Due to conflict within and between Long Island bands, Taking Back Sunday never made it to the UK when touring ‘Tell All Your Friends’ over 15 years ago. Their ill-fated co-headline tour with Brand New was scrapped and, aside from the obvious anthems, British fans have long since been left to dream of hearing much of the album live.
As they tear into the opening riff of ‘You Know How I Do’, The Institute erupts and barely lets up for the duration of the landmark debut album. The difficulty with a straight play-through of any release is that some of your anthemic moments have to emerge earlier in the set than usual, and as ‘Cute Without The E (Cut From The Team)’ explodes just three songs in, it serves as an opportunity for TBS to highlight just how much they’ve grown beyond their most famous single.
‘There’s No I In Team’, which refers to the aforementioned animosity between Long Island bands provides a particularly poignant moment and it feels like British fans are finally being given the chance to make up for lost time. Throughout the play-through, frontman Adam Lazzara is in particularly verbose form and he regales the crowd with interesting stories from the ‘Tell All Your Friends’ recording sessions. By the time ‘Head Club’ brings the first set to a juddering close, the crowd are enthralled, but some members of the band are keeping a watchful eye on the time as some of Lazzara’s speeches begin to dwarf the songs they’re designed to introduce.
As expected, the latter part of the set is a whistle-stop tour through Taking Back Sunday’s subsequent albums, including some rare cuts like 2004’s ‘Set Phasers To Stun’. While the consistency of this section is obviously lower than the debut album run, it’s clear that the quality of the bands output has remained high and singles like ‘ A Decade Under The Influence’ and the climactic ‘MakeDamnSure’ are stunning highlights of a rich and varied career. Having recently celebrated their 20th anniversary, the occasion this tour is designed to celebrate, with a greatest hits collection there’s no doubting that Taking Back Sunday have long-since emerged as the legends of a musical movement which many dismissed as a flash-in-the-pan. Tonight is testament to the fact that Taking Back Sunday, and every aspect of their back catalogue, means so much more.