Where does the time go? This will sound cliche, but it honestly feels like just yesterday when I was jamming out to “Cute without the ‘e’ (Cut From The Team)” and “Saints and Sailors”. The latter was released 15 years ago, I was getting ready for my freshman year of high school.
When you go to concerts featuring bands from your teenage years, sometimes you end up surrounded by actual teens. I remember going to a couple of Weezer concerts where a good portion of the fans only knew “Beverly Hills” and a few songs released after that. It’s nice to see artists who continue to attract new fans, but we all know how rough that can be for those of us who have been listening since the start. Sometimes though, you get a collection of fans that is comprised of individuals who after several years of “adulting” get transported back to their teens for one night.
The Taste of Chaos tour featuring Taking Back Sunday and Dashboard Confessional rolled through Everett, WA on July 9th. It seemed kind of crazy for a tour like this to be indoors in July, but an unseasonably cool summer in the Pacific Northwest made it seem like good planning. The venue itself (XFinity Arena) is a relatively small arena, holding around 10,000 tops for concerts. The event coordinators however were amazing. I am not sure I have ever dealt with a staff who were both easy going and professional, they made the photography part simple and pain free. If XFinity Arena is reading this, Courtney and her staff that evening deserve raises.
Onto the show now. The night started with The Early November, an alternative band from New Jersey who’s sound is similar to what you might expect from an opener for Taking Back Sunday and Dashboard Confessional. What impressed me the most was how good they sounded as openers. It is definitely a credit to them, but also a credit to the sound techs that night, as openers – in my experience – for the most part sound pretty bad. Their set was very short, but they put on an awesome show and it was a good way to get everyone’s blood pumping.
Next up was Saosin f/ Anthony Green. Many of us (myself included), remember Anthony Green for his time with Circa Survive. His unearthly voice and insanely energized antics on stage are quite a sight to behold. The set was once again a very short one, but Green made the most of it, flying across the stage, stuffing the microphone in his mouth and whipping it around while the crowd all roared in approval. When I mention his voice is unearthly, I mean this in the best way possible. This was the first time I had seen Anthony Green live and he doesn’t miss a beat. Even with all the jumping around he does, he still manages to sound just as you’d hope he would.
After Saosin left the stage, it was time for a longer set. It wasn’t the first time I was getting ready to watch Adam Lazzara on stage. Back in 2009, I saw Taking Back Sunday at White River Amphitheater in Auburn, WA when they opened for Weezer and Blink 182. What was different back then though was the absence of guitarist/vocalist John Nolan and bass player, Shaun Cooper. I am not sure if Nolan and Cooper are the only reason Taking Back Sunday sounded so good this time around, but the whole band was absolutely feeling it! Lazzara and his signature happy feet scooted around the stage in front of a giant American flag backdrop, belting out every hit you could think of from Taking Back Sunday’s library. Starting with the aforementioned “Cute without the ‘e’ (Cut From The Team)” and ending with arguably their biggest hit “Make Damn Sure” and only playing a couple new songs in between. Lazzara even promised the crowd that the only reason he was playing a new song was because he’d be doing a disservice to them if he didn’t, because it was “that good”. There wasn’t much banter between songs, but the rare times there was, both Nolan and Lazzara made the most of them, often interacting with members of the crowd. One of those members supposedly had the “best Chewbacca impersonation ever” according to the Taking Back Sunday front man. It goes without saying, they rocked.
The final act of the night was of course, Dashboard Confessional or as Adam Lazzara referred to them as “The one, the only, Dashboard Confessional”. This was the second time I would be seeing them live and the fourth time seeing Chris Carrabba live, as I had also been to two Twin Forks concerts (his folksy side project). I have said it before and I will sat it again, out of all the artists I have seen on stage (and that number is high), Carrabba will always be the one that stands out. His graciousness and his undeniable love for his craft and his fans is unlike any other. He and his bandmates came out swinging with one of their more mainstream hits “Vindicated” and then for the most part concentrated on fan favorites from Swiss Army Romance and The Places You Have Come to Fear The Most, including “Best Deceptions”, “Swiss Army Romance”, “Screaming Infidelities” and another song I mentioned earlier “Saints and Sailors”. One of the highlights of their set (as it often is) was when Carrabba played “Remember To Breathe” (a song only found on their MTV Unplugged album) by himself only to be joined by the rest of the band for the climax. Each and every song was everything a Dashboard Confessional fan could ask for and then some. I didn’t want it to end.
It’s a crazy thing growing up. I don’t always see myself as someone who is rapidly approaching 30 and on Saturday night, nor did anyone else in that building. Adam Lazzara mentioned during Taking Back Sunday’s set that it was great that we were all there for nostalgic reasons and he was right. I looked around at people my age belting out each lyric and moving to the music like it was 2001, only flip phones had been traded in for smart phones, homework turned into time clocks and boyfriends and girlfriends were now husbands and wives. Other than that, for four hours there wasn’t one life stress to be felt. For four hours we were kids again.
Thank you to all the bands who tore it up on July 9th.
Editor in Chief of Lemonade Magazine
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