Taking Back Sunday: Live Review

Taking Back Sunday have reason to celebrate.

The New York four-piece are midway through a year-long celebration of their 20th anniversary as a band Their global tour stopped off at SO36 on Tuesday night with a clear intention to party.

The undefeated emo kings have come a long way since their heady origins. With seven studio albums and numerous line-up changes under their belts, they have stayed constant while many of their peers faded out.

The night doesn’t start in classic fashion. For one, the desk fans stuck to the venue’s ceiling are doing little to combat the intense summer heat (come on indieBerlin, who sends a reviewer to a punk show in this!?). One of the support bands also attempts an ill-judged Taking Back Sunday cover (come on guys, don’t do this).

Taking Back Sunday play through debut album Tell All Your Friends in its entirety, which goes down uproariously with the crowd of loyal nostalgics.

It’s almost 10pm by the time the band get to the stage, launching straight into ‘You Know How I Do’. Frontman Adam Lazzara’s voice, unfortunately but quite understandably, sounds like it hasn’t taken a day off in a fortnight.

TBS do get warmed up quickly though, and soon Lazzara’s vocals, supported by guitarist John Nolan’s backing, follow suit. They play through debut album Tell All Your Friends in its entirety, which goes down uproariously with the crowd of loyal nostalgics. Classics ‘Cute Without The ‘E” and ‘Timberwolves At New Jersey’ wash away any memory of the show’s slow start, while the lesser-played album tracks like ‘Head Club’ go down almost as well.

The second half of the show gives way to a wider selection of tracks from the band’s later work. ‘Set Phasers to Stun’ and ‘A Decade Under The Influence’ from 2004’s Where You Want to Be keep the energy levels high, while one or two tracks from the more recent albums receive a lukewarm reaction from this room of TBS purists.

‘Set Phasers to Stun’ and ‘A Decade Under The Influence’ from 2004’s Where You Want to Be keep the energy levels high.

‘MakeDamnSure’ makes a fitting end to the night, being the track that truly pushed the band out of the punk-rock fringes back in 2006. It’s still the finest slice of pop-rock the band have written and it goes down a storm with the moshpit. These fans will undoubtedly still be there in another 10 years’ time.

Luke began writing about music for his university paper while studying in England’s cold, post-industrial North. He became a regular reviewer of new releases, live shows, theatre and film, before moving to the big, grey blob of London. He has written indie and electronica reviews for indieBerlin since arriving in Berlin in 2017, while pursuing other freelance writing, editing and communications projects (and struggling to learn German). You can follow Luke here and read his recent reviews here.

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