New Found Glory
House of Blues
More than arguably anyone else (with the possible exception of the Used), New Found Glory has capitalized on the emo/pop punk revival currently happening. On Wednesday night, they demonstrated that with a sold out show at the House of Blues in Anaheim, bringing the entire venue back to the mid-2000s for a night.
Although the band never really broke up (and haven't gone more than three years without releasing an album since forming in 1997), the Florida-based quartet certainly seems much more relevant now than they did even a year ago.
After starting the set with the title track of 2014's Resurrection, the pop punk fan favorites only made their adoring audience wait through one more track before busting out one of the handful of songs that everyone in attendance wanted to see, "Hit or Miss."
Beginning with that tune, it was clear that while the crowd would be hard-pressed to keep up with the energy from frontman Jordan Pundik, they'd be doing their best. As Pundik ran, danced, jumped, and belted out songs like "Sonny" and "Selfless," the audience kept an appropriately steady amount of clapping, moshing, and screaming through the early portion of the set.
Guitarist Chad Gilbert spent much of the night as the primary spokesman between the band and the crowd (including pulling a small child on to the stage and letting him rock out/giving him a cookie), although it seemed like a bit of a shame since Gilbert always appeared to take himself more seriously than the rest of the band most of the time.
Of course, no one can blame Gilbert (or the rest of New Found Glory) for being a touch more serious, as the guys who achieved success through somewhat immature (but relatable) songs in their early 20s are now all in their mid-30s. There's only so long you can act like a teenager all the time.
With the band continuing on to "All Downhill from Here" within the first half-dozen songs of the set, one of the many differences between NFG and Yellowcard (who played on the same bill, immediately before). Despite Yellowcard having a song track higher than anything New Found Glory has ever released, everyone (except those three people I saw walking out before New Found Glory even took the stage) was there to see Yellowcard play "Ocean Avenue" and then move on to New Found Glory.
Whereas Yellowcard felt like a one-hit wonder, there are at least a handful of NFG tracks you'd want to see live even for the most casual of New Found Glory fans. Sure, there'll be deep cuts (2011's "Summer Fling, Don't Mean a Thing" comes to mind) that all sound the same through a PA system, but it's obviously worth it to see the tracks that got you through the 2000s.
As the middle portion of the set consisted everything from "Familiar Landscapes" to the re-recorded version of "Ready and Willing" (featuring guest vocals from Brianna Collins of the opener, Tigers Jaw) before launching into some of the classics to re-energize the crowd for the last few tracks.
Beginning with "Failure's Not Flattering (What's Your Problem)," NFG rattled off classics including "Dressed to Kill," "Sincerely Me," "Something I Call Personality," "Truth of My Youth," and "The Story so Far" (along with newer tracks like "Vicious Love" and "Listen to Your Friends") as the set wound down.
Once the audience had completely forgotten they weren't at Warped Tour 2004, the band's crew rolled out a confetti cannon to blast a ridiculous amount of white confetti as the group closed out the set with "My Friends Over You," much to the delight of everyone who would soon be pouring out on to the cold streets of Downtown Disney.