The Used and Taking Back Sunday
Featuring Sleepwave and Tonight Alive
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
April 26, 2014
Reviewed Joseph Martinez
Photos by Ashleigh Ahern
Nostalgia might just be the one and only word to describe the feeling that consumed every screaming fan at the thought of a tour featuring The Used and Taking Back Sunday. Two bands that hit the rock scene big on MTV, VH1, and in scribbles on notebooks everywhere, back about 10 years ago!
Middle School would be the time most people my age experienced the glory of The Used, and was introduced to Taking Back Sunday during the beginning stages of High School, and here we are, all grown up and sent back into the past to experience the music that helped us through our most emotional ages.
This show was in fact, so packed, that Revolution Live itself could not sustain the crowd. We were all sent to America’s Backyard to experience the entire show outside, with much more room to fit what looked like thousands of adoring fans.
The night began with Sleepwave taking the stage, featuring former frontman of Underoath, Spencer Chamberlain. This being a fairly new group, much of the music played is brand new and unfamiliar, but it deviated from the traditional Metal-Core sound of Underoath. Vocals were clean and riffs weren’t too heavy, sounding a lot like some older classic rock. Sleepwave offered a pump-it-up sound to prepare us to engage in the following sets.
All the way from Sydney, Australia, comes a band with a sound so powerful, I caught myself gasping every few seconds. Tonight Alive’s lead singer, Jenna McDougall, exploded on stage with a presence like no other. She seemed to step to every drum beat, jump to every bass drop, and smile to every angelic word she sang. The band promoted her voice flawlessly, with soft to somewhat heavy bridges. They left such a strong impact, many crowd members spoke of the band during the following setup, and of course, I couldn’t wait to own some of their music.
TAKING BACK SUNDAY, my friends, is the band to mash all of your emotions into one, and scream and cry along with Mr. Adam Lazara and friends. Every one of the classic favorite songs were performed with an energy that shook the entire audience to its very core, such as “Cute Without The ‘E’ (Cut From The Team),” “ You’re So Last Summer,” “What’s It Feel Like To Be a Ghost,” (My personal favorite;) “A Decade Under The Influence,” and much more before finally closing with “MakeDamnSure,” seemingly being Taking Back Sunday’s anthem amongst their fans. Adam swung his microphone around the stage as he showed off his long-lasting lungs in verses too powerful to imitate, fueled by overlapping screams and singing by the lead guitarist. We were presented with a small surprise as singer Adam Lazara asked for the lights to turn on as a couple took the stage, and the gentleman asked his girlfriend of 7 years to marry him! She said yes, we awwed and cheered, and the show continued on until the final setup for the night…
I thought I was prepared for The Used to come onstage and rock out, but their selection of music along with their presentation on the stage took me and hundreds of fans on a nostalgia trip that was unexpected. Broken and glued together computer monitors and old television sets were set up like mountains around the stage, each with a dim-yellow light to shine through the event that took place on stage. We were introduced to newer songs – about 3 or 4 – before lead singer Bert McCracken announced he would be taking us back about 14 years ago, to chant along with “The Taste Of Ink,” “Buried Myself Alive,” “All That I’ve Got,” “Pretty Handsome Awkward,” “I Caught Fire,” and their most powerful song ever… “On My Own” – lyrics that could bring a person to tears.
This concert was amongst the most heart-felt, tear-jerking events I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing, and it’s no surprise the entire event sold out. We may not ever see a clash of titans like this again, but music makes the world go round. In the words of Bert McCracken, “We are ALL The Used!” and we shall stand together for the power of music.