Set It Off Prove That They’re Ready To Fight For Something

Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset

Set It Off Prove That They’re Ready To Fight For Something

by Deanna Romani

Last year on March 17, I found myself in a biker bar with a camera, no real knowledge of how to use it, and I seeing a band I had no prior knowledge of.

This year on March 17, I was seeing the same band; my hair was tied up in a sloppy bun, I was clutching my my cell phone, jumping up and down in the crowd, and quite literally having the time of my life. It’s crazy how much can change in exactly one year.

Set It Off, a four piece theatrical pop-rock outfit from Tampa, FL, made their grand return to Arizona this past weekend at the Nile Theater in Mesa.  In the one year’s time, this band became one of my most-listened to on Spotify, had earned the spot of on my “life’s most essential albums list,” and became one of my absolute favorite live bands. So, what’s so special about them?

The four are currently on the Fight For Something Tour with pop punk powerhouses Tonight Alive, The Ready Set, and SayWeCanFly.  With a stacked tour lineup like that, Set It Off are the perfect addition to a tour already bursting at the seams with energy.

I wish I could pinpoint exactly who frontman Cody Carson reminds me of, but his sinister and crude stage persona is like no other. The lyrics he sings have always struck a chord with me since the second I heard them, and the entirety of their last record, Duality, describes my life and who I have become as a person over the past year. 

Subtly defined as “the boy band of the Warped Tour scene,” the four took the stage with Queen’s “We Will Rock You” blaring through the speakers.  The opening notes of the band’s newest single, “Uncontainable,” began to play, and the crowd went absolutely nuts. 

“Wake the f*ck up, Mesa!” Carson yelled, which was the perfect lead in to one of Duality’s singles, “Forever Stuck In Our Youth,” an anthem about being, well, stuck in your youth.

“Ancient History” was next (which, by the way, has an extremely aesthetically pleasing music video) and no other term besides what Carson said the first time I saw them live describes it best: it’s about sex with your ex. The crowd mimicked the band’s movements as guitarist Dan Clermont ripped a sick guitar solo towards the end of the song, which had the entire venue swaying along to the beat.

More songs from Duality dominated the 13-song setlist, including the acoustic “Wild Wild World,” which they debuted on Warped Tour last summer. 

“I want to live in a world were people don’t look at other people as just people,” Carson said. “And you don’t have to f*cking agree. But all you gotta do for these next three minutes is just listen.”

After “Wild Wild World” came “Dream Catcher” and its sequel, “Tomorrow.” During the latter, Carson joined the audience by walking on top of the crowd & crowdsurfing back up to the stage. After the song ended, a girl in the front had fallen down and couldn’t get back up, so he made the crowd part in the middle so he could come down & help her with help of security. I’ve unfortunately been to a lot of shows where people have gotten hurt, but the way the four guys in the band cared about her well-being during the incident was something I hadn’t seen before.

“Bad Guy” was dedicated to the girl, and the crowd slowly began to recover and pick the vibe back up after witnessing what had happened.

My personal favorite moment was finally hearing “Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing” live, which is a song I’ve always associated with one specific person in my life.  Absolutely crazy is the only way I can define that song & it’s lyrics, especially live.

The gospel-inspired “Why Worry” ended their set, which brought the crowd closer than before. Everyone mocked the moves from the music video, and it was as if we were in a church and Carson was our preacher.

If you haven’t taken the time out to check out Set It Off, I highly recommend doing so. And band that transfers an album perfectly to a live show is worth being listened to, and they will forever be one of my favorite bands to see perform live, whether they’re headlining or not.


  • Uncontainable (live debut)
  • Forever Stuck In Our Youth
  • Ancient History
  • The Haunting
  • N.M.E. 
  • Bleak December
  • Wild Wild World
  • Dream Catcher
  • Tomorrow
  • Bad Guy
  • Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing
  • Duality
  • Why Worry