Here's the second chapter. The All Time Low songs featured in this chapter are from their new album, Last Young Renegade and the songs are: "Last Young Renegade," "Nightmares," and "Good Times." I do not own any of these songs or the show Riverdale. I hope you guys enjoy this and please comment your thoughts.
The day had finally come. The day of the North Side battle of the bands. If he had to admit it, Kevin was a bit nervous. He had never really played in front of his friends before, except for the night that Archie and Moose had stumbled upon him and his band at the Whyte Wyrm. He had practiced for this for a long time. They won the South Side Battle of the Bands two years in a row and they had played multiple shows in other states. The Renegades had a pretty good following, but this was different for Kevin. More personal. They were playing a song tonight that meant a lot to him and may mean something to the people of Riverdale.
"You ready for this?" Alex asked as he walked up to Kevin. Kevin turned and looked at him.
Kevin took a deep breath then answered, "Yeah." He smiled a small smile at Alex.
"You're gonna be great, Kev. I may shit on you for all the times you made us practice, but, to be honest, I'm actually glad you did. We're good. You're good." Alex patted Kevin on the shoulder and smiled reassuringly. Kevin looks up and smiled gratefully at Alex. "Thanks, Alex. I appreciate that."
Looking over Alex's shoulder, Kevin could see the rest of the band warming up and looking over to his left he could see his dad walking over to them. "Hey Sheriff Keller!" Alex said.
"Hello, Alex," Sheriff Keller said back with a nod in his direction.
Alex excused himself as the sheriff walked over to them and placed his hands on Kevin's shoulders. "How're you feeling, son?" Kevin looked down and too the side with wide eyes. "To be honest, dad? A bit nervous," He looked up at his dad. "I just don't want to screw this up. It means a lot. I want to win this for us."
"Kev, you guys are good. The entire female population of South Side High is out there to support you guys and bunch of the South Side Serpent are here," He took his hands of Kevin's shoulders and folded them across his chest. "Joaquin is here. He's excited to see you play. I am too. You're friends are going to support you, Kev. You guys are good." Kevin had ended up telling his dad about Joaquin a few days after the Whyte Wyrm incident.
"Thanks Sheriff!" Alex said cheekily as he passed by. Kevin and his dad chuckled softly. "Thanks, Dad."
"No problem, Kev. I'm gonna go get a seat."
"Okay." With that the Sheriff walked off and back out into the audience to get a good seat.
Kevin went back to his thoughts as he waited for the show to start. He had already tuned his guitar, but he was going check it again later right before they went on to make sure it was still tuned. Waiting to perform was always nerve wracking, no matter how times he had been in this position. He kept thinking, however, how his dad told him Joaquin was out there. Kevin knew his boyfriend was there because he had texted him when he got there and even came back stage to give him a good luck kiss. Kevin was glad that Joaquin was there. It made this whole situation a little less nerve wracking knowing that his boyfriend supported him. It also helped that their South Side High fans and even the South Side Serpents were there to show them support.
At that moment the mayor walked on the stage and thanked everyone for coming out to support the various acts of the night and the show began. With each act going on, Kevin started to feel a bit more at ease. He knew that the Pussy Cats were going to close the show, because they won last year, but The Renegades were playing a few sets before them and that was there shot to blow everyone away.
Kevin also wondered how everyone would react to his outfit of choice tonight. It was a little different than what his friends were used to seeing him dressed in. He was wearing black skinny jeans, a white Deathly Hallows muscle tee, and back Toms. The act before the Renegades was on and Kevin, Alex, and Casper checked that there instruments were tune one more time. The Mayor was on stage announcing their band and the guys stood in a huddle and gave each other a quick pep talk and then they walked on stage.
The lights on the stage were bright and Kevin was a little grateful because it kept him from seeing the crowd properly. As he got to the center of the stage, right in front of the microphone, it was like all his worries and nervousness went away. He was in his element, the whole band was in their element and they were ready for this.
