On Sunday, November 18, three Dispatch staffers attended the Taking Back Sunday show at The State Theatre. Since we all had very different experiences, we decided to document our impressions for your reading pleasure. Below you’ll find bloody noses, embarrassing habits, moshpits, and even some discussion of the music. So with no further preamble, here’s what we thought of the show.
I think its safe to say that most people probably went through a particularly angsty period at some point during their teenage years. Mine stretched from the age 14 to 16 and was, initially, provoked by my parents moving me from Southern California to Maine. That’s pretty rough on a 14-year-old girl. And, as a result, I took it upon myself to become both punk and pissed off. Just to clarify, when I say “I went punk,” I mean I wore studded belts and pretended to be a badass. Taking Back Sunday was a very large part of this period in my life, and so when Dispatch decided to cover their show, I saw it as an opportunity to reconnect with a past self.
I went to the TBS show for two reasons: to push people and to get kicked in the head. This was accomplished pretty early in the show. It was nice not having to go to a show for work solo for once. I was accompanied by several members of the Dispatch staff, including our editor. It was great; I got to see an interesting side of my “coworkers.” There is something about this type of genre of music and concert that brings out the most primal side of people. At one point during the show I saw my editor violently shoving people in the mosh pit, it was shocking; her arms are pretty skinny and you wouldn’t expect such a surge of power from someone wearing a striped J Crew sweater. I found a cozy spot a few rows from the front where I could jump and fist pump into peoples’ backs. There are few things on par with spending your Sunday night choking down a stranger’s shoulder sweat and screaming like you’re an angry 14-year-old again.
When I heard Taking Back Sunday was playing at the State Theater in Portland, my mind immediately flashed back to when I was 17, I thought I was going to BE Adam Lazzara, and rocked out repeatedly to Cute Without an E in my car. Let’s be serious: I still do that. Naturally, I was so pumped when we scored press passes; I was going to be just a few feet away from Adam. To pump myself up for the show, I went for a 4 mile run, blasting Taking Back Sunday tracks, put on my fav T, skinny jeans and leather jacket, and I was ready. My press pass allowed me to be right in front of the stage for 2 songs, looking straight up Adam Lazzara’s nose. I totally pulled a Taylor Swift when the first song began, eyes wide and mouth open, forgetting I was there to take photos for Dispatch. After the first two songs, I was ushered away from the stage and into front row. I put the camera away and with one glance to my Dispatch coworkers, things got serious.
The crowd was pumped and the band was on key as a small tear fell from my right eye. Just kidding, I didn’t actually cry, but I would have. I started dancing and accidentally found myself in the middle of the mosh pit, got punched in the face, lost my hat, dropped the lens cap, and lost my shoe. Luckily, all of my personal items were recovered thanks to the bearded young man who acted as a shield for us girls just trying to dance, not get assaulted. I didn’t hear one song that I didn’t like, and each one was better than the last. As Alina and I walked home together, covered in sweat, we discussed how the show was inarguably the best night of our lives. To top it all off, my nose started bleeding just as I was about to go bed. I went to bed a happy, happy girl.
I’m extremely adamant in my hatred of the term “guilty pleasure.” In my opinion, there’s no such thing as a guilty pleasure. If something makes you happy, no matter how cool or uncool it may be, then that thing should be on your “like” list. Own your questionable music taste, your penchant for watching romcom box office bombs, your habit of eating pizza in bed without pants. Join the ranks of the uncool!
Anyway, the point of this rant was to inform our readers that the ladies of Dispatch unabashedly love TBS (except for Ali, who somehow missed this formative phase of mid-2000’s adolescence) so we were psyched to go to their Tell All Your Friends 10th Anniversary concert.
And for good reason: the show was awesome. After opening acts Bayside and The Menzingers got the crowd suitably pumped up, TBS took the stage to play the album Tell All Your Friends in its entirety. It started out a little slow, but as soon as they played “A Decade Under The Influence,” shit blew up. The area in front of the stage turned into a giant, swaying mass as people pushed, shoved, and moshed their way toward the stage. The energy was amazing—though at times, our fandom threatened to drown Adam out, which was a shame because few people can scream-sing like that dude.
Despite their advanced age (if any band members are reading this, please don’t take offense—we’re all older than we were 10 years ago) TBS still knows how rock a stage. Unlike some bands that phone in every live show with lip-syncing and other dirty tricks, TBS was able to recreate TAYF with only minor deviations. They even played “Your Own Disaster” toward the end of the show, and I’m not going to lie, when Adam slowly sang “Hey lush, have fun, it’s the weekend,” I nearly lost it. While there were some highlights (“Cute Without The E,” anyone?) every song sounded suitably angsty, fuzzy, and loud. However, there was still a certain amount of precision in the performance that made it feel rather authentic. At the end of the night, we all got what we wanted: a sweet, sweaty, bloody reunion with one of our favorite albums from high school.
All in all, it was a pretty freaking good night. And I don’t feel guilty about that at all.
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