Taking Back Sunday Makes a Comeback With Weekend Holiday Show

Taking Back Sunday
December 27, 2014
Starland Ballroom- Sayreville, NJ

        Taking Back Sunday played back-to-back sold out holiday shows last Saturday and Sunday night. Fans filled Starland Ballroom to catch their two-night appearance in Sayreville, New Jersey. Besides the holiday season, the shows were also celebrating the ten-year anniversary of the band’s debut album, Tell All Your Friends, which was released in 2002. Soundcheck411 was able to catch their Saturday night show, and it was one not to be missed.
Fans of varied ages cramped into the venue, most crowding each side of the stage to get a close view of Taking Back Sunday when they took the stage. Despite the close quarters, everyone was in high spirits throughout the night. It certainly helped that Taking Back Sunday has created a slew of fun, feel-good songs, to bring everyone together.
The first song played was Flicker Fade followed by What It Feels Like To Be a Ghost. Flicker Fade showcased an acoustic guitar sound before the instruments and vocals increased in volume for the chorus. The balance of soft hums and loud bellows in the song created an interesting dynamic, particularly for an opening song. After that first somewhat slower introduction, the songs picked up speed while the audience let the speed of the music command their movements. Lead singer Adam Lazzara let the music move him as well as he danced on stage with flowing, symbolic, and sometimes erratic gestures, which usually correlated to the lyrics he was singing at the moment. Lazzara and his band members have always had a unique presence whether in music videos or stage performance, and this show was no exception. Lazzara really brought the audience in by speaking to them throughout the set, explaining the meaning behind certain songs, and relating those Taking Back Sunday (11)songs to them in some way.
Fans had to wait until the end of the set to hear favorites, Cute Without The ‘E’ and Make Damn Sure, but it was well worth the wait. At the first sounds of the guitar chords and vocals that kicked off each of these well known songs, fans sang out loud and let the importance that Taking Back Sunday still held in their lives known. Guitarist John Nolan sat at the edge of the stage during the last few choruses of Make Damn Sure, which closed out their set. He looked on at the fans in front of him, singing every word. He seemed to be soaking it all in, clearly enjoying the effect the music had on the audience. What happened next was unexpected as he jumped off the stage and stood to the left side serenading a group of fans next to the front barricade. Since there were no side barricades sectioning off the crowd from the photo pit, only a bouncer stood between the audience and Nolan, making it a personal experience. It was an epic moment as the group of girls danced and sang with him during the most explosive part of the song.
The latest record from the band is Happiness Is, featuring Stood a Chance, Beat Up Car, and Flicker Fade, which were each on the setlist Saturday night. Happiness Is was released on indie label Hopeless Records after the band had been signed to Warner Bros. for a few years. Taking Back Sunday has been on tour steadily for the past year and will be touring through April of 2015.
Review by: Ashley Rodriguez