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Taking Back Sunday Celebrated Their 

20th Anniversary

At The House Of Blues

October 25, 2019

Taking Back Sunday’s 20 Tour, a celebration of the bands 20th anniversary, spent two nights at the House of Blues this past Monday and Tuesday. The band has taken all of 2019 to play its first three albums, Tell All Your FriendsWhere You Want to Be and Louder Now all over the world, and this week Cleveland finally got its chance to relive the essential emo albums and hits from the Long Island band.

Both nights started with the 10 song set of the band’s debut album Tell All Your Friends. Without fail both crowds exploded singing at the top of their lungs from the opening notes of “You Know I Do” to the last notes of “Head Club.” Through the years most of TBS’ set play heavily on the album, but the chance to hear the lesser played “Ghost Man on Third,” “The Blue Channel” and previously mentioned “Head Club” was definitely welcomed. Both of the TAYF sets sounded sharp and lead singer Adam Lazzarra’s voice held strong through both but he came through a bit clearer during night two.

During each show the band has played the first album and the second album they are playing has been determined by coin toss. On night one the band called up a fan from the audience for the coin toss, landing on Louder Now. Meaning, Where You Want to Be would be played Tuesday evening.

Louder Now, the bands third album is less road tested as the other two albums. Half of the album had never been setlist staples for the band but the almost year on the road has made “Up Against (Blackout),” “My Blue Heaven,” “Spin,” “Miami” and “I’ll Let You Live” sounds as if they’ve been played since day one in 2007. The crowd was a little passive during parts of the album and the crowd had lost some of its luster. But “Error: Operator” had the crowd going bonkers before the tail end of the portion of the rock and roll show. “Divine Intervention” was a nice break to show off Adams voice with the mostly acoustic number.

Where You Want to Be, the bands second album was the “loser” of the coin-toss and was played during the second set on Tuesday night. Unlike the previous evenings second set the crowd ate up every second of WYWTB. For long time fans and people who had attended multiple shows over the years it was a chance to hear “The Union,” “New American Classic,” “I Am Fred Astaire” and “…Slowdance on the Inside” live. The album sounded top-notch, the vocals sounded clear and it was played nearly flawless and every was having a blast. Adam teased a cover of “Let it Go” before his acoustic number “New American Classic.”

Each show ended with a final three songs that didn’t accompany either album played that night,“Tidal Wave," off the band’s latest album opened the encore and had the crowd moving both nights. During the duration of the shows the band had displayed its best light show that it has in twenty years and their lighting guy deserves a nice bonus keeping it going for 2+ hours over 24 songs each night.

Adam took his liberties each night with talking to the audience. He let us know each night that he feels the band is the luckiest group of guys you’ll ever met, his love for Cleveland and other random stories about songs and history of the songs. As always his perfect mic swings where on point expect when he hit the security guard in the head to end night one!

Taking Back Sunday is a touring machine, they always leave all of the energy and emotion on stage, every night. The two nights in Cleveland where no different. They’ve taken care to deliver all three of these albums with the best they could and it lands well.


Here’s to the next twenty.

Review by Troy Smith

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