The world as we knew it has completely changed. No more leaving the house. No more gigs. But no more gigs doesn’t mean no more gigs. This is 2020.
When every day is a chilled Sunday in lockdown, what better way to spend an actual Sunday than with Taking Back Sunday while they provide all the classics acoustically via Instagram Live?
Streaming from frontman Adam Lazzara’s home in North Carolina – where him and guitarist/vocalist John Nolan are on lockdown together – the pair gave fans around the world a sense of normality and a strong dose of happiness in these strange times. They’d originally come together to record new music (yes – new TBS is in the pipeline), and now they’re stuck together whether they like it or not.
For all the bad ways coronavirus has impacted this world, there is one good thing that is for sure – there are a lot of musicians out there who are going to make a lot of great music. And we’ll for sure be getting a lot of new Taking Back Sunday music.
So, what’s a gig watched via Instagram Live actually like? Well, for one, the hearts that appear next to the comments from the bottom right corner of your phone screen are definitely equivalent to clapping. Weird, right? But this is our new reality.
Nolan mentioned that he was thinking about how everyone was probably screaming along with him at home, but on their own. I can confirm that I did definitely scream along at home. On my own. And yes, it was weird when I caught myself for a second and heard my lonely voice bounce off of my bedroom walls and realised that I was not at a Taking Back Sunday gig surrounded by people. But this is just life now. What shook me most, though, is when Lazzara mentioned, “It’s Sunday… and it doesn’t matter.”
As all good irl gigs have their highlights, Instagram Live gigs do too. These included Tidal Wave bangers ‘Flicker, Fade’ and ‘You Can’t Look Back’ – the latter during which the duo demonstrated how you can make any song sound like it’s from The Princess Bride film.
Of course, ‘Cute Without the E (Cut From the Team)’ was a virtual-crowd favourite, guaranteed to have fans around the world screaming at the top of their lungs in their homes, on their own. Perhaps the biggest highlight, though, was bassist Shaun Cooper chiming in on the comments, requesting songs and telling his boys just how well they were doing – the most enthusiastic of all TBS fans.
Before ‘Call Me in the Morning’, they played a quick snippet of ‘Rehab’ by Amy Winehouse. Fitting, as I’m sure we’re all feeling a slight relation right about now to not wanting to be locked up for an extended period of time.
An unexpected turn of events was John Nolan playing ‘Existentialism on Prom Night’ by Straylight run (the band he formed after his departure from TBS in 2003 before he rejoined in 2010) before Adam came back from checking the comments and they played the best acoustic rendition of ‘A Decade Under the Influence’ I’ve ever heard.
Like all good irl Taking Back Sunday gigs, it ended on MakeDamnSure. And suddenly, when the feed cut, we were all back in our homes, not just physically, but mentally now too.
Taking Back Sunday have set up a fund to help support their touring crew who have been left without work due to the coronavirus pandemic. You can donate here.