Q101 Presents: Taking Back Sunday & Anberlin

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The bands fun., Anberlin and Taking Back Sunday stormed The House of Blues for this Q101 show with high energy and charged the crowd with positive vibes. Every once in awhile there is that band that you feel iffy about and can’t decide whether or not you want to like them. At this concert I had this fork in the road and made my decision.

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Starting off with fun., here is his band that is fresh and just released their first full length album, “Aim and Ignite.” I have never heard of them until hearing about this concert. So I did some digging and found out that the lead singer, Nate Ruess, is the former lead to the late band The Format. Although I’ve never listened to The Format either, I have at least heard of them. When I first listened to fun., I thought it was a very different sound than what I was use to. It was kind of funky and very up beat. Seeing them in concert was a treat I’ll tell you. With a full set of keys, rhythm and high energy, fun., had the crowds’ attention. To me, it sounded like a funky Panic! At the Disco and as one fan mentioned to me they had a Queen sound as well. For me, they are a band that I almost hate to like. It’s not something in my iTunes catalog, but I have to admit they are catchy and you can’t help but stop and listen to them and they grow on you.

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After the funky rock stepped off stage and people had time to readjust, Anberlin blasted onto stage and everyone knew it. Anberlin is that band to me where I had to make a decision whether or not they would be a contender fighting for a spot in my heart. They rocked my socks off. I have always heard of Anberlin way back in the day when I first started getting into the rock/punk genre in high school. They formed in 2002 and I have always noticed their name. It just wasn’t something I was going out of my way to listen to, but wouldn’t detest to listening to them if they were playing. With their great fast paced rock, Joseph Milligan and Christian McAlhaney on guitars, Deon Rexroat on Bass and Nathan Young on drums, the band had great chemistry and you could definitely see it in their stage presence.

Going into this concert I went in with a positive mind because live performances always are more likely to swing me one way or the other. I never really had a liking to My Chemical Romance until I saw them live, which definitely changed my opinion on them; this was ultimately the case when I saw Anberlin. When they took the stage the crowd was pumped and you could tell this would be a good show. I did not know too many songs, but I did recognize a few songs from their newest album, “New Surrender.” Lead singer Stephen Christian really got the fans going as they sang along. At one point, I thought that they were going tone it down with something more  mellow, but no, Anberlin kept firing away with high intensity.

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Anberlin is a great band out of Florida that has been around for a better part of a decade. With more alternative influences, their high energy performances, and a great fan following, Anberlin will continue to be a part of the rock scene for years to come. If you have yet to take part of their musical endeavors, I suggest that you should listen to them now and seeing them in concert should check out as well. Anberlin MySpace

DSC00070The crowd was pumped, energy at a high, it was time for the headlining band to come on stage. Everyone knew who they were. It was no secret that Taking Back Sunday was the band of the evening, but with help of fun. and Anberlin, the crowd was set and locked in for what they were about to get themselves into.

With an array of albums to fire off from, Taking Back Sunday had a plethora of tunes to perform and the audience definitely knew all the words. This is one of the bands that has taken the punk/rock genre to a new level from the big boom in the early 2000s with their emo lyrics and a sound teenagers quite had not heard of until then. I have always loved watching TBS live, but there was something different this time. It could have been the fact that Adam Lazzara (lead singer) was on a crutch with a torn ligament in his foot and their new guitarist/back up vocalist, Matt Fazzi, had a boot on his foot. Matt Fazzi recently joined TBS after Fred Maschernio left to front his own band The Color Fred. Although Taking Back Sunday has had a revolving door around their guitarist/back up vocals, Fazzi seemed to fit in quite well. Mark O’Connell (drums) and Eddie Reyes (guitar) have been in the band since 2001 with Adam and their first major record “Tell All Your Friends.”

DSC00126Injuries and lineup changes aside, Taking Back Sunday went full force into a show that tried to please the crowd with the amount of physical movement that their bodies allowed themselves. Adam eventually ditched the crutch and got in his old mic swinging mode. They played a lot of new stuff off their recent album from this Summer, “New Again,” and a good amount of old stuff that really pleased everyone. The encore was a bit different from what a concert goer may be use to as it would have taken forever for Adam to hobble off stage and hobble back on. So with an address to the crowd as they acknowledged his handicap and the lights went down just to give the effect of an encore reappearance.

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Taking Back Sunday came to please and there couldn’t have been a single person who left disappointed. The show couldn’t have gone better and the crowd chanted for more even after the encore. Throughout the night, everyone was really happy to be there and the bands definitely felt the love that night. All the bands performed in top shape and with a Chicago crowd, you always have to be on your game. Thanks to Andy & Angela with tour managing with getting myself and Sara into the show. Also thanks to the guys in Anberlin for opening my ears to a band I will definitely listen to more often in the future. I will also take a high interest in seeing them again in January-February when they go on a headlining tour with my favorite band Thursday!

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