Taking Back Sunday: then and now

Ashley Goetz


Confession: When I was 16 years-old, I traveled across the Canadian border to see my teenage band obsession Taking Back Sunday play live in Winnipeg. As you can imagine, when I heard that Adam Lazzara and company were performing their entire second album Tell All Your Friends in tribute of its 10 year anniversary, I just about lost my teeny-bopper mind, so I decided to attend the reunion to compare and contrast my two Taking Back Sunday live experiences.

The venue:

Burton Cummings Theater in Winnipeg doesn’t stand a chance against one of the nation’s best rock venues. Sitting in velvet clad cinema seats more than 20 feet from five pairs of TBS Converse sneakers is no comparison to frontman Adam Lazzara shimmying amongst the crowd in the nearly sold out First Avenue mainroom—he even managed to serenade a handful of lucky individuals in the second floor balcony. Perhaps owner’s box regulars Justin Vernon or the Prince himself were among those who locked fluttering eyes with Lazzara’s gaze.

The crowd:

The angsty, metal-mouthed, “Eh?” uttering tweenagers in Winnipeg most definitely matched the TBS’s emo-punk ambience, but seeing the same fan pool all grown up with perfectly straight pearly-whites wearing carbon-copied canvas kicks felt more rewarding nostalgically. Though it was nice that First Avenue accommodated all ages—I’m sure the bartenders loved serving cups of ice water and non-alcoholic drinks to underage attendees all night with tips from few and far between.

Adam Lazzara’s mic handiwork:

The lead vocalist made damn sure his instrument twirling talent was widely known in the music video for “MakeDamnSure” in 2006, but he showed off his coiling capabilities during live performances well before its release. In this case, the Cummings show takes the cake. Time did no favors for Lazzara’s handiwork—I noticed myself cringe after every sloppy boomerang toss on Thursday night, but luckily the overall performance was far from down under.