Pop Punks Not Dead

New Found Glory rock the house, assisted by Bayside, Fireworks and Set Your Goals

As I read on one attendees shirt during the night, ‘pop punks not dead.’ And after this Wednesday night (04/29/2009) at the Webster Theatre, I can concur with that statement.

With a casual disregard for the last two days of the work week, New Found Glory stormed into town to play the Webster Theatre, supported by three fellow Pop Punk bands Bayside, Fireworks and Set Your Goals on April 29th. What followed was an incredible performance that I will remember for some time to come. Admittedly, I have only been a casual New Found Glory since the days of the major pop singles from 2004 (‘My Friends Over You’, ‘Failures Not Flattering’, and ‘All Downhill from Here’) but I can sincerely say I’ll be following this band a lot closer now after this performance.

The night started with Fireworks who, even for an opener, had the crowd singing along to their songs and generally built the energy through their set. Set Your Goals followed, taking the stage with their two lead vocalists, building the energy further. Finally Bayside arrived to close off the openers half of the show. Bayside, eagerly awaited by the audience was received like free candy, with a core majority of the audience singing, chanting and otherwise joining along.

Of course New Found Glory was not to be outdone and, without much time between the end of Bayside, captured the stage and the audience. Launching straight into their first song, ‘Listen to Your Friends,’ New Found glory was full of liveliness, bouncing around the stage and engaging the crowd who had gathered to see them. After their first song they quickly swung into second gear with ‘Coming Home.’ Interspersed in some of the crowd favorites and unique songs (like ‘Tip of the Iceberg’ which was only released as an EP) were two of the songs I was dying for, ‘All Down Hill From Here’ and ‘Failures Not Flattering’.

Sidetrack: The only thing more disturbing than Ian Grushka (bass player) wiping the sweat off his naked plump upper half, was the supposed addiction the band has to Miley Cyrus. This stemming from a set of banter in which Chad Gilbert (lead guitar) announced he now has a twitter and is addicted. And in doing so tweeted this picture. Talking about twitter, there were rumors that New Found Glory might play one of the 5 Green Day songs they sound checked with. But no luck on that one.

Finishing up their main set, they played their ‘fake last song’ as they proclaimed it and marched off stage before their encore. They came back and sidestepped their set list, brining one of the audience members, who had brought a sign, up to play drums for their first song. Not only did this guest drummer nail the song, he also got the live ending down which impressed the band. After that they took an audience vote over which song to play next, ‘2s and 3s’ or ‘3rd and Long.’ Finally, New Found Glory played their last song and a half, Finishing with ‘My Friends Over You,’ to complete my (and others) trifecta for the night.

While there was so much that made this show great, it was perhaps the crowd that really made it. New Found Glory has more than a ten year history, and it was particularly exciting to see the reaction received when they played songs from their more obscure catalog. Overall it was a spectacular night, proving that pop punks still kicking.

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