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Wednesday, 09 November 2011 23:09

Concert review: New Found Glory proves pop punk is not dead (really) at the Pageant, Tuesday, November 8

Concert review: New Found Glory proves pop punk is not dead (really) at the Pageant, Tuesday, November 8
Written by Will Kyle

Following performances by Man Over Board, This Time Next Year and the Wonder Years, Set Your Goals took the Pageant stage before a stuffed pit. Dual vocalists Matt Wilson and Jordan Brown hyped the crowd with a set of tunes that featured their signature melodic hardcore sound.

On "Mutiny!" the vocals were lost in the mix, but by "Summer Jam" the audio booth had caught up and Set Your Goals sounded vibrant and clear.

With a RockStar (energy drink) sponsored amp set, banner and kick drum, headliner New Found Glory strolled on stage to the MGM theme. The crowd fist pumped and pulsed. "Understatement" popped off with themes of unrequited love and dual heavy riffs from guitarists Chad Gilbert and Stephen Klein. Lead singer Jordan Pundik tipped his face into his wireless microphone and unleashed his nasal-tinged vocals on "Don't Let Her Pull You Down" from 2009's "Not Without A Fight." Band-wide chants filled out the chorus "Don't…let…her!" Ian Grushka made funny faces and stood over his bass like a lineman hiking a football.

New Found Glory sent "Better Off Dead" out to their "Old school fans." Pundik spun and danced before the pink spray-painted amps and tie die set decoration as he offered the microphone to the banging heads at the front of the pit. The crowd screamed along, "I'm on my own again!"

Gilbert told the crowd, "New Found Glory couldn't do it without the fans" before he strummed into "All Down Here From Here." The pit moshed and crowd surfed despite the Pageant's strict policies against such doings. Before "Anthem For The Unwanted," Gilbert cried out, "Now I want everyone singing this shit as loud as you can!" New Found Glory presented a more punked-out version of the song, which played better than its studio counterpart.

Pundik kicked off "Something I Call Personality" by leading a chant of "Heys!" "At Least I'm Known For Something" offered up heady, double kicks from drummer Cyrus Bolooki. After the song, Gilbert asked the crowd to "Give it up for Jordan's high annoying voice!" Pundik responded with a smile and said, "They kick me in the nards every night before I go on stage. That's how it's always been."

"I'm Not the One," from 2011's "Radiosurgery," showcased the new sonic territory New Found Glory is exploring despite the song employing more expected love lost lyrics: "And I know she's not the one I should bring home tonight. She said I'm not the one she should bring home tonight." At least they agree.

"Truth of My Youth" and "Truck Stop Blues" played with epic fidelity, hooks, guitar slides and white-hot energy. Gilbert dedicated New Found Glory's "Pop Punk's Not Dead Tour" to "all the fucking non-believers out there who aren't here right now." Pundik screamed about romantic lessons not learned on "Failure Is Not Flattering" from 2004's "Catalyst" before he broke out a pumped-up cover of Six Pence None the Richer's song, "Kiss Me." Girls sitting on the edges of tables dropped their drinks, leapt up and woop-wooped.

Pundik and Gilbert taught the audience the lyrics to "Summer Fling, Don't Mean a Thing," but on "Tell All My Friends I'm Dead," abandoned the song's all but necessary low-gear, undistorted guitar bridge. "Boy Crazy" had Grushka offering up more funny faces and sick dance moves as the song echoed the sentiment of "Summer Fling."

Before "Hit Or Miss" Gilbert chided a kid in the pit, "What, were you sexting this whole time? You ready to pit?" During the song, New Found Glory allowed an audience member to come on stage and take over for Gilbert on guitar. The songwriter strode into the audience and apologized for his smelly jeans as the audience sang along, "Have I waited too long…to see you?" The fan-turned-guitarist rocked out and looked to Klein for the cues.

New Found Glory encored with an homage to Green Day, a cover of "Basket Case." The audience was stunned. Kids jumped on stage and somersaulted into the pit with abandon. The "Pop Punk's Not Dead" banner unfurled behind as New Found Glory vaulted into a cover of the Ramones' "Blitzkrieg Bop."

Pundik thanked the audience and finished out the set with the hit "My Friends Over You." Toward the end of the song, roadies wheeled out a confetti canon and sprayed the audience with a deluge of spinning colored paper. The audience danced end-of-the-world-style as the last bits of confetti wound to the ground.

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