Taking Back Sunday House of Blues July 4, 2011
As we walked into House of Blues Monday night, Aftermath thought to ourselves, "Is this the best way to celebrate our country's independence?"
It was a fair question, we thought, because it had crossed our minds that we should have been sitting in a park somewhere, eating hot dogs with our friends and family, perhaps running around throwing a frisbee or a football, waiting for fireworks.
But we feel most at home at the numerous music venues around town, and commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence where we felt most at ease seemed to make sense. So we just went with it.
Right from the beginning of the show, as the recently reunited original TBS lineup strutted out onstage, you could feel the energy flowing through the fans in attendance, all of whom screamed at the top of their lungs in anticipation for the evening's entertainment. As vocalist Adam Lazzara walked to his mike stand, he couldn't help but to crack a smile as he and his band began their performance with a cut off their new self-titled album.
The night was a perfect mix of older, well-known hits and songs from the album that came out last Tuesday, offset with enough onstage banter amongst the band members to let fans know that the group's chemistry was still intact. For someone unfamiliar with the group's music, it must have seemed as though they had written all the songs long ago. No one ever stopped singing or jumping, not even when TBS played a song off their very first album, Tell All Your Friends, the 2002 debut that no one heard of until after breakout Louder Now four years later.
For the first few songs, Lazzara kept the crowd swaying as he walked from one side of the stage to the other, swinging his microphone around like a circus performer... or perhaps a juggler.
Fear of getting bopped in the head by the heavier-than-it-looks piece of equipment kept us crouching, but it didn't dissuade anyone else from standing on the tips of their toes and reaching with all their might toward the stage as Lazzara bent over, teasing fans with the prospect of a handshake or a high-five.
He didn't tease for too long, though. Before long, he was out in the crowd, walking amongst all of us, making his way to the middle of the crowd, where he proceeded to perform a few more songs.
"I can't see the set list," he said to his band with a laugh from the middle of the crowd. "What's next?"
Halfway through the set, TBS performed a surprisingly faithful cover of Straylight Run's "Existentialism on Prom Night," a song that Aftermath hadn't heard in years. We didn't know it was so recognized, but seemingly everyone was singing along with Lazzara as he told the crowd to "sing like you think no one is listening."
The song is quite a sweet sentiment, applicable to many walks of life. We were glad to hear it sung so loudly and proudly.
As their set came to a close, Lazzara made his way from the middle of the crowd toward the side bar. He hopped up on top of it, sang a verse, and then held the microphone away from his mouth as he ordered a shot from the bartender, who played along even though the singer seemed to have gotten in the way of her business.
Such is rock and roll.
Just when Lazzara began to make his way back to the stage through the crowd, a blast went off and red, white and blue confetti covered the crowd, who cheered, reminding everyone that it was the Fourth of July.
As the red, white and blue confetti came to a standstill, Aftermath realized that, for us at least, this is what America's all about. Here, we have the freedom to listen to what we want to, and no one can tell us otherwise. We have the right to celebrate our nation's independence anywhere and in any way we would like.
Forget the fireworks
Personal Bias: This is exactly how we wanted to spend our Fourth of July.
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Overheard In the Crowd: "Watch your head when he starts swinging his mike."
Random Notebook Dump: Although Thursday opened for them, TBS wouldn't be around if it had not been for Thursday, Lazzara told the crowd.