To kick off the blog, we’ll be celebrating 20 years of pop punk with the rockin’ band New Found Glory. I first saw them live about a year and a half ago while they were on tour with Yellowcard. The only song I knew by them at the time was their cover of “Kiss Me.” I just went because the only live shows my best friend had been to were those at the rodeo. I felt like I was doing her an injustice by not convincing her to take a break from midterms in order to check out one of her favorite bands, all up close and personal.
In hindsight, I probably should have warned her about the inevitable mosh pit that was going to form. Her visible terror was more than comedic as I yanked her by the elbow, pulling her away from the center of a violent crowd. Fortunately, the experience didn’t dissuade her from other live shows; plus I can forever lord over how I saved her life that one night.
That first show we attended was just a small glimpse of how phenomenal the band actually is. I mean they must be if they’ve been able to rock out with each other for 20 years now. Not only did they play through the length of two albums for this tour (2002’s Sticks & Stones and 2004’s Catalyst depending on the date), but they still managed to fit in some cute little bantering and antidotes in between sets. When I saw the setlist for this concert, I thought for sure it would just be a straight run through all the songs, so a peek behind the band as more than just musicians was the best surprise possible.
Actually, the biggest surprise was probably seeing Ian take his shirt off, but I digress.
The venue was also perfect for this kind of interactive and uniquely personal band. When Chad wasn’t gushing about how much he loved everyone in the audienc, the crowd was rushing on and off the stage during their best headbangers. The lack of interference from the venue is something that made the show just that much more personal. It helped the energy in The Door spread like fire, even to those of us in the very back.
By the end of the show, I was even more infatuated with the band than before. The genuine love for the community they’ve built with their fans is heartwarming, in every sense of the word. I don’t know every lyric to every song off every album, but that night I truly felt like I was a part of this underground punk scene who didn’t give a shit about what was happening outside of that dingy (in the best way possible) venue.