Waiting in the pit for the main show to begin, I noticed a handful of excited girls with large black 'X's on their hands and asked if they were even alive when Tell All Your Friends
came out. "We have older brothers," they explained. This was a crowd that cheered more enthusiastically for "Is Long Island in the house?" than "Manhattan" or "Brooklyn," which if you've been to a Bowery Presents show in the past three years, is kind of weird. But it was that kind of night.
So for a brief, anachronistic couple of hours in the rafters of Terminal 5, several hundred people were transported back a decade. A band called Bayside
opened for a band called Taking Back Sunday
, two names I personally haven't heard uttered in the same breath at a rock concert in nearly seven years. Sure, jumping up and down and scream-singing every lyric for forty minutes aren't new modes of operation at a musical event, but for many of the kids-now-adults in attendance, these were the songs that provided one of the original roadmaps.
Tell All Your Friends
was the first and only album with John Nolan and Adam Lazzara in the band's long and tumultuous history. The magic of these two spirited frontmen, with their angsty swagger playing off one another, hasn't happened in any capacity since the album was accidentally made in 2002 (they never intended to record an album). The band's original lineup has coagulated again for a self-titled album, but it's a more somber look at life for big kids. These dudes have families now. But they can still lay it on like they're 20.
The songs that Lazzara penned without Nolan function, and the first half of the evening was peppered with these echoes of the band's various iterations - favorites like "Liar" and "A Decade Under The Influence," as well as the new songs they penned together, like "El Paso," lending a more mature tone, a return to bashful authenticity. It's where they're at these days.
Then after a pause, they played Tell All Your Friends
from front to back. It's what everyone came to see, regardless of age. Those familiar opening cries rang out via their original creators. Lyrics about love and loss and guns and triggers, tossed back and forth by two voices who've barely interacted since they were written. Capturing the feeling of driving around your hometown, caught up in the miniature world of teenage angst in the early aughts. It's a very specific kind of angst. And whether or not everyone present had actually been a teenager in the early aughts seemed irrelevant.