Taking Back Sunday – Cincinnati
There are two things I’m a sucker for — Taking Back Sunday, and full album tours. The Tell All Your Friends Anniversary Tour surely delivered.
The tour is in celebration of the band being together for twenty years, a journey that all started with debut album, Tell All Your Friends.
“It feels strange to say out loud… 2019 marks twenty years since I joined Taking Back Sunday and my life changed forever” recalls frontman Adam Lazzara. What’s crazy about music is not only the way it changes the lives of the artists, but of the people listening to it. Taking Back Sunday was my first dive into “emo” music back in my teenage years when I bought a vinyl of Where You Want To Be, leading me to find a community of friends and fans.
And I know that I’m not the only one who holds Taking Back Sunday so dearly — the proof was in the crowd. Pressed up against the barricade, I was surrounded by a community of music fans screaming “your lipstick, his collar, don’t bother angel” and other iconic lines. The crowd reaction is a true testament to the special place that the band holds for all of its listeners.
No matter how you define Taking Back Sunday, or the emo genre itself, it’s clear to see the place the group has in the alternative rock scene — which all began with Tell All Your Friends. But what about the albums that solidified their place as a household emo name? That’s where the twist comes in for this tour. Each stop of the tour hears Tell All Your Friends in full (obviously)l. But some lucky cities have two night stops, in which one crowd gets to hear Where You Want To Be in full, and the other gets 2006 release Louder Now in full. The best part? This is entirely determined by a coin with these two albums on either side, giving a fan the opportunity to flip.
My show’s coin landed on Where You Want To Be, which features a favorite of mine and many other fans, “A Decade Under The Influence”. But that’s not all — the show was closed out with favorites that aren’t on either of the albums we heard, such as “Tidal Wave” and “MakeDamnSure”. The tour is a dream setlist for Taking Back Sunday fans, mixing in the unique B sides you may not hear otherwise with the songs that got the group to where they are today.
This was my fourth time seeing the group, so I was pretty well versed in the microphone tricks and stage presence that Lazzara has made famous. This was, however, the first time that I got to hear a lot of stage banter from the band, which I couldn’t get enough of. Seeing as the tour is treated as a celebration of Tell All Your Friends, Lazzara told energetic tales of the stories that made the album what it is — my favorite being the hidden lore behind the title of “Timberwolves At New Jersey”. Lazzara was fully convinced, upon seeing the phrase “Timberwolves at New Jersey” on a TV channel guide, that the state was ravaged by wildlife. He later found out that this was merely a basketball match. “Pray for New Jersey!” he joked.
If you aren’t able to make it to see this A+ set in person, the group released an album entitled Twenty as part of the celebration. In similar fashion to the set, the album combines the essential olds with the rocking news — and even two brand new tracks, “All Ready To Go” and “A Song For Dan.” The contrast between the original emo songs and brand new rock songs is the perfect way to play tribute to the versatile groups two decade run.
But if you have the opportunity, I highly recommend seeing Taking Back Sunday next time they roll into town. If you don’t do it for the sake of modern rock, at least do it for your own emo roots.
More PCB Music Coverage
Hannah is an accidental internet meme, drummer, loud talker, and proud owner of a purse that functions as a working analog clock. She got the media writer gene from her dad, PF Wilson, another writer for Pop Culture Beast. Her favorite bands come and go on a seasonal rotation, but Marina & The Diamonds and Say Anything are here to say. She’s probably watching The Grand Budapest Hotel right now, but if she isn’t, she’s out photographing rock concerts.