Taking Back Sunday’s Acoustic show at the Beat Kitchen was an experience I will never forget, and when I say “never” I mean it. The Beat Kitchen, prominently known for being one of the first places to introduce some huge bands into the music scene was given a chance to host a band that is more than well-known – that, in fact, has had over 10 years of fame to their name. I was quite excited for this show, even after seeing Taking Back Sunday two days earlier at the Riviera. This was the show to see, hearing Tell All Your Friends in its entirety with about a hundred other Taking Back Sunday fans - how could I ever turn this opportunity down? Throughout the show, I was getting flashbacks to the day I received this album and put it into my disc player.
I arrived at the venue just before doors. The opener for the night was Christopher Browder of the Mansions. He opened up for Taking Back Sunday and Bayside at Riviera on Friday as well but this performance was acoustic. He played for about 30-45 minutes. He had a very soft sound to him that was almost too soft for acoustic music. I enjoyed his music but it was all very much the same and wasn’t very much a crowd pleaser. I was very much anticipating hearing Taking Back Sunday.
Once Taking Back Sunday approached the stage, the crowd was going pretty wild. Adam Larzzara opened the set, letting everyone know that they were video taping this show and that Chicago is a very important place to them. They opened the set with quite a lot of energy and managed to provide that energy throughout the show. The atmosphere of the crowd was incredible. This show brought chills to my spine and put me in a place I haven’t been in ten years – granted that the crowd was an older crowd, we all continued to scream our lungs out to the lyrics that got us through our high school years.
Each of the songs they played included commentary from the band, as they tried to recall what they were thinking about ten years ago while writing these life-impacting songs. They mentioned that it’s hard for a band to make it and they were very fortunate for Chicago’s Victory Records to take them aboard their label. Adam joked about their violinist, seeing as he was only eleven years old when Tell All Your Friends was initially released. John Nolan mentioned when they were filming “Cute Without the E,” he was concerned that he couldn’t find Adam but later realized Adam was passed out in the van from the previous night: “He wasn’t old enough to drink instead, Adam had drank too much Nyquil the night before.” Adam introduced “Timberwolves at New Jersey” by saying, “This song is about me being a dick,” followed by John Nolan saying “We are no longer going to be friends with this person if we sing this song,” to them both agreeing to put out the song: “Just be honest was really the moral of the story.” The night continued to be filled with hilarious commentary, especially from Adam: “I like you guys, I’m glad I’m playing this,” and later: “I’m gonna play Mortal Kombat because I’m a grown man.” Adam closed the night with “This is way better than playing Mortal Kombat,” followed by their last song of the night “Your Own Disaster.”
The audience made it clear that this was the soundtrack of their lives through high school and to this day still means the world to them. By the end of the set, the Beat Kitchen was raining sweat from the ceiling. This show was filled with some moshing, LOUD audience vocals, hilarious interactions with the crowd, a great album by a great band as well as hilarious commentary from the band. I’m glad they filmed this show because now the world can enjoy it in 2D.