When the South Florida pop-punk pioneers of New Found Glory take the stage at Revolution Live Friday, May 12, they'll celebrate 20 years together as a band. But drummer Cyrus Bolooki wants to be clear: This is not just another nostalgia tour.
Unlike some of its early-'00s peers, New Found Glory has continued to release records and tour consistently throughout the years in spite of having to transition from MTV ubiquity into the streaming age. The band released its latest album, Makes Me Sick, late last month.
"Our set lists now, they span two pages," Bolooki says. And two decades. On their 20 Years of Pop Punk tour, they play two albums from their catalogue per night, plus songs from Makes Me Sick. On their Fort Lauderdale stop, they'll highlight songs from Sticks and Stones and Catalyst.
The band practiced 77 songs in preparation for the tour. They play about 27 a night.
"Our set list has grown, but I think we still do what we did when we were 18 and 19," Bolooki says. "You just get out there and it's adrenaline and it's the energy of the crowd that fuels you. After the show, maybe I'm a little more tired now than I was ten years ago or 20 years ago, but at the same time... we're killing it. We're tight as ever a band, even with those songs that we rarely play live. Crowds have been singing so loud, sometimes louder than even the sound system, which is kind of nuts."
Bolooki places the credit for the band's longevity on its members' commitment to staying on the road year after year. The bandmates seem to know fans on a more personal level than is typically expected of rock 'n' rollers. He mentions people who have seen the band live literally hundreds of times, as well as some who have only recently attended their first show.
"Even yesterday I met a couple where the girl had seen us. I think yesterday had been her 30th show. She brought her boyfriend out, who she probably hasn't been dating for a long time. She was passing on the experience that she's had with us throughout the years to him, and he loved it. So maybe that makes a new lifelong fan in him," he says. "Or, I don't like to talk about the age of our band or any of that stuff, but we are starting to span generations now. There are people who are parents that are bringing their kids out or their younger brothers and sisters."
Bolooki is hesitant to wax too nostalgic about the past two decades, because the bandmates wish to treat this tour as a continuation of the never-ending tour they've been on since they began.
Still, a hometown show, especially at a venue that he frequented as a fan, is bound to bring back memories.
"I grew up going to the Edge, then it was the Chili Pepper, and then it was Revolution. They used to do — it might've been Wednesdays — they would do ska nights there, and I remember seeing the Mighty Mighty Bosstones there with my friends. Every time one of my favorite punk bands... would come down, they would always play the Edge or Revolution."
Now, as godfathers of the pop-punk blend they forged and brought to mainstream audiences, they'll return to the same venue whose every iteration they've played over the years.
"Twenty years ago, there's no way any of us thought that 20 years later we'd be playing big venues, selling them out, and people would be celebrating our entire catalog," Bolooki says. "At the same time, we just released our ninth full-length album, so it's not like this is a reminiscent tour that's only nostalgia because we never play anymore. We're still very relevant, still releasing music, but it is the 20th anniversary, and we want to celebrate that as well."
New Found Glory 20 Years of Pop Punk Tour
7 p.m. Friday, May 12, at Revolution Live, 100 SW Third Ave., Fort Lauderdale; 954-449-1025; jointherevolution.net. Tickets cost $25 to $29 via jointherevolution.net.
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