WORDS/ PHOTOGRAPHY BY: JEANETTE LEBLANC
On April 8th, 2014; Taking Back Sunday and The Used tag teamed the Kool Haus in Toronto with support from Tonight Alive and Sleepwave. This SOLD OUT show was the only Canadian stop of this tour, which in turn brought out a crowd from all over Ontario and even some as far as Quebec. This highly anticipated show made for a flash from the past to be remembered by all.
The first band to take the stage was Sleepwave. Hailing from St. Petersburg, this marked their first ever Canadian performance as a band, having introduced themselves to the world just last year. With the lead vocals carrying from Spencer Chamberlain (Underoath), and their debut album having not even been released yet- this opening performance came with much anticipation from the crowd, whom Sleepwave did not seem to disappoint.
Although fans didn’t appear to know any of their music, you could tell they were still enjoying themselves and had an open mind to everything they had to offer. Sleepwave announced their return to Toronto that is set to take place this August, around the same time we can expect to check out their upcoming album.
Up next, the time came for Australia’s Tonight Alive to take over. With the crowd still drizzling into the venue, they managed to bring the energy up and get everyone’s blood pumping and vocal chords ready. Vocalist Jenna McDougal did not keep still for a second as she jumped all over the stage and sang passionately to her fans. It was refreshing to see a female vocalist step on stage in jeans and a baggy Pink Floyd tee, her attitude, talent and confidence sell it all.
Tonight Alive’s set list included;”The Fire”, “Don’t Wish”, “Listening”, “Bathwater”, “The Ocean”, “Hell and Back”.
Finally the time came for co-headliners and post-punk LA legends The Used to take the stage. By this time, the venue was packed and the crowd was sweaty and going wild. Having just released their latest album Imaginary Enemy on the first of this month (Check out our review + hear tracks here), all talk before their set was about whether or not they were going to over-whelm the crowd with all new music; fortunately for the “old” fans in the crowd, this was not the case. The Used played hits and gems off of all of their early 2000’s releases, and they sounded amazing while doing it.
“This is for anyone who is out here to get your genitals soaking wet” is one of the first things we heard from vocalist Bert McCracken as they broke into “I Caught Fire”.
Bert made fans feel like they were apart of something more than just attending a concert, he made everyone feel like they were important and like anything is possible, especially when he told fans “I don’t know how this many people in a room could not change the world”. The messages and stories like these are what have kept their fan base so dedicated and inspired over all of these years. McCracken for Prime Minister!.. just kidding, we all know that would be a hot mess, especially considering how hard it is for him to get into our beautiful country to begin with.
Finally but not impatiently, the time came for New York rockers Taking Back Sunday to finish off the already incredible show. The one thing that held most importance in their performance, aside from their amazing tunes- was how deep and real the band got with the crowd. The way they joked among one another and talked to the fans made everyone feel like we were all crammed into their garage back at a home jam session.
Vocalist Adam Lazzara got right in the crowd and shared stories and shed light on the deeper meanings behind some of their songs while everyone got to know his strong personality. The band also shared themselves with the crowd while they jumped around and played their hearts out.
Taking Back Sunday managed to stay true to their older fans as well, by playing old tracks along with hits from their new album Happiness Is (Check out our review and hear tracks here) that came out in March 2014. It’s not very often that you hear fans singing along as loud as they were to music this fresh, but it’s safe to say that the feedback they received was amazing.
All in all, this tour stop was a complete success. Taking Back Sunday and The Used showcased the reasons why they are still going strong after all of these years, they’ve just got it all. This is a show that will always be remembered and talked about by all, and it will definitely go down as one of the best Toronto will see in 2014.
The Used’s Set List:
Take It Away
Bird & The Worm
I Caught Fire
Taste Of Ink
All That I’ve Got
Buried Myself Alive
Pretty Handsome Awkward
On My Own
Box Full Of Sharp Objects
Taking Back Sunday’s Set List:
Stood a Chance
Timeberwolves at New Jersey
Liar (It Takes One to Know One)
Faith (When I Let You Down)
You Know How I Do
Beat Up Car
Number Five with a Bullet
What’s It Feel Like to Be a Ghost?
A Decade Under the Influence
One-Eighty by Summer
Better Homes and Gardens
You’re So Last Summer
Cute Without the E