Last Saturday I relived so many angst teenage emotions thanks to Taking Back Sunday’s concert at Riviera Theater. They’re on a tour for the 10th anniversary of the album that made them famous—Tell All Your Friends.
I unfortunately missed the first opener, thanks to train construction or something, but I did get to enjoy the second opener, Bayside. I had honestly never heard their music, but a large percent of the audience seemed to know them and love them. They certainly lacked the more pop sound of TBS that made me a fan, but their energy and music complemented the main performance brilliantly.
The build up to the show wasn’t that intense. We’ve been listening to Taking Back Sunday for a decade so it all felt rather familiar. But a lot can happen in 10 years— the friend who gave me a burned copy of Tell All Your Friends when we were 13 is now engaged with two dogs and a job as an elementary school teacher at a private Christian school and hasn’t listened to anything even vaguely associated with the punk genre for years—but somehow I remembered. every. single. word. And I wasn’t the only one. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve ever been to a show where the audience was quite so familiar with every song. They would sing them just as they were recorded while the singer sang different harmonies and often just listened to the crowd. Adam Lazzara said something about how listening to his voice on that album makes him cringe now, but he could see that it changed not only the lives of those in the band, but also those of all of us in that audience, singing along with such emotion.
This all was rather surprising to me somehow. I had sort of imagined that since it was an all ages show there would be a younger crowd, who perhaps had recently started listening to the punk pop music of the past decade, but what I found instead was a theater packed with twenty-somethings who have grown up with these songs. A woman behind me seemed to also be surprised, commenting, “I’m so glad it’s not filled with teenagers like I thought it was going to be!” I don’t even think I saw a single pair of Converse.
When Lazzara worked his way to the middle of the crowd, and seamlessly wove in some of Bon Iver’s famous Skinny Love lyrics, singing, “And I told you to be patient, and I told you to be kind” I experienced a wave of memories and emotions that were connected to these songs at different points in my life. Perhaps the attachment to these lyrics can only be so intensely experienced by a lonely teenager, but I was surprised to find that they still resonate with me today. This is impressive, and proof that the album (and the band) has something special.
- by Ariana, guest contributor