Modern Nostalgia · Music Monday · Nostalgia

Nostalgia Overload | The Midnight Concert at The Bluebird Theater, Denver

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We first posted about the awesome synthwave band, The Midnight, in our post, 21 New Songs That Totally Sound Like They’re From the 1980’s. We shared “Sunset—the band’s tribute to anyone wanting to break free from the shackles of their home town and leave with their love, never to look back.

The music is pure synthesizer-infused 80’s nostalgia—you wouldn’t guess that it was released in 2016. But its retro layered synthesizers and chorus-laden guitars atop electronic drums will take you back to a simpler, less polarized world. The music is happy, hopeful, and honest (despite being an illusory trip back to the 80’s).

The band, formed by singer-songwriter Tyler Lyle and Danish-born producer Tim McEwan, is now a handful of shows into the North American leg of its tour.  The Midnight is supporting the release of its new album, Kids, which should not disappoint fans of this band and the synthwave genre. Although a few have lamented in various Instagram comments about the lack of saxophone and the shorter length of the album, as well as lodged other complaints, one Instagram fan, cyber.soho, disagreed:

“In my opinion this hit the mark with the concept of being a kid, hanging out in the mall, all riding bikes to your friend’s house . . .”

The band itself responded: “themidnightofficial @cyber.soho you get it.”

For those fans who are sad about the lack of saxophone on the Kids album, I recommend you buy tickets to the band’s next show (if you can get them—their shows are sold out you’ll likely have to go the secondary market route). You will hear some of the best 80’s-inspired saxophone—and a lot of it.

The Midnight Concert | The Bluebird Theater, Denver, Colorado

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The Midnight played to a sold-out crowd at the historical Denver venue, The Bluebird Theater, on September 22, and by all accounts, they did not disappoint.
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Opening the concert with “Youth”, the intro track on the Kids album, led—as it does on the album—right into “Wave”, a nostalgically-melodic tune that highlights Tyler Lyles’ easy, accessible vocals (with the ironically non-nostalgic line, “We are not a sentimental age.”)  The capacity crowd cheered them into their next song, “Lost Boy”, one of their current singles—an airy 80’s ballad that will definitely take you to that heart-pounding love you felt when you looked into the eyes of your crush.

Ahh, youth.

Honestly, there is something so familiar about this music, especially, perhaps, for those of us who grew up in the 80’s. The Midnight’s melodies and moods, with Tim McEwan‘s production talents, embrace you in a comfortable connection to your past.

Yes, please.

Tyler and the band then took it back to their early beginnings with the driving beats of “Gloria”, with its crowd-pleasing—and singable—chorus:

Oh, Gloria
I feel so much better
I feel so much better today
And it’s not the drugs
And it’s not the weather
I just feel so much better today

The similarly energetic title track of its 2014 debut EP—Days of Thunder—kept the crowd moving. An unexpected highlight followed as the band began playing the Don Henley hit, “Boys of Summer”, garnering cheers, whoops, and whistles. And of course, everyone in The Bluebird knew the lyrics. The Midnight did an admirable job on this classic cover, and it was the perfect selection to accompany the band’s sound.

They then moved through a series of crowd-pleasing songs from their earlier albums, the instrumental sounds of “Nocturnal”/“Collateral”, the pulsating “Shadows”, moody “Crystalline”, feel-good (and one of my favorites) “The Comeback Kid”, and city-gritty “Vampires”.

Lots of saxophone solos.

Lots of 80’s feels.

Back to the Kids album, the band played “America 2”, a song with an uber-nostalgic sound. Tyler Lyle has one of those voices that makes you feel like you’ve heard it a long time ago. He sounds a lot like Sam Bentley from The Paper Kites—especially his vocals on the twelvefour album. I think both Sam and Tyler would take that as a compliment.

The Midnight ended its set with “Los Angeles”, another supremely nostalgia-driven song from its Days of Thunder album. It’s the brand’s “love letter” anthem to living in L.A.:

Flickers of the canyon fire
Its hands raised like a gospel choir
If we live forever, let us live forever tonight

Helicopters against moonlight
Our holy mother of the midnight
And if we live forever, let us live forever tonight

It was a perfect “ending,” with The Bluebird crowd singing along, who—as you might have guessed—went wild as the band left the stage. Five-hundred plus people can make a lot of noise when they want more music, and the band was soon back on stage to preform their expected encore, starting with “Lost and Found”, the official remix of Lost & Found from Tyler Lyle’s album The Native Genius of Desert Plants.

