This year marks the 20th anniversaries for a lot of bands. And it’s a special celebration for those in the melodramatic tales of the emo explosion of 1999 and early 2000s. One of those bands is the always electrifying, Taking Back Sunday. In those 20 years, TBS has grown into an arena rock band of their own. With the neon panther in the background, TBS have killed it on this 20th-anniversary tour—especially at their stop at the legendary Hollywood Palladium for two sold-out shows last month. Expectations always run high, as the band has been thriving and this celebration of their career did not disappoint.
Adam Lazzara and company have been consistent on releasing new material like recently their upbeat gruff punk ‘All Ready to Go’ but they are not afraid to embrace the classics—which was clear the crowd wasn’t afraid either. There have been plenty of bands to copy the same gimmick and bad emo haircuts but no band does it like TBS. And no album brings up the feels like Tell All Your Friends, which was played in its entirety for both nights.
Sure, the nostalgic hits like ‘Bike Scene’ and ‘Cute Without the E (Cut From the Team)’ are what still has this band going despite the changing lineups but it’s also the basic chunky guitar riffs, bombastic drum fills and the minimal pretense of angsty lyrics they still succeed in. The second half of the set-list for night no.1 consisted of Where You Want To Be in its entirety. For night no.2 the crowd met the band with the most ferocity as Louder Now made up the second half of the set list.
There is no doubt that TBS is pleased to play these heart on your sleeve songs like the crowd isn’t sick of hearing them. If they are, it didn’t show. If they still go strong in the next 20 years we will all be there with our aches and pains singing along and hoping Lazzara can still throw the mic the way he does.
At times it was hard to hear Lazzara because he was drowned out by the enthusiastic crowd. The old classics like “and ‘Timberwolves at New Jersey’ and ‘Make Damn Sure’ still shine bright as it did in 2001.
Lazzara in his frenetic patter and Southern drawl engaged well with the crowd and expressed his sentiment and his gratitude for the 20-year career. Alongside John Nolan, Mark O’Connell and Shaun Cooper, TBS is the emo band that should be celebrated forever.
WORDS AND PHOTOS BY CYNTHIA JO