Review: Taking Back Sunday @ 170 Russell (Melbourne)

Taking Back Sunday played 170 Russell (Melbourne) on 29 November, 2023.
Bron is a Melbourne-based science journalist who loves to return 'home' to a band room any chance she gets. She has 25 years' experience and has worked for Rolling Stone, Blunt, The Sydney Morning Herald, JUICE and many more.

One of the few emo sideshows of Good Things Festival, Taking Back Sunday had no trouble packing the underground city venue (29 November) on a particularly blustery and wet night – the kind that would make you doubt summer was just two sleeps away.

The New Jersey band hit the ground running with single 'What's It Feel Like to Be A Ghost' and minor 2004 triple j hit 'A Decade Under The Influence'.

The band, fronted by the ever-chatty, charismatic mic-swinger Adam Lazzara, have continued to release music throughout their, at times, tumultuous existence, but also know that people still come for the hits.

So, as the crowd patiently waited through new material, a peppering of treats – mainly from 2002's debut 'Tell All Your Friends', 2004's 'Where You Want To Be' and 2006's 'Louder Now' – were dutifully sprinkled throughout the set.

Of those songs, we got 'Set Phasers to Stun', 'You're So Last Summer' and emo anthem 'Cute Without The E (Cut From The Team)'.

It was a short but sweet set, with some surprise omissions (hello, no 'Bike Scene'?!) met with surprise inclusions. Lazzara obliged a fan request, with a great rendition of 'Timberwolves At New Jersey', which wasn't on the set list.

While Lazzara's mic cable might have gotten a little shorter, he's still swinging it around with gusto, and was in typical good spirits. It was an infectious mood, which the crowd certainly appreciated given the far more miserable conditions that awaited them outside.

And in spite of the early-2000s angst anthems that was the night's beloved soundtrack, there were plenty of happy smiles on those faces as a sated crowd slowly filed up the stairs and out onto Russell Street.

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