Taking Back Sunday’s Tell All Your Friends Tour (TAYF10) with Bayside and Gabriel the Marine
Emo’s in Austin, TX on November 2nd, 2012
Check out my photos from the concert here
Having turned 19 just over a month ago, I sometimes find to hard to understand what the best days in “our scene” really looked like ten years ago. Sure, I’ve listened to the records – The Illusion of Safety, What It Is To Burn, The Used, Does This Look Infected? – and I grew up on some of them – The Young and the Hopeless, No Pads, No Helmets…Just Balls, Sticks and Stones – but I obviously wasn’t active in the music world then. I mean come on, I was 9. However, listening to the records, reading about them, hearing their influence on new bands now – I get it. And Friday while I belted out every word to every lyric of Tell All Your Friends in a sold out, packed wall-to-wall venue, I understood more than ever what the importance of these albums was (and still is today).
Gabriel the Marine opened the show with a more Circa Survive or As Tall As Lions vibe than pop-punk, but it worked. Admittedly, I was a bit unfamiliar with their material, but their set was a blast. There was a violin, a sax, a variety of guitars, and vocalist Michael Desmond can really hold his own. “Stars Collecting” added a more mellow atmosphere to the night, while “Honest” let Desmond really bask in the spotlight. In fact, violinist Dylan Ebrahimian not only shined throughout Gabriel’s set, he also joined Taking Back Sunday throughout their entire set.
Bayside fired off with perfect opener “Sick, Sick, Sick.” Okay, let’s get one thing straight, Anthony Raneri sounds even better live than recorded – if that’s even possible for the Queens frontman. The guys tore through their set, keeping the dial at 10 song after song. As expected, new cuts “Already Gone” and “Seeing Sound” were absolute powerhouses – the “whoa-ohs” and “heys” of the latter filled the entire venue. And of course, classic cuts such as “Masterpiece” and “Montauk” were huge crowd favorites. Raneri raced across the stage, getting the whole crowd of their feet, while O’Shea, Ghanbarian, and Guglielmo didn’t hold back for a second.
I can’t think of a better opener for Taking Back Sunday than Bayside. Thinking back on how Victory Records must have been back in the day with these bands and others like Thursday and Hawthorne Heights, it really just made perfect sense for Bayside to be there with Taking Back Sunday. As a show that is meant to be as nostalgic as possible, Bayside allowed for just this to happen, fueled with what seemed like more energy than when Sirens and Condolences dropped in 2004. This is a band that has never put out a bad record, and this live show reflects exactly why the group continues to dominate after almost ten years.
Half an hour and a Mr. Rogers intro later, Taking Back Sunday took the stage. The screams of “Are you up for this” on “What’s It Feel Like To Be A Ghost?” made it the perfect opener, while “A Decade Under The Influence” and of course “One-Eighty By Summer” had everyone off their feet. And then, following “Make Damn Sure,” the band left the stage.
Then we knew it was the time: Tell All Your Friends. A rush of anticipation. Lazzara sang the first half of “You Know How I Do” laying on the stage, while jumping into the crowd to finish it. This is a night I’ll never forget. There was no space to move – seriously, every inch of the venue was body-to-body packed – and you just felt the music. When every single person in the crowd yells the words to every single song…this is what music is supposed to be. I will confidently say this performance made me realize the importance of the 2002 music scene and how truly monumental Tell All Your Friends is. Okay, so this album didn’t come out when I was in high school, but so what. It still meant the world to me in high school and middle school for that matter and still does today. That’s the thing about music – it can hit different people at different times and mean something different to everyone. So, as I watched Nolan and Lazzara yell, “This is what living like this does” at the end of “Ghost Man On Third” and felt the anxiety when it was time for the opening strums of “Cute Without The ‘E,’” I understood more than ever why this album changed everything.
The energy of the band after ten years was just incredible. The energy of the crowd…indescribable. The points when you can hardly hear Adam or John’s voices due to the crowd overpowering them – that’s a concert. I even got to experience the one Taking Back Sunday song that arguably means the most to me when they played “Your Own Disaster.” It’s hard to believe it’s been 10 years since these songs came out, but the fact that the crowd still knows every word to every song and that the band has more energy than ever on stage made it all seem young. This was a night fueled by the past, immersed in nostalgic, and lit on fire to burn with an inexpressible energy.
At a time when one of the most punk records of the year comes from P.O.S. and when Converge can still dominate your ears with their new record, anything seems possible these days. Refused just went on tour, The Gaslight Anthem are taking over the world with old-fashioned rock ‘n roll, and Further Seems Forever are back with Chris. Anything is possible – even Taking Back Sunday playing the staple album start to finish with the original line up. This night echoed that sentiment more than any concert I have ever experienced.
So it’s 2012 and I’m sitting at college now and I’m currently stressing studying, but none of this mattered on Friday night. All that mattered was the music, the emotions, those memories and meanings. Maybe each song means something different to every fan there, but that’s fine, because we were all there, yelling the same words. That’s what music is – unity. There’s no method. No rules. No boundaries. Taking Back Sunday knew this in 2002 when they released Tell All Your Friends out of nowhere, and they still know this ten years later today. Playing an album and being brought back to a time in your life is an amazing experience, but seeing the album live front-to-back…that’s a life-changing experience.
Check out my photos from the concert here