Dashboard Confessional, Taking Back Sunday, Motion City Soundtrack, Saosin and the Early November
Nikon at Jones Beach Theater
Taste of Chaos
June 14, 2016
Emo is a style of rock music that resembles punk while having much more complex arrangements and erudite lyrics. One of the basic aspects of the subgenre is the fact that the lyrics deal with more poignant and/or emotional subjects. Hence the name.
After a slightly muggy day on a cool late afternoon and evening at the beach, the Rockstar Energy Drink Taste of Chaos tour touched down in Wantagh, NY at the Nikon at Jones Beach Theater. The evening began quite early, slightly before 6pm, when the Early November took the stage and kicked off the festivities with "Decoration." The New Jersey band's short, but high energy set, featured songs that touched on all aspects of their career from the beginning ("Baby Blue" from its 2003 Drive Thru Records debut CD The Room's Too Cold
Imbue (Rise Records, 2015). Lead singer Ace Enders definitely was the right man to begin the evening. Before the sun had even begun to set, Engers was multi-tasking, acting as both showman and master of ceremonies. Just prior to performing "Narrow Mouth," Enders asked the audience, "Are you ready for Saosin, Motion City Soundtrack, Taking Back Sunday and Dashboard Confessional?" The crowd responded with a hearty cheer and a number of "Hell yeahs!" Enders said, "Okay, then you're ready!" He then thanked the crowd for "cheering, clapping and coming out early."
Saosin from Newport Beach, CA delivered a performance that was loud fast and out of control. It was exactly what its fans hoped to see and hear. Frontman Anthony Green sarcastically announced himself and his band to the crowd with, "Welcome to the 2003 Battle Of The Bands. We are the Naked Frisbees!" Saosin's set was harder and more energetic than that of the Early November. Green ran around the stage like a possessed sprinter. He went into the crowd and got the already amped-up audience even more worked-up. The band's set list was also shortunder 10 songs. What it lacked in length it more than made up for in quality. Highlights included "Racing Toward a Red Light" from its Along the Shadow
CD (Epitath, 2016), "Translating The Name" and "Seven Years" from Translating The Name
(Death Do Us Part Records, 2003). One of the highlights was when Green spied two longtime fans in the audience, mentioned that they had been to many of the group's concerts and invited them on-stage to watch the show from the wings. At the end of his band's show, Green took an ever-so-slight bow and simply stated, "Thank you all for coming out so damn early!"
The evening's special guests, Motion City Soundtrack, were up next. The Minneapolis, MN band was truly the evening's special guest. During its almost twenty-year career, Motion City Soundtrack toured regularly and between tours managed to released six studio CDs. Earlier in 2016 it announced that this summer tour would be its farewell. Not a regular part of the Taste of Chaos tour, the performance on this evening would be its only appearance on the Rockstar Energy Drink expedition. Suddenly appearing on stage and announcing themselves with, "Hi! We're Motion City Soundtrack," band members Justin Pierre (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Joshua Cain (lead guitar), Jesse Johnson (keyboards and synth), bassist Matthew Taylor and drummer Tony Thaxton played as though this were the last night of their tour. They gave their all opening with a sing-along version of "Everything Is Alright" (from the Mark Hoppus-produced 2005 Epitaph Records CD Commit This To Memory
) that had the audience on its feet rocking, swaying, dancing and, of course, singing every word. The career-spanning set featured a number of powerful performances including: "Make Out Kids," "My Favorite Accident," "Broken Heart" from Even If It Kills Me
(Epitaph, 2007) and the set-closer "The Future Freaks Me Out" from I Am The Movie
(which was self-released in 2002 and re-issued in 2003 by Epipath).
Taking Back Sunday took the stage following Motion City Soundtrack. Playing in front of a hometown crowd, the Long Island natives set the tone for its portion of the evening with one of its biggest hits, "Cute Without the E." This caused the band's fans and friends to go absolutely crazy. The sound was deafening. The set continued with "Liar (It Takes One to Know One)" and "Flicker, Fade" from Happiness Is
(Hopeless Records, 2014). Frontman Adam Lazzara spent a good portion of his time between songs waxing philosophic. He talked about how the evening's concert brought back a lot of his and the audience's past. He said, "Oh my God, I can't believe it. We're at Jones Beach. It wasn't too long ago that we were at a VFW Hall in Farmingdale." He later stated that he understood that "part of the reason you decided to join us tonight was for nostalgic purposes. That's all right by me 'cause we grown together." He continued by stating that Taking Back Sunday "was there when you learned to drive, when you graduated high school, when you discovered the sweet smell of lower Manhattan, when you went to college, when you graduated college, but more importantly Taking Back Sunday is here now and we're not going anywhere." His statement was greeted with riotous applause.