The Midnight knows how to please its fans from beginning to end, and of course, ended the show with “Sunset” (as you can see, the music inspires a plethora of fan-made videos featuring 80’s movies). Anyone who grew up in the 80’s—or anyone who loves 80’s music and movies—cannot help but be drawn into that song’s buoyant expression of hopefulness. Watching The Midnight perform, it was clear they love what they do, they love their music, they love the 80’s, they love their fans, and they understand the power of nostalgia.

So when the last notes of “Sunset” faded and the house lights came up, I was saddened there wasn’t just one more song. One more song to keep us there for another four or five minutes. One more song to keep us all suspended in an alternate world of optimism, togetherness, and positivity.

Because unless you are living under a rock, the “real world” seems to be sorely lacking in all of those things. The Midnight fans standing shoulder-to-shoulder in The Bluebird on September 22 were lucky enough to witness a transformative concert and remove themselves from the real world for a couple hours. They were there together, each one optimistic and positive, and each one celebrating the past to make better days today.

We here at The Nostalgia Diaries are still applauding.


Do you like new songs that sound old? Check out our 19 New Songs That Sound Vintage and Sounds Old to Me: 19 More New Songs with a Vintage, Throwback Vibe

steveSteve is a lawyer, writer, and the lucky father of three amazing boys. Here at The Nostalgia Diaries, his goal is to help readers focus on the important things, and wants everyone to celebrate the past to create better days today.


Like what you just read? Sign up for our newsletter and never miss a post!

At The Nostalgia Diaries, our goal is to help you simplify, enhance, and engage your lives by focusing on the most important things: remembering, appreciating, believing, and becoming. It’s all about celebrating the past to create better days today.

P.S. Don’t forget to follow our colorful, creative spaces on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. We’re fun and happy and whimsical and nostalgic over there, too. Pinky swear.

Childhood · Nostalgia · Parenting · Stories

In the Circus of Life, Let Us Remember Love

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The lights dim, and the first preview lights up the screen. Next to us, the speakers shake with war sounds, and in front of us, large, scary men clad in all black seem to be lunging our way.

Out of the corner of my eye, I see my daughter’s face. Zoey’s eyes are clouded with concern as she burrows her chin down into her coat. For a little girl who really doesn’t like movies, I wonder if bringing her to this show will leave her scarred for life.

* * *

After stumbling across The Greatest Showman soundtrack and listening to its catchy, joyful, life-affirming tunes, I knew I needed to see the movie. And when I put it on in the car one morning as I drove Zoey to school—and she knew most of the lyrics to This is Me by the time we arrived—I knew we needed to go see it.

Yet I was hesitant about the idea. Although she’s almost seven, Zoey and I have never been to a movie together. Even talk of going to one makes her panic a little, her response always the same, “But movies scare me. Do we really have to? Can’t I just watch something on my Kindle?” Her reaction to seeing movies has always surprised me, as I use to love going to them as a child.

But this time was different. When I asked if she’d like to go, she offered up a resounding ‘yes’.

* * *

Thankfully, after the previews end and the movie starts, Zoey perks up. She watches the whole thing, barely blinking, enthralled by the story. I’m sure it helps that there are exotic animals and choreographed dances and—of course—scenes filled with the music she has grown to know and love over the past few days, but even so, I’m still amazed at her entrancement.

As we leave the theater, Zoey twirls and leaps beside me, pretending she is the trapeze artist who gracefully and bravely flew through the air into her partner’s waiting arms.

She’s working on story comprehension in school, so I toss out the question that seems to be commonplace these days:

“So what was that about, Zoey?”

“Love,” she quickly responds.

Before I can agree, she continues her answer.

“I mean, the guy and that girl do get together, and Barnum goes back to his family at the end, but it’s not a love story,” she clarifies. “It’s more of a love lesson.”

I stop walking and turn toward Zoey, the early afternoon sun causing me to blink as I look her way.

“How so?” I ask, my curiosity getting the better of me. 

“Well,” Zoey replies. “I think it’s trying to remind us that if you surround yourself with everything you love, happiness will find you.”

It seems the movie has left no scars, just a perfect pearl of beautiful Zoey wisdom. I smile, breathing a sigh of relief, as I bend down and pull her in for a hug.

“Yes, Zoey,” I say. “You’re right. Just like love and happiness have found me, right here, wrapped up with you.”

* * *

Later that night, as I lay next to Zoey as she slips into sleep, I think about her take away from the movie and the lyrics to one of its main songs, a song that is in both the opening and closing scenes:

It’s everything you ever want
It’s everything you ever need
And it’s here right in front of you
This is where you wanna be

And there in the dark, listening to Zoey’s soft breath, feeling her damp hair splayed out on my chest, I can’t help but think of the heart-wrenching happiness I feel right here, right now. It’s always in moments like these—and like the one we experienced in the parking lot earlier—where everything else seems so much less important. All the money in the world? Who cares. A big house, a fancy car, or expensive toys? Totally not necessary. All the things considered luxuries? Don’t really need them.

