Taking Back Sunday is no stranger to the high energy rock and roll scene, producing half a dozen full length albums, and appearing on several Warped Tours as well as Billboard charts. Currently made up of Adam Lazzara, John Nolan, Eddie Reyes, Shaun Cooper, and Mark O’Connell, the current lineup is fresh off releasing their sixth album, Happiness Is, about two weeks ago.
Currently on tour co headlining with The Used, Taking Back Sunday formed in 2001 but found independent success in 2004 with their second album, Where You Want to Be. In 2006, the band released their third, and most successful album, Louder Now. Despite a few lineup changes throughout the years, they are now back to their roots, playing as the original lineup from the 2002 Tell All Your Friends era.
The boys started the night off with “Stood a Chance,” a track off of their newest record and one of the more upbeat songs in their otherwise darker, grittier repertoire. It was clear very early that the crowd was excited that Taking Back Sunday, as a majority in attendance knew every lyric, despite being from an album released less than 2 weeks before. Next was “Timberwolves at New Jersey” and “Liar,” at which point Lazzara began to get into his signature microphone swinging.
Lazzara, despite the inevitability of aging, still maintains his youthful stage presence and vocals that my teenage self remembers from the Louder Now era. His dance moves across the stage, while not necessarily the most difficult, keep the energy up in an already high octane show. Lazzara’s signature microphone swinging certainly adds a uniqueness to his stage presence. While many singers have been known to swing a mic around now and again, I have never seen anything up to the caliber of Lazzara. The rest of the guys maintained an energy that could detract from the frontman however. They performed as tight as a band who have been playing together for the past 15 years, even without the lineup changes.
The band played through a wide variety of songs, from their debut album, Tell All Your Friends to their newest release. The band paused briefly as Lazzara seemed to try to “get something off [his] chest to a bunch of strangers” before jumping into the slower “Better Homes and Gardens,” another song off the new album. The last few songs were the perfect songs to end with. “Flicker, Fade,” another new song which has gained positive reviews from fans kept the energy as they went into “Cute Without the ‘E,’” one of their earliest singles. They ended on their most successful single, “MakeDamnSure,” a song from the Louder Now album that Rolling Stone magazine ranked as one of the best songs of 2006.
The crowd was incredibly receptive. An endless supply of crowdsurfers seemed to make their way to the front of the stage (Although they may have been the same few people making their rounds.) Even the people on the balcony were on their feet and showed just as much, if not more, enthusiasm than those on the floor.
On a side note, there was an earthquake that hit our venue, which is located in the basement level of the building. I don’t think anyone even noticed. We were too busy rocking out.