Taking Back Sunday had plenty to celebrate as it returned to the Nikon at Jones Beach Theater stage Saturday night as part of the “Taste of Chaos” tour.
For guitarist/singer John Nolan, a Baldwin native, and bassist Shaun Cooper, who lives in Long Beach, it was a dream come true, since they weren’t in the band for the previous four Jones Beach shows. And in a prelude to Father’s Day, the side of the stage was packed with dancing kids wearing protective headphones, as all five Taking Back Sunday guys, including Amityville native Eddie Reyes on guitar and Long Beach’s Mark O’Connell on drums, are dads now.
But singer Adam Lazzara nailed the reason so much of the crowd was celebrating along with Taking Back Sunday, roaring approval from the opening chords of “Cute Without the ‘E’,” and where the band plans to go with that.
“I understand that part of the reason you came out is for nostalgia purposes,” Lazzara said to a sea of pumped fists, adding that the band understood they were the soundtrack for the celebrations of college acceptance letters and driver’s license certifications. “We are growing together.”
And it’s clear that growing continues to be a Taking Back Sunday priority. The guys previewed “Tidal Wave” from their forthcoming album, which showed a new sound for the band, a straightforward, Ramones-influenced punk romp. It took the fiery rock anthem “Stood a Chance,” from 2014’s “Happiness Is” album to a defiant next level, winding the crowd up as much as anything from their breakthrough “Tell All Your Friends” album.
“Tidal Wave” shows Taking Back Sunday still has plenty of goals, though Nolan inadvertently gave them another one when he mentioned that Billy Joel once arrived for a Jones Beach show on a boat. “Next time we play here,” promised Lazzara, “it will be with Billy Joel on a boat!”
Headliner Dashboard Confessional closed the five-hour “Taste of Chaos” extravaganza with a set that showed off singer/guitarist Chris Carrabba’s evolution.
Bouncing between massive rock arrangements with the full band an solo moments with his acoustic guitar, Carrabba took the crowd back to the Aughts with his intense, detail-filled ballads like “The Best Deceptions” before unveiling his new single “Heart Beat Here,” which has a bit of country jangle mixed in with its indie-rock roots.
He twisted the intimate “Screaming Infidelities” into something arena-ready by tacking on a bit of Coldplay’s “Fix You” to the end and revved up “Stolen” to something far more upbeat than lovelorn. And the euphoric encore “Hands Down” was a perfect close to what Saosin singer Anthony Green had called “The 2003 Battle of the Bands” earlier in the day. This edition of “Taste of Chaos” — which included great early sets from Saosin, The Early November and special guest Motion City Soundtrack — really did give everyone, fans included, a chance to see how far they had come together.
TAKING BACK SUNDAY SET LIST: Cute Without the ‘E’ / Liar / Flicker, Fade / What’s It Feel Like To Be a Ghost / A Decade Under the Influence / You’re So Last Summer / Holy Water / Timberwolves vs. New Jersey / Better Homes and Gardens / Error Operator / Tidal Wave / Make Damn Sure
DASHBOARD CONFESSIONAL SET LIST: Vindicated / The Sharp Hint of New Tears / The Good Fight / Saints and Sailors / Get Me Right / The Swiss Army Romance / The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most / Remember to Breathe / Don’t Wait / Again I Go Unnoticed / The Best Deceptions / Heart Beat Here / Screaming Infidelities >Fix You / Stolen // ENCORE: Hands Down