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A Day To Remember ready to rock Hershey with Blink-182

It’s been an up-and-coming indie and alternative rock band over the last few years, and now it’s on the way to continuing its popularity growth with a new album and tour with a punk pop favorite of this generation. To make it better, the tour includes a stop to the sweetest place on earth.

A Day To Remember comes to Hersheypark Stadium to open for Blink-182 Saturday for a 7 p.m. show, as part of their tour in promoting their seventh studio album.

But it’s also an album promotion for A Day To Remember, as well, as “Bad Vibrations” hits the record shelves Sept. 2. The album includes two tracks, which are currently available for a sneak preview online. And this is an album the band is particularly proud of — as any band would say — but lead singer Jeremy McKinnon thinks it’s because of an entirely new approach in creating the new album that will make the band stand out.

“We got into this comfort zone at home in Orlando. That kind of stifled the guys, so it was really important for us to get out of that comfort zone to get out to Colorado,” McKinnon said.

The Ocala, Fla.-based quintet, which also includes guitarists Kevin Skaff and Neil Westfall, bassist Joshua Woodard and drummer Alex Shelnutt, decided to create the new album with a loose and more collaborative songwriting process, and also performing live recordings with new producers Bill Stevenson and Jason Livermore.

“We wrote the songs in my parents’ back yard. It was the right time to do something like that for our band. If you’re a fan, there’s something on it for everyone,” McKinnon said. “We really didn’t try to do anything we don’t do. We write a bunch of songs, and the best made the cut. It’s a lot more raw and not as predictable. It has all five of our inputs instead of one.”

In addition, the album will also be released with Epitaph Records — an independent music label founded in Los Angeles by Bad Religion guitarist Brett Gurewitz - as well as the band’s own ADTR Records, along with working with Grammy-Award winner Andy Wallace.

And with new direction comes reward, as the band finds itself on tour with beloved punk pop band Blink-182. It became a partnership – as how some business is done – over a meal.

“It came together through Kevin. He had been working for famous, Travis Barker’s (drummer, Blink-182) band. Travis then set us up with dinner in California, and he told us about an upcoming show that would be small and intimate,” McKinnon said. “Kevin joked around with him about opening, but then they actually had us do it. Because the show did so well, they asked us to do it again, and here we are today.”

So far, it’s been a match made in heaven, and McKinnon says he and the rest of his bandmates couldn’t be in a better situation.

“All of them have been super nice to us, honestly. We’ve toured with nice bands, and they are the most genuine and coolest band to travel with,” he said.

Plus, every audience so far has responded in a big way, and McKinnon hopes for the same when they come to Hershey.

“It’s amazing. Literally, every day is massive. Every night is almost sold out. If not that, at least 15,000-20,000 on average. There are also so many people saying this is the first time seeing us,” he said. “But at the same time, everyone knows the songs. Lots of crossover, but this is the best look for us and it will do wonders for our band.”

And the band plans on trying out some of the attractions in chocolate town, especially the park, because McKinnon wasn’t aware the park even existed.

“I think we’re all go check out the factory. I’m down for that,” he said. “I had no idea there was even a park there. We’ll have to check that out, as well.”

And when you come to see the show, McKinnon just has one simple request.

“We just like to get everyone into the show. The goal is to have everyone in the crowd ready for Blink-182,” he said. “Overall, so far so good. We have had good responses to it, and I’m sure Hershey’s going to be the same.”

Tickets are $35.10, $52.85, $59.85 and $85.10. To purchase tickets and for more information, visit