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Taking Back Sunday at House of Blues Anaheim
Written by Brittany Woolsey   
Thursday, 30 June 2011 02:19
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The House of Blues Anaheim served as a playground for Adam Lazzara, lead vocalist/guitarist of Taking Back Sunday Tuesday night. Throughout their hour-long set, Lazzara played with the crowd and various parts of the venue.

A backdrop with the image of a beautiful woman was revealed as the band approached the stage for the first of two sold-out nights at the House of Blues. The picture also served as the cover art for their fifth studio and self-titled release, which was released the same day. This album also served as a reunion for the original members of the band, except Jesse Lacey, who now fronts indie/alternative band Brand New.

Throughout their set, Taking Back Sunday performed songs from all five of their albums, including older fan favorites and new and somewhat unfamiliar songs, except for those who illegally downloaded a leaked version weeks prior.

Kicking off with “El Paso,” from the new album, the five-piece alternative rock outfit was full of energy throughout the night. Likewise, the sold-out crowd was equally intense, pushing forward at the chance to grab Lazzara’ hand, which he extended toward them periodically in the set. Crowd surfing and mosh pits were heavy, especially during songs like “Timberwolves at New Jersey” and “You’re So Last Summer.”

“We had a hard time getting into Disneyland today,” Lazzara joked to his fans. “Obviously, you guys didn’t go to Disneyland because you’re here.”

As well, he showed a softer side as he apologized to a fan who he had an altercation with upstairs before the show.

“I didn’t understand what you were saying,” Lazzara said. “I’m not going to have to unbuckle your pants and do nasty things am I?”

Slow songs were rare in the set, and the only one that was performed was a cover of “Existentialism on Prom Night” by Straylight Run, fronted by Taking Back Sunday guitarist/keyboardist John Nolan. It seemed a little strange that Lazzara sang the song instead of Nolan. Still, the song was performed beautifully, accompanied by the crowd, which, as quoted from the lyrics, sang “as if no one’s listening.”

Before playing “Everything Must Go,” Lazzara said the song was written during the time of bullshit before he met the “love of his life.” He then pointed toward a blonde woman sitting on the balcony and began singing the song that started off soft and progressively grew harder.

“This is Mark O’Connell,” Lazzara said, pointing at Taking Back Sunday’s drummer. “He can’t see very well back there. Scream and let him know how awesome this crowd is!” With that, the crowd roared in a frenzy of excitement as the house lights went on so O’Connell could see the sea of people screaming for him.

“We’re not going to come out for an encore. I’m going to make that clear,” Lazzara said. “What do you want to hear?... Besides ‘Cute Without the E.’”

With that, the crowd began screaming names of song and Lazzara eventually announced that they would play “Great Romances of the 20th Century,” off their first album, “Tell All Your Friends.”

During the upbeat song, Lazzara jumped into the crowd and onto the stage left bar, getting grabbed at by members of the audience.

Taking Back Sunday also played the requested “There’s No I in Team.” During the song, Lazzara eventually made his way across the crowd and onto the stage right bar. Perhaps it was the lack of rehearsal or the fact that the other members were caught off-guard by Lazzara’s off-stage antics, but near the beginning of the song, the band seemed to lose track of each other and were offbeat. Luckily, the band managed to pull it together and play the song at the same pace.

“We’re going to rehearse that one before tomorrow night,” Lazzara said to the rest of the band.

Taking Back Sunday ended their set with one of their biggest songs, “Cute Without the E.” During the song, Lazzara ordered a Jack Daniels from the bartender and told his nearby audience, “Don’t touch my feet. That’s weird.”

The song inspired many to crowd surf, including Lazzara, who got lost in the sea of people and could barely be seen at the end of the song, with his white microphone extended in the air as the only visible thing indicating his presence.

Taking Back Sunday will perform for a sold-out crowd at the House of Blues Anaheim again tonight. For all tour dates, visit takingbacksunday.com/tour.

 

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