New Found Glory,

Christie McMenamin

New Found Glory,

20 years.

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20 years of infectious pop-punk, 20 years of a band who have never quit and tirelessly release excellent records to this day. 20 years of a devoted fanbase that has never left and keeps on growing with each new record. This tour honored just that, a 20-year time capsule, two albums from their past played per night.

Night one of two sold-out shows at New York City’s Irving Plaza consisted of both Sticks and Stones (2003) and Coming Home (2006).
Kicking off the show was “Understatement,” the first track off Sticks and Stones. You know it’s a good show when you’re repeatedly getting kicked in the head by Chuck Taylors upon Chuck Taylors. I glanced down at my own feet knowingly: Chuck Taylors. As the crowd surfers sailed through the audience to the stage, I noticed that one kissed a bouncer on the cheek as he was pulled out of the crowd. I laughed, catching the bouncer’s eye. We were all happy—more than happy—to be there.

Relentlessly running around the stage was lead singer Jordan Pundik, with guitarist Chad Gilbert often taking over the risers. Bassist Ian Grushka delighted the audience with his classic expressions, contorting his face into different looks as he played, and Cyrus Bolooki provided the foundation, pounding the drums and leading the night.

One of the few moments in which the audience was able to calm themselves from the excitement was during “When I Die,” a song dedicated, according to Gilbert, to three of the band’s fathers who had passed away. The song was moving; moving enough to place a pause on the jubilant atmosphere and reflect. Though the band immediately brought the energy back up afterwards, it was something more meaningful to take home and remember.

At the end, the audience was treated to Grushka on the triangle and Bolooki on acoustic guitar. Closing the show was the very last song: “My Friends Over You.” A pivotal hit in 2002, “My Friends Over You” is an unforgettable anthem that the fans had waited all night to hear. And in fact, it was personified by the crowd surfer who finally made it to the front of the stage—only to find himself suddenly and unexpectedly drenched in surprise confetti. It was laughable, it was perfect: how else can you sum up a New Found Glory show?

 

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