I was never a New Found Glory fan. When I first got involved with punk rock back in the early '90s, there was a reason. A reason that was spelled out in different forms, sure, but they were still easily identifiable by all parties involved. Maybe I was lucky.
No. I was lucky. I know that now. I was lucky.
Punk rock was all about self-expression and rallying against the perceived evils and ills of the societies that surrounded us then -- so, if you'll give me the benefit of the doubt, I was initially acquiescent to witnessing New Found Glory playing up the "hometown heroes" status at this show. I was surprised no one seemed to care about the fact that until very recently, it had an alleged sex offender in its ranks -- the definition of evils and ills.
New Found Glory showed up and performed whatever perfunctory set list its been peddling for a while, I don't care. It was kinda blah. The band didn't do anything to stand out. I guess it sounded like Blink 182 for the duration of their set.
It was certainly overshadowed by its touring mates. These were the real revelations. Where I thought punk rock had lost some hope and gumption, these fuckers delivered.
We Are the In Crowd, Candy Hearts, and Fireworks did a great job on stage. These younger outfits really brought it and showed the "wow" factor a younger version of myself would've been enthralled by. Good, honest punk rock that has learned a little bit of sophistication since the yahoo days of the headlining band.
If there wasn't an umbra of the aforementioned criminology permeating these proceedings, this would certainly be a different response. As it stands, I have to be honest. I don't think that Jordan, Ian, Chad, and Cyrus should've forged ahead with the same name. No, I think they're talented enough to have moved away from bullshit and their handlers with a different title and enough of a pocket of their fan base.
They could've retained their soul. As they stand, I don't think they did. I think they sold out in mentality, but still put on a great show for their fans. OK. Sure.
But what will their legacy be? Will punk rockers today, their fans, realize down the line that these guys didn't meet expectations? That they could've changed and made a difference? Maybe nothing will come of it. It really doesn't matter. Steve Klein's been charged and NFG has distanced themselves from him.
If I had thought for a second that the future of punk rock was unfortunately tied in with sex offenders and major-label-styled bullshit -- I was wrong. The opening bands proved that's incorrect. They proved how good and refreshing the genre can be.