Date: February 15th 2017
Venue: O2 Ritz, Manchester
Support: Milestones / Frank Iero & The Patience
Withstanding the test of time much better than an awful lot of their contemporaries, part of Taking Back Sunday‘s key to ongoing success and consistently prominent name amongst their peers is their ability to in turn consistently put out material that maintains their ethos without compromising on quality or overly rehashed ideas. Seven albums and nearly two decades deep in their career, they’re back on UK soil.
Opening for this Manchester date of the tour are local boys Milestones , who sound like an almost identical replica of 2007-2009 era You Me At Six, especially with Matthew Clarke‘s oh so young Franceschi-esque voice and swagger. Their chirpy pop-punk is harmless and bouncy enough, and they manage to get the whole floor mobile to light up the room with their phones. With a bit of fine-tuning, there’s some potential here.
A man who needs little introduction in this scene; Frank Iero  and his band of merry men (currently dubbed The Patience) burst onto the stage and one after one blast through his slabs of gruff punk rock. Those after something more like his work within My Chemical Romance may be shocked by the more rough around the edges content on display here, but those favourable to the less polished side of things will get a lot from ‘Weighted’ and ‘Joyriding’, which sound more pleasantly offhand and morose than they do on record.
Even with 18 years under their belts, Taking Back Sunday , particularly frontman Adam Lazzara who swings and whirlwinds his microphone around like a toy at every possible moment, pack an energy and vibrance that rivals many of their far younger peers. They prove they can still write sharper hooks too, with ‘Tidal Wave’, ‘Call Come Running’, and set opener ‘Death Wolf’ managing to bring in some of the bigger sing alongs of the evening.
But, of course, it’s their flagship tracks that steal the night. ‘A Decade Under The Influence’ sounds huge, especially at its climax, ‘Error: Operator’ is a fast-tempo delight that never seems to age, and ‘You’re So Last Summer’ still holds its title as one of the strongest anthems any emo could cherish. Well, that is until the one-two closing blow of ‘Cute Without The E (Cut From The Team)’ and ‘MakeDamnSure’, which still pack the emotional gut punch as they did when they first hit the airwaves.
Sure, you could argue that maybe TBS will never recreate that spark that they did back in their ‘Louder Now’, ‘Tell All Your Friends’, and ‘Where You Want To Be’ era of their careers, but they’re not that same band anymore. It’s been almost 20 years, the Long Island boys are still killing it, and that’s a testament on its own.
Written by Zach Redrup (@zachredrup)