So, the Zodiac was always going to be packed to the rafters. Taking Back Sunday have at last arrived in Oxford, a year late, to play to 800 people when on the same week long tour they are playing to 2000 capacity halls.
First up, England's own Hurt Process hit the stage. Later this Summer, The HP will be the first British band to play the Warped Tour and tonight they managed to give a glimpse of why that may be justified. However, only a glimpse. Some places seemed a bit ropey at best and sickening at worse but they left having gave the crowd a sense that better things are yet to come. They are one band that you know can build on their debut record, Drive-By Monologue which seems to have been out forever and is availble via Victory.
Well we manage to shuffle to the barrier just in time for a bit of Texan taste, in the form of Recover. Comedy. Dan's indifference made me crack up. "you excited about Taking Back Sunday?....well.......thats good......yeah.....fucking great." However opening with "My Only Cure" it was all downhill from there, Dan's vocals didn't hold up and the crowd were getting restless. His humour was enough to make it bearable but only a miracle would have saved the day on this occasion.
So 45 minutes after Recover have left the stage, Taking Back Sunday hit the stage. Cometh the hour, cometh the band. The type of energy I personally havent seen since seeing, the now forgotten, Will Haven rip up Oxford in 2002. Lazara was strutting like a beast in heat, Eddie Reyes had the intensity to boot and the crowd more than made up for the slight problems in sound, regards to Adams voice. The new stuff sounds like it has potential, thats for sure, but you have to question whether they will ever replace Nolan's ability to write, even though they more than have made up for his depature in stage presence.
This is a band who will be transatlantically huge. They're kind of in the process of doing in the UK what Funeral for a Friend are doing in the states. Its all change in the musical states. It all hangs on how the public reacts to "Where you want to be" Out July 26th over here.
"Oxford loves you Adam" screams one guy, "thanks" replies Lazara, "but we're Taking Back Sunday."
Despite the gutting that has hit the band in the last 12 months, tonight they proved they certainly are.