I walked into the hallowed main hall of Rock City, part way through Frank Iero & The Patience’s set. Straight away I was transported back to my teen years, and the desperate scramble to get as close to my heroes as possible – there was the familiar teenage “odour” in the stuffy air as I watched crowd surfers boosted over the barrier. The crowd was young, phones hoisted in the air. The set was a good mix of heavy and soft, fast and slow, metal and melody. Just as I thought the set was tailing off by the second-to-last song, Frank Iero thanked the audience and fans were energised.
It felt like a long wait for Taking Back Sunday to take the stage, and I was impatient to relive all the memories I had of evenings spent listening to classic TBS tunes. First up was “Death Wolf,” from their 2016 Album Tidal Wave, from which the tour had taken its name. Not holding back, “Liar” was second on the setlist (which greatly pleased me). They played a monster 18-song setlist, spanning 14 years’ worth of material from 2002’s Timberwolves at New Jersey to 2016’s All Excess and the outstanding MakeDamnSure (2006).
The sound on the night could have been better, Adam Lazzara’s vocals were very quiet, and it looked as though he was trying to adjust this on stage, as he spent the majority of time at the start of the gig by his console next to the drums. Lazzara didn’t disappoint in his performance, however, he swung the mic around his neck more times than I could count, and made a good connection with the crowd. Up on the balcony, there were groups of people dancing and enjoying the music without feeling the need to crane their necks to see the stage – it was this relaxed aspect of the gig that I enjoyed the most, fans were just happy to have TBS back in Nottingham. Lazzara made a point of saying how amazing Rock City and its staff is, the venue is often the unsung hero of the night.