New Found Glory will never be considered one of the most innovative or creative bands out there. Their latest record, Not Without a Fight, is possibly their most predictable work yet, going back to the sound that helped propel them to great popularity earlier in the decade. After reading that, you're probably thinking I'm not much of a New Found Glory fan. Truth is, I love New Found Glory. For years they've been one of my favorite bands, and their show at the House of Blues in Boston represented the sixth time I would see them live. I like New Found Glory because they don't try to be something they aren't. They play fast, catchy pop-punk songs that are great for singing along to, and they transfer the energy found in their records to their live show. Their headlining show with Bayside, Set Your Goals, and Fireworks perfectly illustrated this.
The night began with a short set from Fireworks, the Detroit-based pop-punk act who recently released their debut full-length, All I Have to Offer Is My Own Confusion. The band seemed like the perfect fit for the tour, considering they seem to be heavily influenced by New Found Glory and have toured with Set Your Goals in the past. While they may have been a good fit, there were very few in the crowd who showed any interested in the band, with only a select few bobbing their heads or signing along. This isn't to say that the band didn't put on a good show and attempt to get the crowd excited -- it just wasn't happening.
The crowd may have been saving their energy for the next act, Set Your Goals, the Bay Area band that has become somewhat of an underground phenomenon since the release of their debut LP, Mutiny, in 2006. They have played a number of memorable shows in the area, including a handful at the ICC in Allston that, at times, have featured as many fans on stage with the band as down on the floor watching. While it would be much harder to pull off a stage dive at the House of Blues, the crowd still gave it their all during the set.
For a number of different reasons, I decided to stand off to the side of the stage for the entire show, so while I can't exactly gauge just how crazy the crowd got, I can say I saw a good deal of crowd surfing and (attempted) headwalking during Set Your Goals' short set. The band sounded decent music-wise, and included songs such as "Flight of the Navigator," "Echoes" and "Mutiny." The only complaint I had about the performance was the fact that the band has been playing the same songs live for about three years now. This will change in July when the band releases their new record, one song off of which they played in the middle of their set.
- Flight of the Navigator
- The Fallen
- Work in Progress
- We Do It for the Money, OBVIOUSLY!
- To Be Continued
- How 'Bout No, Scott?
- Dead Man
Next was Bayside, and this was my fourth time seeing the four-piece who released their excellent fourth record, Shudder
, last fall. As expected, the band sounded nearly perfect live, with guitarist (and Strewsburry, Mass.) native Jack O'Shea ripping off one jaw-dropping solo after another. Lead singer Anthony Raneri kept the between-song banter to a minimum and let the band's varied set list take center stage. After opening with "Hello Shitty," the band would follow with "Boy" and then "The Walking Wounded," providing one standout track from each of their last three records. "Masterpiece," from the band's debut record, Sirens and Condolences
, was a welcome addition to the set, and fan favorite "Montauk" was also included before closing the set with "Devotion and Desire." While the crowd had been quite enthusiastic during the Set Your Goals set, Bayside did not receive the same reaction. The crowd was seemingly split between fans who wanted to move around and sing along, and those who couldn't wait for Bayside to get off the stage. This is unfortunate, but having half the crowd on your side at such a large venue isn't such a bad thing either.
- Hello Shitty
- The Walking Wounded
- They're Not Horses, They're Unicorns
- Carry On
- Devotion and Desire
After a short wait, it was time for the headliners to do their part. I am a strong believer in starting a set off strong and getting the crowd excited right from the outset, for it always seems to make for better shows in the end. New Found Glory also subscribes to this philosophy, as they began with current single "Listen to Your Friends," easily the catchiest (and best) song off their new record. The crowd responded in full force, and from what I could see, they never let up for the rest of the night. The band would go on to pump out anthem after anthem, mixing the best songs from Not Without a Fight
with all of their older favorites. This is the type of show that makes it very difficult to pick out just a few highlights, so I might as well just say every song was excellent and had almost everyone in the building singing along as loud as they could. It was a nice treat to hear "Tip of the Iceberg" and "Dig My Own Grave" in succession, both of which came from last year's hardcore-leaning Tip of the Iceberg
EP. The only misstep (and it was a very minor one at that) was their cover of "Don't You Forget (About Me)," which they used to close the set. It appeared that a good deal of those in the audience weren't familiar with the track.
After a very short time off stage, New Found Glory once again grabbed the reins and ramped the energy back up with "Better Off Dead" to begin the encore. "Head on Collision" would follow, along with "Too Good to Be," a slower track from 2007's Coming Home
. The band would then invite a random fan onstage to join the performance of the customary New Found Glory closing act, featuring Intro
from 2005's Catalyst, and of course, the band's biggest hit, "My Friends Over You."
All in all, what I consider to be the strongest tour of the year so far easily lived up to the high expectation I had set for it. Each band sounded great and put together outstanding set lists. The crowd easily held up their end of the bargain, earning the title of "craziest show of the tour for sure" from NFG guitarist Chad Gilbert on Twitter (I've been doing some deep investigative reporting, I know). Title or no title, everyone in the building had a great time, from the people like me standing off to the side, to the crowd surfers getting tossed around, to the bands themselves. The only thing left to wonder is how long it will be until we see another tour this good.
- Listen to Your Friends
- At Least I'm Known for Something
- Forget My Name
- Right Where We Left Off
- All Downhill from Here
- Sincerely Me
- Glory of Love
- Truck Stop Blues
- Truth of My Youth
- Something I Call Personality
- Hold My Hand
- Tip of the Iceberg
- Dig My Own Grave
- Failure's Not Flattering
- Dressed to Kill
- Don't Let Her Pull You Down
- Hit or Miss
- Don't You Forget (About Me) [Simple Minds cover]
- Better Off Dead
- Head on Collision
- Too Good to Be
- My Friends Over You