Taking Back Sunday

Gig Review: Taking Back Sunday, O2 ABC, Glasgow, 23rd August 2011

It must have felt like a million miles away from home when Ilan Rubin stepped on stage in Glasgow to a virtually non-existent crowd. The former Lostprophets and Nine Inch Nails drummer took to the stage to perform his new solo material under the pseudonym The New Regime fifteen minutes after the doors opened and only had the opportunity to perform four songs. While it is hard to gauge what he is offering with only four songs, he didn’t let the small crowd ruin what was his first ever UK date with the band. Ilan, who is only 23, showcased the wealth of experience he has gained throughout the years as he put in a powerful charismatic performance fit for a headline show and the small crowd loved every moment. Although he only had the opportunity to perform four songs, he certainly left you wanting more as he poured his emotion into the final song. The future is bright for Ilan. [8]

Many years ago I caught the Scottish three-piece The Xcerts performing live and for the life of me I cannot remember who they supported. It wasn’t until the 29th June this year that I finally caught back up with the band when they supported Charlie Simpson on his solo tour. On that night they had to do things a little different to what they usually do by stripping back their songs to the barebones to fit in with the type of show that it was but it was that performance that made me realise how incredibly talented and how far they are capable of going in the future. Stepping it back up a notch to their usual live show, The Xcerts were greeted warmly with a larger crowd when they came on stage and they got the crowd fired up. Performing hit songs such as ‘Scatterbrain’ and ‘Slackerpop’, The Xcerts put in a very strong and devoted performance to their Scottish crowd. Having been listening to the bands material again recently, I can state that live they are another animal and well worth checking out on tour. Adam Lazzara of Taking Back Sunday went on to promote the band stating he has been listening to their music on his iPod for the last two weeks and he cannot think highly enough of them. Scotland’s new force to be reckoned with. [8]

I was probably the only person worried about the headliners performance as I met Adam Lazzara and John Nolan prior to their performance for an interview in which Adam stated he was suffering from an injury. The first date on their UK tour kicked off at a slow pace as Adam’s ankle and leg looked to be giving him a bit of bother and he remained stationary throughout the their heaviest song ‘El Paso’. For the first three songs Adam was as strong as ever vocally as he looked focussed on becoming comfortable and slowly kicked into his trademark swagger around on stage during ‘MakeDamnSure’ and ‘You Know How I Do’.

As the first notes to ‘Liar (It Takes One To Know One)’ kicked in Adam moved the mic stand to the back of the stage and it was time to go. Rolling onto the band’s latest single ‘Faith (When I Let You Down)’ the mic was swinging and the chord wrapped around the throat of the vocalist as he unleashed the animal inside.

“The most handsome band in the world” as Adam stated several times throughout the night were on fire. The return of the original line-up looks to have brought some fire back into the eyes as John Nolan put in a great performance on his return and Shaun Cooper never for a second lost the smile from his face.

Earlier in the set Adam announced to the people at the back of the venue he was coming for them and after performing hit songs such as ‘Timberwolves at New Jersey’ and a cover of John and Shaun’s former band Straylight Run, Adam made true to his promise. Leaping into the crowd Adam took the microphone with him and made it all the way back to the bar which he stood upon and performed songs such as the new ‘You Got Me’ and the old fan favourite ‘Set Phasers To Stun’.

When Adam took to the back of the venue it allowed Shaun and Eddie to shine as for the majority of the set they remained to the back of the stage to avoid being hit by Adam when he threw the mic around. That is only negative that I can throw at their performance is that all of the focus is on Adam. Yes that is a major part of being a frontman but when two members are forced to remain next to the drum set for three quarters or more of the performance and you watch them, you can see points were they look sort of zoned out. While Shaun kept smiling and kept doing what he does in the short amount of space, Eddie at times looked a little bored and at points leaned against the speakers. When Adam moved to the back for several songs it was time for Eddie to move to the front and it was then that he was allowed to express himself which made him look much happier and he also picked up the crowd to the side of the stage who were a little stale to be honest.

Ending the set on two original classics ‘Cute Without the ‘E’ (Cut from the Team)’ and ‘There’s No ‘I’ in Team’ Taking Back Sunday had put in a fantastic shift after a slow, but still strong musically, start in Glasgow. The fire and hunger looked to be back with Taking Back Sunday. Adam is truly one of the most notable frontmen currently touring right now with a trademark performance but sharing the limelight with the other members of the band wouldn’t be such a bad thing.

Rating – 9


All photographs are taken by Vagelis Georgariou. Take time to visit his website http://www.biglens.co.uk/

The New Regime

The Xcerts

Taking Back Sunday


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Michael is the owner and creator of EspyRock. He is your general all round geek; sports fan; TV show fanatic. You can find him sharing his thoughts on his personal Twitter account. Contact Michael on Twitter or via Email.

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