I feel like all I have done since I got back from Riot Fest is sleep. I just can’t seem to catch up. It was a whirlwind of a weekend and I’m still trying to process everything that happened and every band that I saw but there’s no rest for the wicked and there was a show last night that I was not going to miss.
Taking Back Sunday is one of those bands from my childhood that never went away. I worshiped every album they put out just like I did the first time I heard their first album Tell All Your Friends back in the early 2000’s. I knew I was going to become obsessed with this band the first time I heard that album but I don’t think I realized just how big of a role they would play in my life.
I know it sounds cliche but these guys grew with me. Their music matured as I matured. It matched what I was going through. They have been one of the few constant bands in my life. Bands come and go all the time for me. I may obsess over them for weeks, even months, but Taking Back Sunday is one of the few that has lasted over ten years and I don’t think they’re going anywhere anytime soon.
When Taking Back Sunday announced that they were going to do an acoustic performance inside a local record shop, I flipped. I instantly pre-ordered their new album just so I could get a wristband to get into the event. I didn’t really have much time to think about the fact that I would get a chance to meet this band in person because I was so preoccupied with Riot Fest but the second I arrived at The Electric Fetus and met up with my friends Alli and Mike, I realized what was about to happen.
The band members were nearly an hour late for their in-store performance and signing due to the horrendous traffic in the Twin Cities (although I promised not to complain about the traffic here after seeing the traffic in Chicago). I was nervous that it would cut into how many songs they were going to play for the modest crowd that had gathered but they came up on stage and played through four songs before they sat down for the signing.
I think I was more excited to have them sign my poster than to actually see them play a couple acoustic songs. Sure, it was awesome to be so close to these guys and hear something not many people get to hear but I’m not a fan of acoustic music and these guys are not an acoustic band to me. They didn’t sound bad, they actually sounded great and seeing them play such a stripped down set really showed off just how talented these guys are.
After the four song set, the band members took a seat at a white table and prepared for the onslaught of fans wanting signatures and pictures. My friends and I were pretty close to the front of the line and as soon as it started moving I felt that sinking feeling in my stomach. I had honestly never done a signing like this before and I felt like it was a bit fake. There were so many people and time was of the essence as the band was playing in just a couple of hours down at The Varsity Theater that I just felt like it was going to be so impersonal. I was wrong.
It was my turn to approach the table. I could feel my hands get cold and clammy as I slid my poster onto the empty table. I wanted to say something, but I just couldn’t and I could feel my body start to shake with nerves. Here I was, a 27 year old, finally meeting this band that has been with me for well over ten years and I was shaking uncontrollably and couldn’t find the words to say. That’s when I met eyes with Adam, the singer. All he said was “Thank you so much for coming.” but that was all I needed. Sure, he didn’t know my name as I walked away from that table. He didn’t know I’d be writing this blog about my encounter with him. I thought they were literally going to just sign the poster and move onto the next person but, that’s not how it ended up. I got to meet the members of Taking Back Sunday and, although we didn’t have a full on conversation, they acknowledged the fact that I took the time to come out and see them and I truly felt like they meant what they said and they cared.
After taking a few deep breaths, my friends and I made our way down to the venue where Taking Back Sunday would be playing a full set. As soon as they took the stage and started playing, the exhaustion was gone and I was all about what was going on around me.
They opened their set by playing their new album in it’s entirety. Unfortunately, I hadn’t had a chance to listen to it yet because it came out Friday and I had been at Riot Fest ever since then but I didn’t care. I did think it was a little weird that they were playing such a new album in it’s entirety when the crowd obviously just wanted to hear the old stuff but I was more than content standing there with my drink in my hand, friends by my side, listening to this band that has been with me for so long.
As soon as they had played through the unfamiliar songs, they left the stage and came back with a vengeance. As soon as they started climbing back onto stage, the crowd caught onto what was going to happen. They started pushing towards the front and the mood in the room changed. The energy was electric and with the first note, the crowd erupted.
Taking Back Sunday continued the set playing nothing but the older hits that the crowd was so desperate to hear. They played songs that took all of us back to our childhoods within just a few notes. Songs that, even though majority of us in the crowd probably hadn’t listened to in years, we knew every single word to and screamed the words at the top of our lungs.
It felt like that portion of their set only lasted a couple of minutes but, in reality, they played ten songs from their older albums. Those ten songs seemed to mean everything to everyone who was inside Varsity last night. The crowd was left chanting “one more song” for minutes after Taking Back Sunday left the stage. They were hopeful that the night was never going to end but, alas, all good things must come to an end.
Venue: Varsity Theater
Sausage Fest Meter- 7 out of 10
Average Age of the Crowd- 27
Crowd Surfers- 2
Broken Bones- None
Drunkards Taken Out By Security- None
Celebrity Sightings-Eddie of Failing to Wake
Overall Score- 8 out of 10
Show on Deck- Peaches