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Live Review: Taking Back Sunday - Guildhall, Southampton (02/09/11)

Southampton is home to the final date of Taking Back Sunday’s rescheduled tour and it is openers The Xcerts who get the raw end of the deal going onstage half an hour after doors open with the crowd still streaming in. However, they have the full attention of those already in the building with their precision post-hardcore. Whoever decides the order of support bands these days have gotten it all wrong yet again not putting this trio as main support.

The biggest disappointment of the evening comes in the form of The New Regime who storm out all big hair and rock moves but minus any decent or memorable tracks. The audience’s complete lack of interest was clear throughout the set and feelings were voiced when Taking Back Sunday tried to muster applause for their main support is met with heckles of ‘they’re shit!’ and murmurs of agreement.

Taking Back Sunday come out swinging. Literally. Adam Lazzara still makes for a mesmerizing frontman more than a decade into the band with his accomplished acrobatic mic swinging. In spite of the handful of kids shouting for Fred Mascherino’s return, the welcoming of John Nolan and Sean Cooper back into the fold was triumphant - so much so the set featured a cover of Straylight Run’s 'Existentialism on Prom Night.'

Curiously there were few songs from the band’s latest, self titled album with the band focusing more on the modern classics from debut ‘Tell All Your Friends’, including ‘Timberwolves at New Jersey’ and the little played encore ‘There’s No I in Team’. ‘A Decade Under The Influence’ and ‘Set Phasers To Stun’ go down a storm, highlighting the strength of TBS’s back catalogue.

Lazzara’s enchanting Southern drawl makes him sound like a preacher, the stage his pulpit, the audience his disciples eating out of the palm of his hand. A cleverly placed break during Bike Scene leaving the crowd poised to uniformly blast the next line: “You’ve got me right where you want me” - a line which couldn’t be more true.

Chantelle 'Kiki' Goodchild

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