Last Saturday (Nov. 24) I went to the Taking Back Sunday concert at Terminal 5 in New York City. The concert was part of Taking Back Sunday’s 10th year Anniversary tour of their album “Tell All Your Friends.”
Taking Back Sunday (TBS) has been my favorite band ever since “Tell All Your Friends”(TAYF) debuted. I’ve seen them play shows coast to coast; I’ve fought through crowds for hours to get to the front bar at their shows; I’ve stuck with them through every member change and rearrangement; I have every single album always synched to my iPod and their CDs always within reach in my car. I could go on and on to justify my fandom to them, but I think it’s pretty clear that I’m a HUGE fan.
If I started listening to them at the stage of my life I’m in right now, I might not be as into them. I may have heard the thrashing alt-rock sounds and screams and instantly be turned off by the noise. But instead I started listening to them in my early teenage years when I wanted the noise, I needed to scream. They carried me through the roughest times and the best times of being a teenager. They’re the kind of band that fit exactly into the right place at the right time of my life. They also set the stage for my musical palate and the types of bands I got into as I got older.
Before the show on Saturday I thought that maybe I’d want to approach the show differently this time around. Maybe I’d stand in the back or even watch from the balcony, give other people an opportunity to experience the front pit. Maybe my lung screaming days were over. But while we were on line to get our IDs checked, even before we set foot inside, the buzz started running through me. I heard glimpses of people’s conversations and singalongs, “Did you hear that the original line-up is playing…And these grass stains on my knees they won’t mean a thing,” and I knew I wanted to watch the show from the main floor, as close as possible.
As soon as the band stepped foot on stage the screaming and cheering began. The crowd swayed and moved together as a unit, pushing and pulling, giving and taking. From that first moment until the band closed with ‘The Ballad of Sal Villanueva,’ you could distinctly hear everyone in the crowd singing along.
Throughout the show a euphoric feeling rushed through me that after all these years a band can still make me weak in the knees. I think it’s safe to say that most people in the audience felt exactly the same.
I felt 12 again hearing Taking Back Sunday for the first time. I felt 15, fighting with friends over things I can’t remember. I felt 16, crushed over a relationship. I felt 17, blasting their albums in my car and driving around aimlessly (or perhaps to the mall), but driving around and feeling free. But I also felt 24, in the moment and enamored that Adam and co. could still ignite those feelings in me and provide one-liners and lyrics that I could still relate to.
Looking through the crowd I mainly saw people who appeared to be in their mid-20s like me. Every concert I go to I still remain blown away that we are all united through music. No matter our differences music gives us something we can all believe in, something to hold on to.
One of my favorite moments of the night occurred during the song ‘Cute Without the ‘E’ (Cut From the Team).’ Adam pointed the mic to the crowd as everyone sang in unison one of their most famous lines, “Why can’t I feel anything from anyone other than you.” Chills.
Here’s a clip of that moment (27 seconds in) and underneath there’s the video of the whole song. The first video also gives you a good vantage point of the crowd’s energy.