Don’t fear another straight and plain ARM blogpost. I think I’ve done enough of them in the past months. I mean, just look at the last blogposts (although I can’t guarantee I’ll be able to tackle my temptations to just do another one considering the vast amount of cool releases happening in this pre-summerish period). This one certainly still deals with the magic of music, the mother of all arts, yet in a slightly unconventional and unlabelled form. Essentially, it tries to narrate and report what it felt like to watch my all time favorite rock and roll outfit, named Taking Back Sunday, two times in less than three days over the past weekend. Yes, that is all true, and kind of a great big deal for me, to be honest. Friday 22nd May I got to see them at tiny and intimate Rhythm Factory around Whitechapel, London, while the following Sunday I caught them from front row at alternative-rock/punk Slam Dunk Festival South in Hatfield, about half an hour train ride from central London. Two very different yet somehow connected and complementing experiences, which reminded me once again why this is the band I couldn’t really live without.

Having had seen them three times before this shocking one-two combo in three days, I guess I was at least a little bit pre-warned of what it would feel like having them standing a few metres away from me playing those very tunes that mean so freaking much to myself. Still, every single time their show somehow takes a new form and it transforms itself in a sort of unprecedented experience, at least as far as I’m concerned. Their gig at the Rhythm Factory, supported by new UK emo sensation Moose Blood, was literally surreal, not only because of the venue’s 200–300 people capacity (which of course automatically turns the show’s tangibility of an usual arena-band into something unlike all others), but also because of the true collegial atmosphere and the feelings of complicity that one could breathe by just standing somewhere in front of the narrow-mini stage. Also, the temperature was almost (literally and figuratively) too hot to be true, even before Taking Back Sunday would take the stage everyone was already soaked, so imagine the intensity as soon as they kicked off with latest album Happiness Is’s opener “Flicker, Fade”. Litres, litres, and litres of sweat alongside soaring singing and screaming were released into the air that night, guaranteed. Come on, just take a quick look at the picture below I took on-the-go in between two songs (it was probably before a mighty rendition of “A Decade Under the Influence” and right after majestically wrapping up old timer “Timberwolves at New Jersey”), it’s as if it’s sweating itself, isn’t it? You can almost see drops of rock and roll sweat trickling out of the frame. I assume this explanation excuses me for the poor graphical quality.

I reported Taking Back Sunday’s setlist of their Friday show at Rhythm Factory further below, adding up tunes to a little more than an hour of spectacular entertainment. Personal highlights were with no doubt never-heard-live-before “How I Met Your Mother”, Happiness Is’s b-side and one of their hardest but still somehow most melodic songs, “Better Homes and Gardens”, an intense moment for everyone attending and arguably among the standout tracks off of their latest effort, alongside a live-welcome back of “Spin”, at least with regard to UK soil according to frontman Adam Lazzara. The setlist was more or less replicated at their Sunday show at Slam Dunk South, with the only exception of the omission of the latter mentioned song, probably for time reasons. The context and scenarios were quite different on that occasion, and despite the fact I was able to get up basically until the first row, the whole thing looked indeed much more like a bigger occasion, not least because they were playing the main stage at an outdoor festival. Taking Back Sunday got the set slot between Don Broco, who played just before them, and main headliners You Me At Six, and therefore, quite understandably, the crowd wasn’t there just for the NY emo veterans, as it was the case for me, for instance. Thus, I felt a little more isolated among teens waiting in the vicinity of the front row for You Me At Six for the whole day, yet that didn’t stop me from losing my mind once again. Bearing in mind the sound distortion one gets when at the first row at a big open air festival, the band sounded and looked amazing. Particular mention should be made, in this case, for dance number “Stood a Chance”, personal favorite “Error: Operator” and, obviously, closing gems “Cute Without the ‘E’ (Cut from the Team)” and “MakeDamnSure”, which got the major portion of the crowd go crazy, myself included.

All in all, this past one was certainly one of the most intense weekends I’ve ever had. I’m so glad I was able to make the most out of Taking Back Sunday’s most recent visit to the country I’m currently staying in. I’d do this again a million times, and probably will again in the future, would the possibility arise. These experiences enrich me enormously. And deliver me something priceless, which it’s not so much the fact that I got a guitar pick from Eddie Reyes or that I had close encounters with singer Adam Lazzara including a half-singing into his mic, but rather the confirmation that the connection and emotional intensity that this band is capable of catalysing in me is unlike anything else. I guess I can’t do nothing but thank them for what they do.

Taking Back Sunday’s setlist at Rhythm Factory, London (22.05.2015):

  1. Flicker, Fade
  2. What’s It Feel Like to Be a Ghost?
  3. Number Five with a Bullet
  4. How I Met Your Mother
  5. Liar (It Takes One to Know One)
  6. Stood a Chance
  7. Timberwolves at New Jersey
  8. A Decade Under the Influence
  9. Faith (When I Let You Down)
  10. You’re So Last Summer
  11. Better Homes and Gardens
  12. Error: Operator
  13. You Know How I Do
  14. Spin
  15. Cute Without the ‘E’ (Cut from the Team)
  16. MakeDamnSure

I’d like to thank you sincerely for taking the time to read this and I hope to feel your interest again next time.


TBS_Rhythm Factory


2 thoughts on “(MY NEED FOR) TAKING BACK FRIDAY & SUNDAY | 2015-05-27

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