"Hello, Riverdale!" Kevin said into the microphone with a huge smile on his face. "We are The Renegades and we have a few songs for you, if that's okay?" He smiled out at the crowd as the fans from the Whyte Wyrm whooped and hollered.
"This first song is Last Young Renegade." With that he started playing the fist chords and the rest of the band kicked in. The pre chorus and the chorus was Kevin's favorite part of the song because it reminded him a lot of summer and love that was lost but was found again.
You said you're sick and tired of it, it
But I need you morning, night, and day
I miss you every single way-ay-ay
We said forever but forever wouldn't wait for us
You were my last young renegade heartache
It only took one night
Caught in the eye of a hurricane, darling
We had to say goodbye
I want to know that you're somewhere out there
Somewhere down this road
You were my last young renegade heartache
How could I let you, how could I let you go?
The song ended and Kevin felt that it was executed perfectly. He looked at the rest of his band while the crowd clapped. Once the crowd died down, Kevin felt he should introduce the band, considering he heard a few "Is that Kevin?" when he first walked on stage. "My name is Kevin. That's Alex on lead guitar," He pointed to his right, "Casper on bass," He pointed to his left, "And, "Caleb on drums. This next song is gonna be a little darker, so bare with us."
With that they started in on the next song. This song was a bit darker than the stuff they usually wrote, but it was important that they play it tonight. It was a song that no one from the North Side had heard, aside from the sheriff, but it was important for them all to hear. The verse's were a little haunting but Kevin sang the chorus with the emotion of a scared child.
Now there's a ghost in the back of this room
And I don't like it
I fall asleep with my covers pulled up
And try to fight it
I gotta say it's hard to be brave
When you're alone in the dark
I told myself that I wouldn't be scared
But I'm still having nightmares
I'm still having nightmares (but I'm still having nightmares)
This song was a song that Kevin wrote right after finding Jason's body. How Jason must have felt to want to run away. How Kevin had wanted to run away multiple times before as well. Maybe the two of them weren't that different after all. Kevin had always thought that they had nothing in common, but they wanted run form something. Something made Jason want to run away; something awful had gotten him killed. What was it? Kevin didn't know. The image of Jason's dead body still haunted him sometimes when he closed his eyes and he hoped that writing and playing this song would help him to move on. He hoped playing it in front of his classmates would help him most of all.
Thinking about the demons Jason had made Kevin think of his own demons. His mother didn't like that he was gay and left him and his father because of it. It was something that Kevin thought didn't bother him anymore, but he was quick to find out that it still did. He thought he pushed those memories away, but they crawled back and haunting him in a way they didn't before.
When the song had finished, it was quiet for a beat before the entire audience was up on their feet clapping and hollering for this band. Kevin knew this song would have a strong impact, but he didn't think it would be that big. If he was honest with himself, he felt a huge weight lifted off his shoulders when he was done singing. Looking out into the crowd, he spotted a familiar mop of black hair and Kevin when saw Joaquin clapping and cheering for him, it made his heart swell and a lump form in his throat. Swallowing the lump he looked over at his band mates and gave them a huge grin.
As the crowd died down a bit, Kevin said into the mic, "We've got one more song for you guys. This one's a bit happier so feel free to stay on your feet and dance to the beat! It's called 'Good Times'." Kevin grinned a goofy grin at the rhyme.
The music started and the crowd started dancing. The South Side High girls came running up to the front of the stage and stood right in front of it, already knowing the song and more then ready for it. This song was about the good times and the good people of high school and life in general. How we should celebrate those times because they mean something and they are always going to mean something. As the chorus kicked in, the old fans sang and danced and the new ones just danced, but they all enjoyed the moment. This song was the perfect one to end the set with.
I never want to leave this sunset town
But one day the time may come
And I'll take you at your word
And carry on
I'll hate the goodbye
But I won't forget the good times
I won't forget the good times
When the song ended the entire crowd was up on their feet cheering and clapping. The boys all took off or stepped out from behind their instruments and came to the front. Alex ran up to Kevin and tackled him a hug, then Casper joined and last, Caleb jumped in on it and they all collapsed on the floor, laughing, smiling, and riding the high of their very successful set. They all stood up when the mayor came out. As the mayor introduced them again, they all bowed, grabbed their guitars and drum sticks and walked off stage.
