It can be hard for most people to believe that it’s been ten years since Taking Back Sunday’s breakout album “Tell All Your Friends.” The album released back in 2002 was what helped put the band on the map. To celebrate the ten years since the original release, the band performed to sold-out crowds for two nights at Terminal 5. It was a homecoming of sorts for the Long Island natives, Taking Back Sunday, and they were warmly welcomed by a raucous crowd.
The energy in the air was palpable as with each passing second concertgoers became more anxious for the headliners to appear on stage. Fellow NY natives Bayside and punk rockers The Menzingers proved to be just enough to whet the crowd’s appetite. As people filed into the three floors of Terminal 5 The Menzingers bellowed their critically acclaimed rage rock.
After a relatively short set Bayside took their turn on stage. The band was in rare form. Every person on stage seemed to have a permanent smile as they performed. Maybe it was because it was drummer, Chris Gugliemo’s, birthday but more likely it was because this group of men from Queens were thrilled to be home. They played each song as if it were their last, and even though the crowd was standing shoulder to shoulder they continued to dance along to every song.
As marijuana smoke filled the air and beer coated the floors the mob screamed for Taking Back Sunday to enter the stage and the band quickly answered. Less than fifteen minutes after Bayside had walked off lead singer, Adam Lazzara followed by the rest of the original Taking Back Sunday lineup took the stage. Mosh pits were forming before the first chord of “What it Feels Like to be a Ghost” could even be struck. Never one to be out done, Lazzara was matching the crowd’s excitement with his own brand of outlandish stage antics.
The set list was almost exclusively songs from the suburban classic “Tell All Your Friends,” but “Liar (It Takes One to Know One)” and “Makedamnsure” were just a few of the fan favorites played. As the band charged through their discography people began to rise from the crowds and ride and the hands and heads of their fellow concertgoers just for a chance to join Lazzara in his throaty screams.
Then taking a seemingly never-ending microphone cord, Lazzara jumped head first into the crowd, in which he preformed almost two and a half songs. The lead singer reemerged on the opposite side of the venue, a little worse for the wear but smiling nevertheless.
It was very much a depiction of the band’s rocky journey to the show. After ten years, countless line up changes and an ever-fluctuating music market Taking Back Sunday has come out stronger for the journey. No longer in their twenties the rockers still managed to create a lively show. They never lacked in vigor as they too jumped across the stage along to the beat. They seemed to be the men they were when “Tell All Your Friends” was new.
As the band exited the stage the crowd knew no encore would follow. There was no way to top the dynamism of the show yet there were no indignant yells or angry words simply lively discussion of the band’s stellar performance.
The angst-ridden teens that drove around with Taking Back Sunday blasting in their car speaker were the same adults belting the lyrics during the show. It was a full circle journey for both the band and the crowd. Together they relived a part of life that was long-ago left behind. There could not have been a more fitting celebration and tribute to the tenth anniversary than those two nights at Terminal 5.
All photos by Olivia Beteta