The 15-year career of Taking Back Sunday has been a turbulent one featuring multiple line up changes however this return to Birmingham marks the closing of a European tour. Tonight was special as not only were the band here to celebrate the release of Happiness Is, it was their first show in Birmingham with their original line up since they reformed.
Despite it being poorly advertised, the opening bands alternated slots each night so, to many people’s confusion, Marmozets went on first. This change lead to a considerable number of people missing them, due to the slow moving line outside and the decision of the London-Midland service to delay every train into and out of Birmingham that day. However once everyone finally entered the venue, Blitz Kids [8/10] took to the stages. With a set that leaned heavily on 2014’s The Good Youth, the band set out to get the crowd singing and dancing along to their brand of catchy rock music. While the crowd was obviously braced for tonight’s headliners, combined with the relative small fan base of the band, Blitz Kids struggled to start out with. However with songs such as ‘Run For Cover’ and ‘All I Want Is Everything’, the crowd quickly came onside. Ending their set with their new single ‘Perfect’, Blitz Kids proved why they are such an exciting small band that are braced for big things in the next couple of years.
With a track record of being a very hit-or-miss live band, many were worried about which version of Taking Back Sunday [9/10] would take the stage; however as soon as the final notes of opening song ‘What’s It Feel Like To Be A Ghost’ rang out, those worries had evaporated. As the emo heartthrob of the early to mid 2000’s, Adam Lazzara showed that his voice still sounds amazing while also that he has a certain star power that most bands lack. With a set that was packed with fan favourites as well as songs that are modern rock classics, the band caused the place to reach fever pitch with tracks like ‘Number Five With The Bullet’ and ‘Liar (Takes One To Know One)’. However it wasn’t just the classics that were greeted with huge reactions, ‘Stood A Chance’ and ‘Flicker, Fade’ proved that the band is still as beloved as anytime before in their career. Of course, the biggest sing-a-longs of the night were reserved for tracks off their debut album, Tell All Your Friends, with the band playing 4 tracks off the album in a set that consisted of a mammoth 19 songs. Taking Back Sunday have a very privileged positions with being able to end their sets with two of the best pop punk songs ever written, in the form of ‘MakeDamnSure’ and ‘Cute Without The E (Cut From The Team)’, and with those songs the place erupted with bodies flying and words sung out on the top of everyone’s lungs. While there has been a pop punk revival in the last few years, tonight confirmed the fact that Taking Back Sunday are still one of the best bands to come out of that scene of all time.