Back stage was a celebration for them. They were pumped as they packed up their gear and watched the rest of the show. In between sets, they had other performers come up to them and congratulate them on amazing they were. All the boys thanked each of them. After the fifth act came and left them, Alex ruffled Kevin's hair and said, "I told we were gonna be great, dude! We were do good out there. We're gonna win."
"Don't get too cocky, Alex. The Pussy Cats haven't gone on yet and they are really good too."
"Psh. The crowd loved us. We got this. Have faith, Kev." Kevin just rolled his eyes and watched the last set of the night, The Pussy Cats. They were good and a few minutes after they cleaned up their gear all the acts came out on to the stage.
"We have the results of this year's North Side Battle of the Bands!" said the mayor. "In third place we have, Danny Wilde!" The crowd cheered as Danny went up to get his third place trophy. "In second place we have, Josie and the Pussy Cats!" The girls went up to get their trophy and stand on the side next to Danny.
"It is time to announce the first place winners." The mayor took out an envelope and dramatically pulled out the card, "The Renegades!" With that, the crowd went nuts with applause and cheers. Kevin stood in a trance for half a second before Alex knocked him out of it and they all four ran up to grab the trophy and hold it up high. The crowd cheered for a full minute and Kevin was amazed that they liked the band so much.
After the cheering died down, the band went to the back to pack up their stuff and go meet up with their friends and families. Once out in the front, Kevin immediately saw his friends and Betty and Veronica ran up to him and tackled him in hugs. "Kevin! You were amazing!" Veronica squealed.
"I knew you could sing, but not like that! You were so good! Was that second song about Jason?" Betty complimented. Kevin nodded a bit.
"How come you never told us you were in a band, Kev?" Betty asked, looking slightly hurt and confused.
Kevin sighed and rubbed the back of his neck, but before he could answer, Casper jumped in, "Kevin is a perfectionist and didn't want anyone from North Side to know until he was confident we would win the battle of the bands." Kevin smiled sheepishly at that.
"Kevin made us practice almost everyday for an entire year before we played in front of people for the first time," Alex added. "But we're glad, because it made us better and more confident," Caleb smiled at Kevin and they all gave him a giant hug.
"Thanks, guys," Ken laughed and hugged them all back. Out of the corner of his eye, he noticed Joaquin walking over to him and he broke away from everyone and left them to talk amongst each other.
"So, what did you think?" Kevin asked before Joaquin could say anything. Joaquin studied Kevin for a few seconds before he said anything and Joaquin searched his face for any sign of what he was thinking, but couldn't read anything. Kevin bit his lip while he waited. Joaquin suddenly grabbed the back of Kevin's neck and crashed their lips together. Not expecting the sudden movement, Kevin grabbed on to Joaquin's hips to steady himself and melted into the kiss. After a few moments Joaquin pulled back and gave him a slow smile. "Does that answer your question, Preppy?"
Kevin gave him a goofy grin back and nodded. "I'm glad you liked it," he whispered and Joaquin smiled bigger. "Of course I liked it. You and your band are really good. I think you're gonna go places, Kevin." Towards the end of the sentence, Joaquin's voice got a hint of sadness to it and he stepped back a bit, but Kevin pulled him back in with an arm around his waist and cupped his chin with his other hand.
"Wherever I go. Wherever my music takes me. There will always be spot for you there." Kevin smiled down at Joaquin and he could see the happy glint in the shorter boys eyes. They kissed again; a searing kiss full of promise that no matter what happened, they would make it work.
The rest of the night was spent celebrating the victory at Pop's with their family and friends. Once Kevin and his dad got home, Kevin showered and changed his clothes, thinking about the events of the night and the future. As he laid in bed awake, he thought about the promise he made to Joaquin; how there would always be a place for him with Kevin and he vowed to himself to never break that promise.