Taking Back Sunday
Metro – Chicago, IL
June 27, 2010
Despite the mega-success they attained from their debut record in 2002, Taking Back Sunday have always been a bit of a joke for the group’s constant revolving door of members in their lineup throughout their decade-long history. Members have left, guitarists have been fired, and the band’s work ultimately suffered the more this went on, with six members of the group left in the dust along the way.
But seven years after the breakup of the Tell All Your Friends-era lineup, the original members reunited and set off for a limited six-city summer tour before heading back to the recording studio to produce a new album for the fall. The Chicago show at Metro on June 27 sold out almost immediately, and the packed bodies in the venue made for one the hottest, sweatiest, and anticipated shows of the summer-not to mention one with set climbing, banter, and an unfortunate wardrobe malfunction from vocalist Adam Lazzara.
Read more of our Taking Back Sunday review after the jump…
In March, after guitarist Matthew Fozzi and bassist Matt Rubano announced they were leaving the band, an image of the original lineup of Taking Back Sunday on their website hinted at a possible reunion of the group that created the debut album. The group finally confirmed in April that they were back together with the Tell All Your Friends-era lineup-Lazzara, vocals; John Nolan, guitars/vocals; Shaun Cooper, bass; Eddie Reyes, guitar; Mark O’Connell, drums.
With a large American flag draping the back wall of the stage and a mob of bodies chanting “TBS,” the group took the stage and didn’t waste time getting into their set, driven by old favorites from Tell All Your Friends. The demographics of the crowd ran the gamut of young to old, but it’s more than likely that many in the crowd were twentysomethings, there for the nostalgia of a group that dominated their playlists during their high school years. Playing for more than an hour, the band covered almost every song from their first album, and sprinkled in a few tracks from others like Where You Want to Be and Louder Now. Though the latter two albums did well commercially, the pop-friendly songwriting that made Tell All Your Friends one of the most influential albums of the decade wasn’t present after Nolan left the band in 2003. The band’s roots in hardcore anthems with heavy guitars are what kept the fans coming back for more, which was more than evident at the show as the crowd mimicked every word of every song, at times drowning out the band itself.
In between songs, Lazzara talked to the crowd, openly joking about the group’s lineup changes and also about how glad TBS was to be back together again with the founding members. Nolan jumped in from time to time to banter back and forth with Lazzara, about everything from the World Cup to a pungent smell of weed coming from backstage. It was most likely a nice break from the moshing for the crowd in front of the stage, but it seemed to bring down the energy and pace the band kept during the first half of the show.
When he wasn’t busy bantering with Nolan or telling stories of the scariest walk he ever took in the middle of nowhere-which was the most drawn out and pointless story I’ve heard at a show, by the way-Lazzara interacted with the crowd, pointing at cameras in the balcony and demanding that the amateur videographer “put my fucking name on that, I want credit for that shit.” At some point early in the show, he also managed to rip a gaping hole in the crotch of his skinny jeans, leaving little to the imagination for those close to the stage, I would imagine. And other than his brief Spiderman moment at the close of the set, when he climbed the scaffolding on the side of the stage to hang upside down from his knees and scream the chorus of the hit “MakeDamnSure” (followed by a few awkward minutes of him dangling, desperately trying to pull himself up to climb down), it was business as usual for the animated rock star. I’ll give him this, though: The guy knows how to work a microphone. Twirling, flinging, tossing it up in the air, wrapping it around his neck, Lazzara never stops for a minute.
He also commented frequently on the unbearable heat in the venue, which was noticeable even in the balcony. By the time the show ended and the fans poured down the stairs of Metro, every surface of the building was dripping with condensation from ceiling to floor. Though it was already a hot day in Chicago, Taking Back Sunday really managed to bring the heat for their hardcore fans that night.
Written by Jessica Galliart