Taking Back Sunday - O2 Ritz

Taking Back Sunday - O2 Ritz

It’s cold and wet in Manchester tonight but that’s not enough to dampen the spirits of the fans eagerly waiting for the doors of the O2 Ritz to open. The age range in the queue varies from teenagers to people in their 30’s and over; all coming together for exactly the same reason. For some tonight, a nostalgic trip down memory lane; revisiting songs from their teenage years. For others, it’s an awakening to something new, something exciting, and a band who have touched the hearts and souls of so many generations. That band is ‘Taking Back Sunday’.

As the crowd starts to fill out we’re treated to our first and only support act tonight; the up and coming ‘Girlband!’ from Nottingham. Having recently played a series of support slots on some impressive tours, the band are ready to show the Manchester crowd what they’re made of. What they’re made of is 3 talented women with a love for punk and alternative music. It takes them a little while to get warmed up but once they get going they have no issue grabbing the crowd’s attention. Vocalist, Georgie, has a very powerful voice, something that really stands out in this venue, backed by Jada Mullings’ booming drum kit and Kay’s rhythmic bass playing, it feels like the band were a perfect choice for tonight’s support slot.

Finishing their set to rapturous applause, it’s easy to see why there is so much excitement about this band and it’ll be interesting to see where they go next.

Anticipation is reaching its breaking point now as fans await the headline act. For the majority, the crowd has spent well over a decade under the influence of the band’s music. Lights dim and its time for the legendary ‘Taking Back Sunday’ to take to the stage. Kicking things off with a new song ’S’old’ before heading into ‘Set Phasers to Stun’. Right from the start, the excitement in the room is infectious, spreading from the crowd and up onto the stage. Singer, Adam Lazzara, is on top form tonight providing a truly entertaining show. He moves erratically around the stage, never staying in one spot for too long and frequently swings his microphone around; something he’s become a professional at throughout the band's career. 

‘A Decade Under the Influence’ is played early on in the set, and is met with huge sing alongs, screams, and shouts from the crowd. It’s moments like these that highlight how loyal the fan base is to the band’s older material, but that doesn’t stop them from enjoying the new songs.

Mid-set, Adam announces they are going to play another new song which “for some will be great but for others just bare with us!” before going into an emotion-filled performance of ‘Quit Trying’. Although this tour is in support of last year’s album ‘152’, the band power through a set featuring many of the biggest songs which are well-received; even the newer songs seem to get the crowd’s attention. Adam isn’t the only one on vocals tonight; we also have John Nolan. The duelling vocals between Adam and John sound better than ever, magnified by the crowd singing back. As the set hits its final songs, the atmosphere in the room meets new heights. A blistering back-to-back play-through of ‘Cute Without the E’ and ‘MakeDamnSure’ whip the crowd into a frenzy once more. These are the songs everyone has been waiting for. They are the songs which brought ‘Taking Back Sunday’ to the forefront of the scene and cemented them into the history books.

As the night draws to a close, the band are treated to masses of applause. If the fans had their way, the night would keep going. It’s been a fantastic set showcasing songs both new and old, and a night filled with nostalgia and memories for many in the room. Its also a night which highlights the change in sound throughout the years and proof that it’s okay to progress your sound because the loyal fans will always come down to show support. With their new songs sounding even better live, one can only assume that those who were previously unsure will now be keen to go back and listen to them again, and it’s also a sign that ‘Taking Back Sunday’ have so much more left to give.