Since their inception in 1999, Taking Back Sunday has been enchanting fans with their brand of upbeat rock with pop infusions that make it hard to stand still when it hits your ears. On Thursday, April 25 their current tour with The Used, Tonight Alive and Sleepwave hit The Tabernacle in Atlanta, GA to the awe and excitement of hundreds of fans. The show sold out and the three tiered operatic venue was bursting with fans of all four bands ravenous for a glimpse of their energetic idols.
Sleepwave opened up the evening, playing songs from their upcoming album that fused rock with pop punk elements for an eclectic, high energy wave that visibly perked the ears of some audience members. Sleepwave is the brainchild of former Underoath vocalist Spencer Chamberlain and a departure from the post-hardcore heaviness of Underoath. The band rocked their way through their set playing a variety of songs that both excited and energized the packed venue, including their first single “Rock A Roll Is Dead And So Am I.” By the end of their set, Sleepwave seemed to have managed to wake up the once stagnant crowd.
Tonight Alive from Sydney, Australia has had their uplifting pop punk beats featured in mainstream entertainment, which has helped contribute to their rising notoriety and success. Their single “The Edge” was featured on “The Amazing Spiderman 2” soundtrack and boasted a bouncy and theatrical tone. On this night, the band would bring that same fervor and enthusiasm to their performance for Atlanta to soak in like a sponge. Playing through a number of high impact songs from their catalogue including “Listhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zo5aZYdSqxIening,” “Don’t Wish,” and “The Fire,” Tonight Alive stood their ground and made sure to pronounce their presence with front woman Jenna McDougall leading the charge against being second best, against settling and against taking the easy road to getting what you want. With driven tunes, rolling percussion, and McDougall’s impassioned performing and high jumps, Tonight Alive definitely lived up to their name, bringing to life the energy and excitement of the massive throng that lay outstretched before them
If there was ever a band to blow minds, it’s The Used. Led by the ever boisterous and gregarious Bert McCracken, The Used has been challenging the way people see, hear and listen to not only music, but the world around them. These guys are not just out to douse the world in good tunes, but also mental kerosene and they want to watch the world burn- with intelligent thought. The one thing that I always love about The Used is that not only do you get the benefit of amazingly motivational and moving songs like “I Caught Fire,” “On My Own,” “Taste of Ink” and “All I’ve That I’ve Got,” but you get the sense of community that comes with it. The Used aren’t a concert, they’re a movement, and tonight in Atlanta was no different. Like moths to the flame, fans could be seen crowd-surfing to the front of the stage and stirring up the center pit more than ever before that night. McCracken leads the pack in a number a songs before giving his thoughts on the structure and underlying issues with the state of democracy today before rolling right into “Revolution.” By the end the set there was the feeling of being sweaty, tired and at home in the open music hall with every attendee and fan, both old and new, hoarser for having screamed along to every word and happier for having been part of the epic-ness that had just taken place.
Taking Back Sunday has been led by Adam Lazzara since about 2001 and the engaging front man has been turning heads and microphone tricks ever since. Even in their early music videos Lazzara can be seen slinging his mic about the screen- twisting and turning it like a lasso in the hands of a cowboy. Atlanta got to see first hand the fancy footwork and microphone acrobatics of Lazzara from the very beginning of TBS’s set. Playing happily and energetically through songs like “Stood A Chance,” “Liar,: and of course, “Make Damn Sure,” Lazzara and the guys of TBS put on one hell of a show for Georgia. Lazzara could be seen dancing and twisting his way about the stage with incredible ease as fans clamored for just a graze of fingers the vain hope of one-on-one eye contact. Eyes were alight with the sheer delight and joy that only TBS songs can ignite in fans with their upbeat tempos and head bobbing anthems. So engaged in his performance was Lazzara that at one point, mid-trick, he toppled over his microphone stand and dropped the mic into the pit between the stage and barricade. Not one to let a fumble stop a show, he retrieved his stand and mic with the help of security and resumed twisting and tossing his microphone about him, making the crowd roar even louder with excitement. By the end of the night, even obvious fans of the other bands seemed to have been won over by the style, charisma and flair of Lazzara. Stage tricks aside, there is something to be said about a man who manages to maintain his flow and tone over the years even in the face of maturity, and Lazzara seems to have done just that. The lights were almost another show unto themselves as soft purples, yellows, whites and blues danced about the stage, washing over the lively quintet.
TBS and The Used both know how to do two things very well and neither of them has to do with music. First, they know how to put on a show. Second, they know how to fans into family. This is not to say that the music is inconsequential, it’s not, but it does come second to the way fans feel when they hear it and when they experience it live. There is nothing else like live music to uplift the soul and rejuvenate the spirit. Sometimes it’s an auditory thing and sometimes it’s a spiritual thing, Atlanta had a revival and because of it, many will never be the same…