Taking Back Sunday are one of those bands that I've loved for many years, but kind of never got round to seeing them, be it for my parents saying no when I was young enough to need permission, or my bank balance saying no when I was old enough to have bills and responsibilities. So heck, why not take some time off work for a drive over to Nottingham on a Friday, mid-February?
Exeter's Muncie Girls start the show off tonight, and leading lady Lande politely thanks the half-full venue for turning up to watch them play. They've got a lot of life and they evidently really enjoy what they do, their lyrics say a lot but the music's so accessible that it'll reach a lot of people. They're definitely a band to keep an eye on over the next few years - I know I'll be adding their album, 'From Caplan to Belsize', to my Spotify playlist.
Most people best know Frank Iero from his days in My Chemical Romance, but he's playing tonight with his band, The Patience. It's about 10 degrees in Nottingham (the warmest it's been in a while), and Frank Iero rocks up onto the stage wearing a parka with a Thermos flask of tea - he sips from it regularly throughout the set, and never once so much as unzips his coat. Amongst the mass of stationary fans, there's a little pocket of people who evidently think this live performance is the best thing that's ever happened. They go crazy for literally every song played, and it's easy to see why this lot are so passionate about Frank's music; it's sort of youthful punk, perfect for a good mosh and forgetting about the world around you. It's not for everyone, I'll say that much, but those who like it seem to really, really like it.
It's no surprise that the majority of the crowd here to see Taking Back Sunday tonight are in their mid- to late-twenties, and probably grew up listening to 'Tell All Your Friends'. The band start with something much newer, though, and Death Wolf gets a pretty decent reception. The set features songs spanning the band's 15 years of studio releases, and there are clear favourites along the way - You're So Last Summer and Cute Without The E (Cut From The Team) easily get the biggest reaction from the audience, with every word being screamed out across the venue. Obviously, Adam Lazzara spends the whole time strutting across the stage, occasionally swinging his microphone in the air and around his throat, just like he used to when he was a skinny emo boy in the early noughties - some things never change. His Southern drawl between songs becomes a topic for conversation with co-vocalist, John Nolan, he throws in a Trump joke somewhere, and otherwise gives the impression that he'd rather enjoy popping round for a nice cuppa. At the end of the set, Adam delivers the unfortunate news that tonight, there will be no encore - they're being booted off early for another event. The band close on a firm favourite, MakeDamnSure, and everyone goes wild. There's this feeling, right deep down inside your chest that you get when you can really feel live music, and Taking Back Sunday make that happen. They know exactly what they're doing. I don't reckon that'll ever change.