If you would have told me 10 years ago that I’d one day be standing front stage shooting photos of Taking Back Sunday during one of their concerts, I would have likely laughed in your face. A decade later, I went from sitting at the foot of my bed brooding while listening to songs like “Cute Without The ‘E’” on my Myspace profile to standing 2 feet away from lead singer Adam Lazzara as I captured shots of him singing the soundtrack to my teenage years.
Taking Back Sunday is an extremely integral part of the “emo” scene that proliferated the music scene in the early to mid 2000s. With the release of their album “Tell All Your Friends” in 2002, a massive influx of bands who embraced this punk-flavored genre of rock that emphasizes poetic and confessional lyrics emerged in the mainstream. Following the subsequent releases of their albums “Where You Want to Be” and “Louder Now”, Taking Back Sunday solidified themselves as among the most influential bands of this scene along with Fall Out Boy, Panic! At The Disco, and My Chemical Romance.
In honor of the 20th anniversary since their founding as a band, Taking Back Sunday is touring around the world in 2019 in support of their recently released compilation album “Twenty”, performing the entirety of their first album “Tell All Your Friends” with other fan favorites sprinkled in. For cities with two headlining shows back-to-back such as at the North Park Observatory in San Diego (which I had the privilege to attend), the band would flip a special coin to decide whether they will finish the concert playing songs from “Where You Want To Be” or “Louder Now”. As was the case at the Observatory on April 6th, Louder Now was the winner.
The show itself was phenomenal. The amount of excitement the band members exuded was remarkable, up to par with the raw energy they became known for early on in their career. The vocals were powerful, the guitars and bass sounded very clean, and the drums were explosive. The highlight of the concert though wasn’t so much the great music, but rather the interactions Adam and John had with the audience, often going on humorous tangents in between songs about scented candles and the Minnesota Timberwolves. Ultimately what these interactions and performances showed was that the band truly seems to be in their element. Being in the same room with old friends playing songs that millions of individuals literally grew up with, for an audience that still knows the lyrics word for word, seems like an incredible time for the band. A decade later, listening to those same songs through the ears of a nostalgic 20-something as opposed to an angsty middle schooler truly makes the concert an experience I will never forget.
Be sure to join Taking Back Sunday on their 20th Anniversary Worldwide Tour in support of their compilation album “Twenty”, which showcases many of the bands classic songs as well as a couple of new songs such as “A Song for Dan” which features a more mature and polished alternative sound.