The Maine and Taking Back Sunday @ The Crystal Ballroom in Portland, OR
Review & photography by Kristina Dawn
Taking Back Sunday, the “genre-defying rock band” of our generation is back out on the road this year celebrating their 20th anniversary. Paying homage to 21 career-defining songs from albums Louder Now, Where You Want To Be and Tell All Your Friends, TBS has created the album Twenty, which also includes a few new singles “All Ready To Go,” and “A Song For Dan.” Singer Adam Lazzara previously commenting, “It feels strange to say out loud… 2019 marks 20 years since I joined Taking Back Sunday and my life changed forever… We will be traveling the world to celebrate the amazing brotherhood, music, and life we have created together over the past 20 years.” Tagging along with Taking Back Sunday on their North America run are Phoenix’s own independent emo-alt rockers (and close friends of TBS) The Maine.
Opening night one of two sold-out shows in Portland, OR, The Maine introduced the room to their iconic cover of “Song 2” (originally by The Blur), getting the infamous Crystal Ballroom floor bouncing. Transitioning quickly into their perfectly curated set featuring hit’s like “Don’t Come Down,” new single “Numb Without You,” and even continuing the tradition of bringing a nervous fan on stage to lead the crowd in “Girls Do What They Want.” Frontman John O’Callaghan taking the time to profusely thank their fans for showing up early, making it a point to remind this sold-out room their fans are their label.
Taking Back Sunday ripped onto the stage with the classic intro riff to “You Know How I Do,” quickly opening up a massive mosh pit in the GA section of the ballroom. With feet, fists, and bodies flying TBS blasted straight into “Bike Scene” and their massive hit “Cute Without the ‘E’.” Taking a quick break between mic lasso’s and hair flips, frontman Adam Lazzarra proceeded to inform the audience they will be playing Tell All Your Friends, as well as a surprise second album all in full. The cue of a marvelous laser display sent all 1,500+ fans in attendance into a screaming frenzy.
Lazzaro taking to the mic again after the completion of Tell All Your Friends saying “we’re gonna do something that might cause a bit of chaos on stage for us… We’re gonna flip a coin to see whether we play Louder Now or Where You Want To Be. ” A young boy walking out on stage with a double sided coin would decide the fate of the band. With painful anticipation, the toss revealed TBS would play Where You Want To Be, resulting in a massive roar from the crowd. Though by this point Taking Back Sunday had played for at least an hour, their energy seemed just as passionate as when they first laid foot on stage.
Closing out their two hour set with a few heartfelt words and deep cuts, Taking Back Sunday rejuvenated their fans into a mass of crowd surfing with “What’s It Feel Like To Be a Ghost.” Singer Adam Lazzara quickly thanking band mates John Nolan (guitar), Mark O’Connell (drums) and Shaun Cooper (bass) for being along with him on this crazy 20 year ride as a band. Ending the night with confetti guns and an extravagant light show, Taking Back Sunday lead the room in a massive sing along to their biggest hit single, and definite fan favorite “Make Damn Sure.” All in all, this may be one of Taking Back Sunday’s best tours to date, be sure to catch them and The Maine on the rest of their North America run this spring:
April 24 – Calgary
April 26 – Winnipeg
April 27 & 28 – Minneapolis, MN April 30 & May 1 – Denver, CO May 2 & 3 – Salt Lake City, UT May 4 & 5 – LAs Vegas, NV