The audience at Revolution Live on Saturday night was no doubt looking for a bit of posthardcore nostalgia. After all, the crowd — made up of folks in their late 20s and early 30s — were there to see Taking Back Sunday, a band that probably single-handedly helped them get through high school. “I just want to break you down so badly” was a phrase tattooed in the consciousness of so many 2006 teens.
The opener to the opener, letlive, went on with a few screams and, by the third song, finally had themselves a mosh pit. "For Trayvon Martin!" the lead singer yelled before launching into a sort of drum/screaming solo.
Next up was The Menzingers. "This is for those who have student loans" said the lead singer before playing one of their songs. The crowd was eating up the social justice, but at this point they were so ready that they would have screamed bloody murder for a song dedicated to pigeons.
Finally, the act everyone had been waiting for took the stage. Taking Back Sunday kicked things off with one of their newer tracks, "Flicker, Fade." Blue lights flashed on screens behind the band, and suddenly it was 2006 again. Lead singer Adam Lazzara wore all black and sung from the side of the stage. The audience screamed along with him.
Taking Back Sunday quickly transitioned to the 2006 song “What’s It Feel Like to Be a Ghost?”, as — appropriately enough — ghost cartoons flashed behind them. Lazzara took a quick moment to tell a story about John Nolan’s awkward reaction to a girl in short shorts, and then got on with the show. After a few more songs, things cooled down a bit when Lazzara took a moment to address the crowd.
"Tonight is the last night of our tour, ladies and gentlemen," said Lazzara. Indeed, Revolution Live was the last stop on the band's Happiness Is Tour. Sensing the end was near, everyone went nuts, especially when Lazzara smiled and said, "Now you get to see some personality."
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Then Taking Back Sunday launched into the moody teen's equivalent of "Free Bird" with "A Decade Under the Influence." The mosh pit exploded with echoes of "I got it bad, I got it bad". It was obvious these songs still resonated deeply with everyone in attendance. They still meant something, even though those old 2004 issues of homework and parents have since been replaced with rent and health insurance.
The vibe got a bit more serious when Lazzara talked about a song he didn't want to relive because it was a hard time in his life. He then introduced "Better Homes and Gardens" off the newest record, Happiness Is. From the song's opening line, it's obvious the track is about Lazzara's failed 2007 engagement. But the band got through the song with the help of the crowd.
And the mood returned to normal when Taking Back Sunday played the classic "Cute Without the E." Graphics of the band goofing off played in the background. A scene of the band doing its best Rockettes impression on the beach was a crowd favorite. “We’re just going to let this play for a little bit,” joked Lazzara.
The show ended with the famous anthem “MakeDamnSure." As graphics of street lights and speeding cars buzzed in the background, the crowd jumped and screamed and elbowed their way back to simpler times.
The night proved that Taking Back Sunday has a loyal and loving fan base. With an arsenal of songs so close to the hearts of its fans, it’s no wonder the band has lasted for over a decade. And as the sweaty and bruised masses poured out of Revolution Live, happy and tired, it wasn't hard to imagine Taking Back Sunday doing this for another decade.