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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Taking Back Sunday Live in Manila concert review


“Taking Back Sunday Live in Manila”
By Bianchi Mendoza

Taking Back Sunday burst onto the rock scene with the release of their first full-length album TELL ALL YOUR FRIENDS in 2002. Hits like “Cute without the E” and “You’re So Last Summer” put them on the alternative rock/pop punk map, opening for Blink-182 and playing at the VANS WARPED TOUR.  They released their fifth eponymous album, “Taking Back Sunday” last year. They rocked Manila for the first time last April 13. The band’s original line-up has gone on tour for the first time in a long time, honouring us Filipinos by making us their only stop in Asia.


You could feel the energy buzzing around the jampacked SM Skydome even before TAKING BACK SUNDAY took the stage. The chosen opening acts: homegrown talents Typecast and independent act Imbue No Kudos got the crowd pumped and ready.  You could tell they were as excited as the audience for Taking Back Sunday’s set.

The crowd was made up mostly of post-adolescent fans who knew all of their songs by heart. The screams were deafening as Taking Back Sunday came on stage. Vocalist Adam Lazzara, who was sporting a broken leg wobbled onto the stage. But as expected, that didn’t stop him from giving an all-out performance, proving that you don’t need theatrics and choreography to give a great show. His voice, their energy as a band was enough to send the girls screaming and the guys moshing, and vice versa.
Photo by Magic Liwanag Photography
I remember hearing them for the first time when I was in College and I was instantly taken by their “in your face” sound and unapologetic lyrics reminiscent of early Dashboard Confessional with a mixture of Sunny Day Real Estate. They opened the show with “El Paso” off of their most recent album and followed it up with “You Know How I Do” from their debut album.  The ground shook and the SM skydome became a big ball of sound that seemed to be bouncing with every guitar riff, keeping time with every drumbeat.

Adam stopped mid-set to thank everyone for coming out, sincerely sharing how kind everyone’s been to them.  It was heart-warming to see a truly talented band, that’s so unaffected and unassuming. It was refreshing to experience raw talent from a group of humble guys who don’t try too hard to project the “rockstar” persona. They just play great music, whatever genre that falls into, some would argue they’re “emo” not “punk” etc. but it doesn’t really matter.

The line-up included fan favorites like “Faith”, “Bike Scene”, “Timberwolves, ”You Got Me”, “”What it Feels Like To Be a Ghost?” and many more. They ended with explosive tracks “There’s No I in Team” and “Make Damn Sure”.  All in all they played 19 songs, which just about makes up for the years Pinoy fans have been waiting to see them live. It was a concert that was “Cute without the E” with songs that CUT right through you.

It was a night like no other, it was Epic with a capital E. As the band enters a new era/decade in their history, reuniting with the guys who started Taking Back Sunday, fans can be damn sure they’ll be in for an awesome ride. 

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