and jamming out to the extraordinary rock of The Killers! And my well-made Bridge and Burn Outsider Tee combined comfortable fabric with the simplicity of a classic black tee — ideal for a rock show. That one-two punch was nicely accented by slim Mott and Bow denim — always a favorite. And sharp Component gunmetal sunglasses added a bit of flair to the look, while my rough-and-tumble Timex Waterbury Chronograph Diver stood up to a busy Sunday of great music. For your next mini-festival, bring along similar essentials — a classic black tee, slim denim and leather sneakers are all great places to start.
With a bustling day of live music ahead of me, I hopped across the river in anticipation of a stellar day of live music at the neatly designed BB&T Pavilion. It was a day of firsts — my first time seeing the energetic pop of Foster the People — and “seconds,” as it were (my second time in about a week seeing the ’80s-inflected rock of Bleachers). And with the sun high in the sky and a buzzing crowd building, fun acts like ARIZONA — recent NYC openers for indie pop phenom COIN — got the crowd moving and on their feet. That’s where my Florsheim Forward Lo Lace-ups came in handy, of course. With two festivals under my belt in about a week — including the incredible Governors Ball in NYC — I felt more than prepped for a mind-blowing set from The Killers. Boy, did they deliver.
It felt like a long build-up toward the highlight of the day, for sure. With a prime spot in the third row (a very lucky, unexpected and timely ticket grab), I felt almost too close to this remarkable band, their remarkable energy and the unmatched showmanship & stellar voice of Mr. Brandon Flowers (a true hero of mine — and quite the stylish fella, if we’re keeping score).
Once that band gets on a roll — essentially, right from the instantly recognizable opening notes of “Mr. Brightside” — they simply can’t be stopped. It’s nothing short of pure joy to hear them power through hits and crowd favorites, song after song after son. They’ve got a TON of ’em, from the joyous dance rock groove of “Spaceman” to the driving surge of “For Reasons Unknown,” the Springsteen-esque flair of “Runaways,” the powerful “Read My Mind,” the poignancy of “A Dustland Fairytale,” the sharp groove of “Somebody Told Me” — and that barely scratches the surface. “Smile Like You Mean It” brought the crowd to its feet, and “All These Things That I’ve Done” drew a wildly enthusiastic response — at least, from what I could see through my tears of sheer joy! Sunday night also saw the debut of a new track, the Springsteen-inflected “Run For Cover,” a thrilling, driving song the band originally wrote for 2008’s “Day and Age.” It’s a hit in the making, trust me.
I simply can’t say enough about this remarkable band — they’re truly a must-see, and a generational wonder at that. I didn’t want the night to end — and yet, it wrapped up too soon.
As always seems to be the case with a busy weekend of live music, time flies by too quickly — that’s equally true whether I’m exploring Brooklyn and checking out a show at Brooklyn Steel or trekking down to Camden and Philadelphia. So, with quick-moving, office-friendly style in mind, I’m dressing to look sharp on this particular Monday (I’m planning on listening to The Killers all day via my Bespoke Post Vibes Box, of course). For work style to beat the heat, I threw on a casual, cool and comfortable GANT Rugger Indigo Oxford Striped Shirt. Your classic Oxford shirt, this is not — it’s better, thanks to the breezy fit and indigo dye. It’s a nice complement to my Johnston and Murphy Slim-Fit Garment-Washed Chinos. Just like my Taylor Stitch Slim Stone Chinos, they’re a nice change of pace from your everyday pair of khaki chinos, and they’ve proved a dressy-yet-versatile move alongside my classic Astorflex Greenflex Suede Chukkas. You might recognize ’em from a recent Style Pick of the Week entry, and I can’t recommend their blend of comfort, sustainability and style enough. When worn with my rugged (yet office-appropriate) Timex Waterbury Chronograph, I’d wager that’s a winning combo head-to-toe. The next time you dress for the office in the heat, look for breezy shirting, slim chinos and versatile, stylish suede chukkas.
To say the least, there’s definitely a lot to be done at my day job on Monday — and yet, I’ll be carried through today (and this week … and maybe the rest of the year?) by happy, joyous memories of the amazing show put on by The Killers. Once — even twice — simply isn’t enough when it comes to seeing this exceptional band. I definitely consider myself lucky to have seen both times, and I’ve got a third show in my sights when they come around. Of course, I’ll have to refresh myself when it comes to how to dress for a rock concert, and I’d advise you do the same. Again, never pass up the chance to see one of your favorite bands — even if it means hopping a train to Philly and a ferry to New Jersey. For now — thanks for reading, come back tomorrow for our next #OOTD entry, and we’ll see you down in front.