Ten years ago,the pop punk debut record from a little Long Island band was released to the public. This record, Tell All Your Friends, would be one of those defining moments in music. For some, it meant falling in love and for others it meant falling apart. It would inspire new bands to form and for Taking Back Sunday’s own career it would help it to take off. Ten years later, some shifts in lineup, and the TAYF lineup is back; they’re still putting out influential music and packing clubs. It was a special moment in Lawrence, Kansas, to see a sold out show full of fans of all ages – x’s on the hands of many new TBS fans and beer bands on the older ones. And regardless of fan age or when people had discovered TBS andTAYF, everyone was united in this one thing Saturday night: a love of music.
Just because TAYF was the whole reason for this tour, TBS still treated everyone to some of their other hits. The first half of their set was performed in front of a backdrop to their 2011 self-titled album and featured songs from all their records. The club really got going for songs like “Error: Operator,” which got the mosh pit revved up, and “MakeDamnSure,” which brought out one of the biggest singalongs of the night. There were so many songs that the band could have still played, but they were saving up energy for the second half of their set.
Midway through the evening, the backdrop screen fell and revealed the iconic Exit 152 album cover art fromTAYF. The band proceeded to play this record straight plus they added the bonus of two songs written during that era. As one other unexpected treat, an additional touring musician joined for this portion of the set to add violin to these songs – something that really improved the qualify of some of the slower songs from this album. The band really came alive during this portion of the set. Singer Adam Lazzara shared guitarist John Nolan’s love story involving a Kansas gal before the band played “Great Romances of the 20th Century.” They alluded to some of the difficulties and rumors surrounding some of the drama of other lyrics. Toward the end of the set, Lazzara moved on top of a monitor and with a gleam in his eye and a sly smile, he slipped into the crowd. I think he only meant to sing just one song from the audience, but eager fans swarmed him and kept him out for another song. The entire time he kept smiling and moving as best he could to reach and embrace as many fans as possible. Meanwhile on stage, there were some even more hilarious antics occurring that many were missing with their eyes on Lazzara. As Nolan was concentrating on his call and response vocals to Lazarra’s main vocals, guitarist Eddie Reyes sneaked over to Nolan’s mike and bent it away toward the floor. Nolan looked incredulous, chuckled and fixed his mic…never missing a beat in his guitar line. It was great to see how at ease this group of musicians was with each other, but greater still to see how much they cared about their fans after all this time. After all, this anniversary tour wasn’t for the band or for the money; it was simply for the fans and it showed.
To quote the band’s Mr. Rogers intro music ‘It was a beautiful day in the neighborhood,’ but it was an even better night thanks to Taking Back Sunday.
What’s It Feel Like to Be a Ghost
A Decade Under the Influence
Faith (When I Let You Down)
Liar (It Takes One to Know One)
One-Eighty by Summer
You Know How I Do
Cute Without The E
No ‘I’ in Team
Great Romances of the 20th Century
Ghost Man on Third
Timberwolves at New Jersey
The Blue Channel
You’re So Last Summer
Your Own Disaster
The Ballad of Sal Villanueva