This Friday’s show was a pop punk line-up, New Found Glory with Saves The Day, Hellogoodbye, and Fireworks. I’ll be the first to admit melodic poppy punk is not my thing, but I have respect for all musicians and any band that has stuck together for a decade. I went in with an open-mind, ready to see a show and have a good time.
I arrived shortly after Hellogoodbye had taken the stage. I too quickly dismissed them as a Panic! / Vampire Weekend sound-alike, but after a few songs, I began to really get into the jazz pop retro sound they had going. It was deeper than pop, influenced by classic pop rock, songs were driven by jumping piano riffs, jazz drum and bass, rock guitars, and classic pop formatting. I was impressed; the audience however, was not. The crowd was still quite sparse and they hardly acknowledged Hellogoodbye’s performance.
Saves the Day came onstage to a slightly larger audience, but did not impress them any better. I would like to say I gave their music a fair chance, but their sound and levels were the worst I have ever heard at the House of Blues, making it impossible for me to even listen to their music. Even the girl standing next to me asked if the sound is always this bad. The vocals were so low they could barely be heard, the only thing you could hear behind the screeching guitar was a jumble of bass and drums. Saves the Day changed their instruments every few songs, but the sound never improved. During their last song, the singer of New Found Glory came out and sang along. Only then did the audience finally acknowledged the musicians onstage and the energy picked up.
This tour is dedicated to the 10 year anniversary of the release of their first album, New Found Glory. The entire stage set was made to look like their debut album; original pictures, logo, and they played their entire first album front to back. By the time New Found Glory took the stage, the House was full with anxious young fans. From the start of the first note, the crowd’s energy just exploded and by the looks of it, everyone in the House of Blues was a New Found Glory superfan. The fans hung on every word, sang along to every song, kept the beat going with hand claps, jumping up and down for nearly every song. Frontman, Jordan Pundik stopped a few times to talk about the creation of the album when they were in high school, and reflected on how far they have come. He thanked the fans for all their years of support, apologized for not stopping in Las Vegas on their last tour, then proceeded to play Vegas and Boy Crazy.
At about 9:30, the curtains went down, and when they opened a few minutes later, fans were treated to a newly designed set. From this point of the show onward, New Found Glory played their newer music. I found it quite ironic, considering the new stage was more punk-rock, (all black and red, with a large stenciled grenade) but their new music was less punk and more pop. I hung around for another 40 minutes or so, and decided to leave after All Downhill from Here. Although I am not a fan of NFG, even after seeing them live, I will give them credit for having one of the most dedicated and energetic fan base I have ever seen. I left with the impression that New Found Glory filled the gap left by AFI when they changed their music from punk to emo. They have a place in music, they have dedicated fans, and they have been at it for 10 years; curious to see where NFG, or the genre itself, will be 10 years from now.