I bought a ticket for this show as soon as I knew I could go to it. I bought tickets before and separately from all of my friends, which was a mistake on my part because they weren’t able to get tickets near me, but I suppose I didn’t mind because a seat in the mezzanine at the Fillmore is arguably better than a seat in the balcony. Plus, there were plenty of available seats in the balcony, and there weren’t any staff members checking tickets there, so I figured if I missed them badly enough, I could go up and find a seat with them without difficulty.
Mansions opened the night, and they weren’t entirely well received, but I appreciated their music and their set was an appropriate length. Bayside played second, and although they were better received than Mansions, they played for too long. I overheard others uttering things eerily similar to my thoughts in regards to the length of their set, and I actually found myself yawning at one point, which amazed me. My mind began to wander, and I couldn’t help but notice the little ledge at the end of the mezzanine. The idea of being on the main floor was very attractive, and so I had to investigate the possibility of dropping down from the ledge to get there.
I walked up to the ledge and sat down on it, my back turned to the stage. I looked down over my shoulder; it was about a 12-15ft drop. “I could do that,” I thought. I swung one leg over, saddling the ledge. Everyone was looking at me now. I made sure security wasn’t. I swung my other leg over. All the security guards below were looking at things on the main floor, not above them, naturally. Some people at the bar below looked my way, and at first discouraged me, but they quickly changed their minds when they considered the potential for entertainment value that was before them. As I positioned myself in the cliff hanging position and looked down, I prepared to drop.
“HEY!” yelled a security guard, “Climb back up there!” I had made a critical mistake. The guards hired by the venue were wearing black, and the people I had identified as what I thought were the only security guards, probably hire-outs, were wearing red. I climbed back up, put up my hood and sat in my seat, nervous as could be. A Fillmore staff member walked up with some questions.
“Do you have a death wish?” She said.
“No ma’am, just wanted to get on the main floor.”
“What? Well don’t do that again or we’ll kick you out.” She said.
“Okay, I won’t.” Are you serious? I didn’t get kicked out for that? I ran up to the balcony to tell my friends about what had just happened. Just as I was finishing my sentence with, “…and I didn’t get kicked out!” a large man in a uniform poked me on my right shoulder, and motioned with one finger for me to follow him. I did. As we walked down stairs into the lobby area, more and more security guards formed a little bubble around me. They escorted me to the front to talk to the boss. He stood 6’5” with a variety of tattoos and a serious face.
“What’d he do?” he asked.
“He tried to drop down to the main floor from the mezzanine.” He explained. Boss man rose one eyebrow, looked me in the face, and said:
“That’s genius, but I can’t let you back in.” He pulled out his walkie-talkie and informed the others of the situation.
“There’s a kid in a blue jacket with brown pants, he’s not allowed back in for the rest of the night.” Taking Back Sunday hadn’t even gotten on yet. I was incredibly disappointed with my situation and I was very motivated to get back in.
“Is there anyway I can make recompense for my actions?” I said, like the son of my father I am. That was the weirdest way I could have asked that.
“What?” He said, with a face.
“You know, is there anyway I could make up for it?”
“No man, sorry.” He replied. I ran to the car and pulled out my phone. I called my friend Steven and as I was unzipping my infamous blue jacket I explained the situation.
“Are you wearing a hoodie?”
“Yeah, where are you?”
“Just, can you meet me in the smoking lounge?” It was half outdoors, half indoors, with a short fence surrounding the outdoor portion.
“Yeah I guess.”
“Cool thanks.” I said and I rolled up my brown pants into shorts. I threw the jacket back in the car and ran over to the fence. Steven handed me the hoodie, and I threw it on and jumped the fence when the time was right. For some reason there were no security guards out there, and no one checked at the door my ticket. I went to the balcony, sat with my friends, and enjoyed the show. I couldn’t have asked for a better story for my first Taking Back Sunday concert.
As far as the actual performance is concerned, Taking Back Sunday destroyed expectations. John Nolan (guitarist, singer) and Shaun Cooper (bassist) had rejoined the band for their latest record (appropriately self titled), and to celebrate their return, TBS set off to do a TYAF ten year anniversary tour, where at every show they played their first album (Tell All Your Friends) in it’s entirety. This was something that many fans never thought they’d see – the original Taking Back Sunday performing their 2002 debut album.
The stage banter was genuine and unprepared, as usual (Adam told off the bar tender at one point for charging him seven dollars for a drink), and every song was played with the spirit of sincerity and honesty that makes TBS so real to so many. Of course, they found room to fit in their non-TYAF hit singles into the set, crammed back to back before playing TYAF, and they finished the concert with Your Own Disaster and The Ballad of Sal Villanueva, a bonus track from the record that was named in honor of one of TAYF’s recording engineers. After the show I had the chance to meet each one of the band members and get my copy of the record signed. All in all, it was a good night.
Here are some tidbits I learned from conversations with the band.
- Adams favorite TBS song to date is Miami. It’s about a girl he dated at one point who was from Miami, and that’s all she would talk about, apparently. “Miami, Miami, Miami, every hour on the hour.”
- Head Club isn’t necessarily John’s least favorite TBS song, contrary to what he’s said in many other interviews, but it is his least favorite song from Tell All Your Friends.
- Nobody from TBS really talks to Matt or Matt or Fred anymore.
- Adam’s allusion to Jenny in many of his songs is both a real person and a symbol. Apparently he hasn’t seen her in years, but she has come to mean something along the lines of Adam’s perfect idea of a soul mate. You might find this weird (I did) because he’s married, but apparently Misha (Adam’s wife) has a Michael too.
- Misha has asked TBS to not play the song Catholic knees in concerts anymore.
- John and Adam share the responsibility of writing melodies and lyrics quite evenly.
- Mark and Eddie teamed up to make the guitar part for Cute Without The ‘E’ (Cut From The Team).