TBS has morphed into a powerful arena rock band. Yes!
The recent reunion of the "classic" line-up of Taking Back Sunday, the Long Island band that (along with tourmates Thursday) kicked-off the brief emo-plosion of the early 2000s, seemed more like a desperation grab than a creative reconnect. Their new self-titled record was meh—and as much as we love TBS, lines like "I'll do what I got to, the truth / is you could slit my throat / And with my one last gasping breath / I'd apologize for bleeding on your shirt" (a typical verse from their 2002 debut "Tell All Your Friends") had started to seem, well, a little hyper-dramatic.
We were mistaken. Live, TBS has morphed into a powerful arena rock band, and the old songs on Sunday night (which dominated the set) featured the heft of 2,000+ fans singing along to every single tortured line from singer Adam Lazzara. The frontman, nursing a sprained ankle, finished the set by jumping into the crowd and wailing away near the soundboard on the old-school self-loathing anthems "There's No 'I' in Team" and "Cut from the Team (Cute without the "E")." Maybe it's not retro -- maybe 2011 simply marks the return of angsty rock. Thursday (rockin' a more Radiohead, space-y kind of vibe), The Colour Revolt and The New Regime opened. —Kirk Miller