It’s simple, really—a lesson so obvious that even a six-year-old could find it hidden within the bright lights and vibrant colors and hear it tucked away in the words of a few amazingly produced songs:

Be with the people you love.
Live a life you love.
Love who you are.
Do everything with love.

In this crazy circus of life,
if we just remember to simply choose love,
we will have everything important.

We will have everything we ever really need.

* * *

IMG_2580Just like P.T. Barnum did in The Greatest Showman, this sweet little girl of mine has a million dreams about living a life surrounded by all the things she loves. I’m equal parts proud and honored to introduce you to something Zoey is simply in love with, her own little corner of the internet, The Zoey Chronicles. She’s beyond excited about this little project of hers, which we created to help her learn how to type, become a writer, and most importantly, follow her little heart and live a life that is authentically hers. Check it out here, and while you’re at it, maybe leave a comment or like. She’ll probably love you forever for it, and perhaps along the way, she’ll teach you a lesson or two. I can practically guarantee it, as she’s done it here time and time again.


coreyCorey is a writer, graphic designer, and mom to her amazing daughter, Zoey. Here at The Nostalgia Diaries, her goal is to simplify, enhance, and engage people’s lives by helping them focus on the most important things: remembering, appreciating, believing, and becoming. It’s all about celebrating the past to create better days today.


Like what you just read? Sign up for our newsletter and never miss a post!

At The Nostalgia Diaries, our goal is to help you simplify, enhance, and engage your lives by focusing on the most important things: remembering, appreciating, believing, and becoming. It’s all about celebrating the past to create better days today.

P.S. Don’t forget to follow our colorful, creative spaces on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. We’re fun and happy and whimsical and nostalgic over there, too. Pinky swear.

Childhood · Nostalgia · Stories

Week 52: Back to the Heart of it All | Everyday Nostalgia

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My daughter, Zoey, rests her forehead against the Plexiglas pane of the plane window beside her. Outside, the air is frigid, causing each tiny breath she exhales to leave a piece of itself behind. As if by magic—and much to Zoey’s delight—small, white halos crystallize before her eyes, only to fade as quickly as they’ve appeared.

This simple wonder keeps her occupied, helping the minutes pass, until the engine of the plane rumbles, announcing that our departure will soon take place.

At the sound, Zoey turns to me, her eyes dancing.

“We’re almost there!” she announces in a voice loud enough that surely all the other passengers can hear.

I can’t help but smile.

“Really?” I ask, pointing to the unmoving ground outside the window. “How’s that possible? We haven’t even left yet!”

She gives me a look that suggests I have absolutely no clue what I’m talking about. Continue reading “Week 52: Back to the Heart of it All | Everyday Nostalgia”

Childhood · Nostalgia · Stories

Week 51: Just One More, Mommy | Everyday Nostalgia

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The street lamp outside my window is casting forth just enough light for me to make out the edges of my mother’s face. Her broad, high cheekbones curve down toward her chin, and her strong, straight nose slices across the darkness of my room.

Moments before, she closed our last book of the night and switched off my lamp, and now here she is, laying beside me, her fingers tracing shapes on my back, her quiet voice telling me a story.

Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Corey…

From my spot on the bed, in the dim light, I can faintly see the pictures hanging on the wall across from us. My eyes settle on the one with the small, wooden frame, the one that holds tiny words written in pastel, cross-stitched threads:

Cleaning and scrubbing can wait ’til tomorrow,
For babies grow up we’ve learned to our sorrow,
So quiet down cobwebs and dust go to sleep,
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.

Though I’m still little, I am old enough to know what the saying means: These moments won’t last so it’s best we hold them close. Continue reading “Week 51: Just One More, Mommy | Everyday Nostalgia”

Childhood · Nostalgia · Stories

Week 50: The Priceless Pursuit of Passion | Everyday Nostalgia

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It’s Sunday morning, and my family and I are saddled up to the counter at the Waffle House. I’m seven years old, watching our waitress in silent wonder. I love the spotlessness of her crisp, white outfit, amazed that there are no stains on it given the mess of food she’s surrounded by. With every order she takes, her smile doesn’t leave her face, and with every order she expertly serves, her gracefulness never seems to waver.

When she places our food in front of us—waffles, of course—she looks at me, her eyes twinkling.

“Y’all enjoy your food now, all right?”

I smile back at her and nod, thinking about how kind and pretty she is. I think about how happy she must make people, serving up filling, comforting food for their hungry bellies.

In that moment, I decide that when I grow up, I want to be just like her. Continue reading “Week 50: The Priceless Pursuit of Passion | Everyday Nostalgia”