Hot Topic and Warped Tour: Revisiting the Music of Your Adolescence


Everyone goes through an awkward phase. It begins in middle school and lingers in malls across America. To see for yourself, visit your local Hot Topic or stop by the Warped Tour. However, one of the most defining traits of this phase is musical exploration. When I listen to the music I loved when I was 15, I get an overwhelming rush of nostalgia. I was obsessed with Punk and Emo music. I listened to bands scream their feelings about anything and everything. I remember feeling as though I were there with the singer, and we were pouring our emotions into a three minute song. The emotions running through a 15-year-old’s head are tumultuous to say the least. It is an age of rapid change. Puberty causes hormones to go into overdrive. And the outlet most often used to release these emotions is music.  As for walking around the mall in groups, well, that’s beside the point.

There is a quote from one of my favorite movies, Safety Not Guaranteed, which sums up what it is like to listen to your old music. “It's that time and that place and that song, and you remember what it was like when you were in that place. And then you listen to that song, and you know you're not in that place anymore, and it makes you feel hollow. You can't just go find that stuff again.”

I encourage you to go back through your old CD collection or MP3 files. It feels oddly full circle; I am not the same person I was when this song meant so much to me. I am different but the song isn’t. It is a pretty powerful feeling.

Here are some songs from bands I loved back in middle and high school:


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What We ThinkJason Hammett