The Hype: In between the multiple nights of celebrating 30 years of Bad Religion, the House of Blues Anaheim switched gears as New Found Glory stopped by for a sold-out, two-night stand commemorating the 10-year anniversary of their commercial breakthrough, self-titled album.
The Show: Chants of “NFG!” erupted from the crowd as the curtains were still drawn. The kids in the audience were stoked as I heard the folks on the front of the rail express concerns for their own safety. Within moments, I was ducking crowd surfers in the photo pit as the audience erupted when New Found Glory kicked things off with “Better Off Dead.”
“Dressed To Kill” and “Sincerely Me” were performed with just as much energy when I used to see them during the Warped Tour. Ian Grushka was using a colorful bass adorned with Taylor Swift and a New York Rangers “suck” stickers. The ironically titled “Hit or Miss” was New Found Glory's biggest hit and the sudden influx of crowd surfers seemed to agree that it was their favorite tune. Chad Gilbert and Steve Klein unleashed their sugary pop punk guitars with Gilbert almost losing his instrument when he held it over the crowd during “Sucker.”
Gilbert gave a heartfelt thanks to the crowd for their unwavering support over the years. It was impressive to see the maintained enthusiasm of the crowd. “Boy Crazy,” “All About Her” and “Ballad for Lost Romantics” completed their self-titled album. Another roar came from the crowd when vocalist Jordan Pundik asked if they were ready for round two. New Found Glory quickly dispatched “All Downhill From Here” and “Don't Let Her Pull You Down” before finishing off the audience with “My Friends Over You”. I would suspect a lot of those attendance probably went back for another dose on Sunday night.
Saves The Day received a warm reception from their 15-song set. Chris Conley almost seemed surprised by the enthusiastic crowd frequently smiling in between songs. “At Your Funeral” had a young girl next to me clutching her chest emphatically singing all the lyrics.
Local favorites Hello Goodbye had their share of supporters as they worked through a handful of songs. I was particularly impressed with the incorporation of a sample of Seinfeld theme song into their set. Fireworks also delivered a power-pop/punk set using a similar blueprint employed by New Found Glory.
The Crowd: Lots of kids including those with over-21 wristbands.
Overheard: A high-percentage of the crowd cheered when Pundik asked, “How many of you were in high school when our album came out ten years ago?”