You know a band is good when – apart from a small handful – the audience isn’t flipping out their phones for a picture or video.
Taking Back Sunday performed in Singapore on January 19 2019, as part of their 20th Anniversary Tour. Back after five years, the band took to The Pavilion @ Far East Square and brought the house down for yet another show-stopping performance. Albeit the smaller venue – as compared to their previous concert at The Ground Theatre – the live house was packed with fans who were raring to go.
Despite standing at the back of the crowd, I could tell the band members had come onto the stage from the unanimous cheers and screams by the crowd. Taking Back Sunday opened their set with You Know How I Do – a song from their first album – which got many die-hard fans screaming and singing along to the lyrics. By the time the band had reached its third song, most of the crowd had realised that the band was playing the entire tracklist from their first album Tell All Your Friends, which frontman Adam Lazzara confirmed during a short talking segment after Cute Without The ‘E’ (Cut From The Team).
The band then went on to play other hit songs from their previous albums Where You Want To Be and Louder Now, allowing fans to relive the best of Taking Back Sunday. The live performance would have been better if the stage was further elevated as fans at the back were unable to see drummer Mark O’Connell.
While it was my first time attending a Taking Back Sunday concert, it certainly did not disappoint – I particularly enjoyed Adam’s candidness throughout the live. For instance, when a fan shouted “I miss you!” in between songs, Adam casually replied “I missed you too, random guy!” before proceeding on with the concert. He also took time to give a proper introduction of the other band members – guitarist and backing vocalist John Nolan, bassist Shaun Cooper and drummer Mark O’Connell – after every three or so songs. Best of all, at times during the live Adam would remind fans to back up a little so that those at the front will not get squashed.
The highlight of the night was – without a doubt – New American Classic. During one of the talking segments, a fan yelled out “New American Classic”, one of Taking Back Sunday’s ballads. Some fans joined along and shouted the song title as well, while others cheered along to second that request. To the surprise of everyone, Adam paused for a bit and then asked the sound technicians if arrangements could be made to accommodate the fans’ request. He and John even went on to make small talk with the crowd until they were set to go. The crowd gradually hushed during the song, further amplifying Adams voice in this melodious song – it was a well-delivered performance given that it was an instantaneous decision.
Taking Back Sunday ended off the concert with their signature closing song MakeDamnSure, which got fans screaming out the lyrics at the top of their lungs throughout the song. I was so captivated by their performance; it was only after the concert ended had I realised that it had lasted for around a whopping two hours!
Taking Back Sunday made it worth every dollar fans spent on tickets, and I can’t wait for their next concert in Singapore – hopefully, it will not take another five long years!
Taking Back Sunday 20th Anniversary Tour – Live In Singapore Concert Setlist
1. You Know How I Do
2. Bike Scene
3. Cute Without The ‘E’ (Cut From The Team)
4. There’s No ‘I’ In Team
5. Great Romances Of The 20th Century
6. Ghost Man On Third
7. Timberwolves At New Jersey
8. The Blue Channel
9. You’re So Last Summer
10. Head Club
11. A Decade Under The Influence
12. Bonus Mosh Pt. II
13. Error: Operator
14. Up Against (Blackout)
15. Set Phasers To Stun
16. Flicker Fade
17. This Photograph Is Proof (I Know You Know)
18. 180 By Summer
19. What’s It Feel Like to Be a Ghost?
20. Number Five With A Bullet
21. Liar (It Takes One To Know One)
22. You Can’t Look Back
23. My Blue Heaven
24. Tidal Wave
25. All Ready To Go
Visuals courtesy of LAMC Productions.