Taking Back Sunday
Enmore Theatre, Sydney NSW
March 17th, 2017
Supported by – Acceptance & Endless Heights
Taking Back Sunday resonate with a lot of people in many different ways; catchy melodies, larger than life instrumentals and the powerhouse vocals have continued to influence the scene, both musicians and fans alike, since 1999.
I was lucky enough attend the the first show of the tour in Sydney, allowing me to experience a 21 song set of classics and classics in the making.
Opening the show came Endless Heights, fitting the bill reasonably well, but not really hitting the mark. The Sydney 5-piece were left with a hard job of opening up for not only Taking Back Sunday, but Acceptance, who also had a reasonably large following in attendance. They powered through their lengthy set with high energy regardless of the audience’s lack of response. The frontman, although impossible to understand at some points, attacked his job with charisma and impressive vocals that in different context, I imagine would have been better received.
Next up were the long awaited Acceptance; previously unable to tour Australia, this band clearly had a reasonably-sized crowd of people waiting for them to make the trip. They were really well received by the crowd as they performed a number of tracks from the first album since their hiatus Colliding By Design and a spattering of tracks from the debut album Phantoms after frontman Jason Vena prefaced it with a solid “We had no idea what we were doing at the time” comment. They successfully held the audience’s attention, undoubtedly leaving the stage with a number of new fans in tow
The melodic opening guitar riff of Death Wolf begins to play and things kick off with a bang as charismatic Adam Lazzara swoops in with an opening verse. A key highlight and recurring theme through the set was Lazzaras genuinely captivating stage presence and just overall class that was comparable to an old-fashion western, a point only accentuated by his talent in swinging the microphone in loop after loop without dropping it. Every eye in the room follows him as he jumps through classic hit Liar, classic in the making You Can’t Look Back, and absolute banger Timberwolves at New Jersey.
It’s only then that we’re introduced to the band and swept into A Decade Under The Influence, which successfully has the audience chanting in a nostalgic trance. The pit finally opens to What it Feels Like to be a Ghost and There’s No ‘i’ in Team heightening an already electric energy.
Lazzara prefaces All Excess by encouraging the audience to dance… and dance they did; as if you could help but not. He also shows off a few impressive moves just in case you thought he couldn’t get anymore talented.
Error Operator and You’re So Last Summer are slid in to reel back the old school fans, allowing the 00s emos in the theatre a moment to jump around along to a classic. Next up things slow down for the stunningly passionate Flicker, Fade that manages to calm down the excited audience into a soft sway. But the mood is swiftly lifted by Lazzaras humorous anecdote about the filming of the Call Come Running video.
The rest of the set was filled with a cohesive mix of tracks from their extensive discography, including Set Phasers To Stun, Stood a Chance, Holy Water and One-eighty by Summer, his charisma, dance moves and overall stage presence continuing to thoroughly entertain old and new fans alike.
Just when you think the emotional roller coaster is coming to a plateau Lazzara adds a personal anecdote to preface Better Homes and Gardens, resonating with everyone in the room in such a way that the entire song filled the room with an energy that felt uniquely personal and I certainly grew a new appreciation for their new album and the passion behind it.
Despite a whole preamble about the fact that they didn’t have time for the whole ‘encore’ stunt, it was kind of walked through anyway but the humour brought the energetic mood back for the end of the set. Rounding out the set with Tidal Waves, My Blue Heaven and Cute without the E, the band expel the last of their energy, the crowd following suit.
It’s clear to see why Taking Back Sunday are not going anywhere anytime soon. Despite multiple lineup changes, the band has remained a cohesive unit and nowhere is this more evident than in this tour. Each song is performed as powerfully as it appears recorded, with Lazzara’s charisma, dance moves and charm only complimenting an already impressive and undoubtedly taxing performance. The forefathers of emo have still got it and I’m honoured to have been able to witness them in action.
Photo Gallery by the talented Georgia Moloney Please credit Wall of Sound and Photographer if you use published photos.
Revisit our chat with TBS bassist Shaun Cooper here
Taking Back Sunday
Taking Back Sunday – Tidal Wave Australian Tour
with Acceptance & Endless Heights
Saturday, 18th March – The Triffid, Brisbane (18+)
Sunday, 19th March – 170 Russell, Melbourne (18+) SOLD OUT
Tuesday, 21st March – 170 Russell, Melbourne (18+)
Wednesday, 22nd March – The Gov, Adelaide (Lic/AA)
Thursday, 23rd March – Metro City, Perth (18+)