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Arm’s Length Brings ‘The Wax Bodega Tour’ To Florida

In the summer of 2023, I watched Arm’s Length open for Heart Attack Man at The Orpheum in Tampa, Florida. The band had released their debut album, Never Before Seen, Never Again Found, about eight months before and I was (and still am) completely enamored by it. This was the first ever chance I had to catch this band live and I was more than willing to battle the traffic and my work schedule to make the trek from Orlando to do just that. Even if it was only for a 20 minute set.

The band took the stage to a large, but unfamiliar audience. As I sang along with maybe six other people, I remembered thinking that it was only a matter of time before I would stand in this room and be able to sing these songs alongside many more voices.

When Arm’s Length announced that they would be embarking on their very own headlining tour, I was looking forward to a longer set and the much anticipated addition of the band’s anthemic album closer, “Dirge,” to the setlist, of course. But the band had sweetened the deal even more, announcing that they were bringing along labelmates Carly Cosgrove and Ben Quad, as well as Saturdays At Your Place. Four of emo and pop punk’s heaviest hitting rising stars, wrapped up in the most perfect package and given the moniker of ‘The Wax Bodega Tour.’

On top of all of that, there were two dates in Florida. I immediately planned my life around making it to both of those dates and patiently waited for April to roll around.

Being a Floridian fan of smaller bands from other parts of the country can be tough. We are overlooked on national tour routing considerably more often than our northern neighbors in Atlanta. Many tours that do book here may only be in the state for one night, causing a mass migration of dedicated fans from all corners of the peninsula. It’s understandable that it may be difficult to plan the logistics of getting down to the Sunshine State, but don’t mistake our distance for disinterest.

Despite a last-minute venue change to a much larger room, the tour’s stop in Orlando found itself a line down the block by the time doors opened. The Beacham, Downtown Orlando’s historic theater turned nightclub/beloved music venue, filled out quickly in time for Saturdays At Your Place and Ben Quad to kick off the night.

Carly Cosgrove, who I am convinced will be headlining their own Wax Bodega tour in no time, kept the crowd’s momentum going. The band is one you can dance along with or finger point to, sometimes a little of both at the same time. Their second LP, The Cleanest of Houses Are Empty, will make its debut on June 14 and they treated fans to a performance of the album’s first single, “You Old Dog” all tour long.

Then it was time for Arm’s Length to bring their personal brand of devastating nostalgia to the stage. From the first note of the band’s powerful opener, “Overture,” the crowd was ready to let loose. The audience’s voices echoed through the air with every song, from the B-Side “Up In Smoke” to classic fan favorites off the band’s first EP like “Garamond.”

The next day, I found myself back at The Orpheum once again. My prediction from last summer was about to come true less than a year later. There was an even bigger line than Orlando’s wrapped around the building by doors.

As I watched the bands power through their sets for the second night in a row, surrounded by a dense and enthusiastic audience, I was proud of my state for packing out these venues. It’s always validating to hear artists express that while they might not have been sure about touring certain parts of Florida at first, they now know we will always show up for them.

Then it truly hit me that I had just sung along with six people to this band as an opener only last summer and now I was in this crowd that all stuck around to scream, cry, and crowdsurf to these magnificent songs. I could see a shift in Arm’s Length’s popularity online this year, but seeing it in person was an emotional experience.

The historic, almost completely sold out Wax Bodega tour has now come to the end of its six week run. If you missed out, be sure to show Saturdays At Your Place, Ben Quad, Carly Cosgrove, and Arm’s Length all the love next time they’re in a city near you.

Saturdays At Your Place

Ben Quad

Carly Cosgrove

Arm's Length

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