DAVID Holden went along to Rock City to see the emo giants.
This gig in particular holds a lot of nostalgic memories for me, as Taking Back Sunday were the first major label band I ever saw live back when they and Jimmy Eat World supported Green day at the Milton Keynes Bowl in ‘05.
The previous year they had just released their second album, Where You Want To Be, after much turmoil within the band and the loss of original band members John Nolan and Shaun Cooper.
This time round sees Nolan and Cooper return from side project Straylight Run, and sees a return to the original Tell All Your Friends line up.
The Rock City sees Taking Back Sunday on amazing form from start to finish, with some very interesting yet crowd pleasing choices.
Opening up with their biggest hit, Cute without the E, sent the already excitable crowd into a frenzy, before they smoothly moved into popular hit Liar and shortly followed that with new track El Paso.
Throughout the rest of the set was a mix of old favourites from the first four albums and tracks from the new one, including the admission from lead singer Adam Lazarus that song Decade Under the Influence was written about band mate John Nolan after he moved out of their shared flat which certainly seemed to bring an interesting and new interpretation of the lyrics to most fans.
Interestingly there was even time for a Straylight Run song Existentialism on Prom Night which went down fantastically well considering it’s such an unknown song - but it was all down to Lazarus’ genius as a frontman to keep the audience completely captivated with his flamboyant and unique approach to fronting a band.
He may not quite be able to hit the notes as well as he used to, but his ability to interact with the crowd both during and between songs must surely make him one of the finer and more entertaining lead vocalists in the alternative scene.
The rest of the band were incredibly tight with the bass and the drums keeping a constant groove to all the songs, though if I was to have one complaint it would be that despite having three guitarists on stage, the guitars seemed quite thin and struggled to come through against such a dominant rhythm section.
The show ended quite unusually by Lazarus asking the crowd which songs they’d like to hear, which was a nice twist with both There’s No I in Team and Make Damn Sure keeping the crowd happy and allowing the band to throw a bit of variety into each of their shows, probably helping them not to go stale over a long tour.
Despite Rock City not being anywhere near sold out, there was a decent sized crowd in attendance who got more than their money’s worth from this effervescent and energetic band who mixed in both the new material and the old favourites very well, to provide all those who did attend an excellent show.
By David Holden