It’s a sad, but inevitable truth – we outgrow genres of music. Over the years I’ve outgrown Disney Channel hits, cassette tapes, boy bands and issues of Tiger Beat; it’s kind of a shame, but a sign of maturity and change. Dude Ranch was probably the album that initially catalyzed my love for music. I started saving my allowance for CDs, reading Alternative Press and teaching myself power chords during those adolescent years and I’ve been a Blink fan ever since. My tastes have evolved since my teen years and I don’t proactively discover new Warped Tour bands anymore. However, I have remained faithful to several pop-punk bands who defined my youth. Oldies, but goodies if you will.
WINNER: TAKING BACK SUNDAY
I had never seen Taking Back Sunday before 2011 (in which I saw them once in Dallas at the House of Blues and a second time in Austin at the new Emo’s location). I never got the chance to see TBS in my formative years, which devastated me because Tell All Your Friends was probably the soundtrack to my sophomore year of high school. I also wanted to runaway and elope with Adam Lazzara.
Imagine my elation when the ORIGINAL members reunited, released a great record and started touring again! Lazzara is just as eccentric, flamboyant and angsty as I anticipated. I can’t think of many frontmen with more stage presence or energy. He whips his microphone with such finesse – around his neck, into the crowd – such centrifugal force! The band also incorporated the best hits from their entire catalog into their setlist – regardless of when the song was written or who it was originally written by. They even played a Straylight Run hit off of John Nolan’s seemingly unsuccessful side project from 2003.
TBS was a blast – sweaty and loud. Their latest album is much better than their 2009 release and “This All Now” is my favorite track off that record:
RUNNER – UP: NEW FOUND GLORY
New Found Glory shows are always fun. They’re runners-up because unfortunately, I don’t think their latest album, Radiosurgery, was that great. Fortunately, they predominantly played tracks off of their self-titled album and Sticks and Stones because “My Friends Over You” and “Hit Or Miss” will always be fan favorites and everyone knows every word. New Found Glory dubbed their 2011 tour the “Pop Punk’s Not Dead” tour to kind of champion the point I’m trying to prove with this post – it’s still a popular, fun genre of music and that particularly resonates with the younger population. They even ended by covering Green Day’s “Basket Case” and “Blitzkreig Bop” by the Ramones during their encore.
“Anthem For The Unwanted” is my favorite song off Radiosurgery:
I’m 24 going on 25, meaning I’ve loved NFG and TBS for over a decade (under the influence!) Pop Punk is not dead. In fact, it’s alive and well.