"How many of you have been affected by Hurricane Sandy?" the lead singer of the Rockville Centre-based band said, shaking his head as hundreds of hands went in the air. "That's too many. I'm so sorry."
Lazzara told the crowd how the band had also been affected, saying that bassist Shaun Cooper and drummer Mark O'Connell both live in Long Beach, where their homes were damaged by the storm.
"How long until you get power, Shaun?" he asked.
"About a month," Cooper said.
"How about you, Mark?" Lazzara said.
O'Connell simply raised his hands to say, "I don't know."
Taking Back Sunday organized Friday night's benefit for charities serving Long Beach only days after the storm, putting tickets on sale Monday that quickly sold out. Lazzara said the benefit, which also included performances by Bayside and the Menzingers, raised more than $40,000, as the acts as well as their crews and the venue donated the night's proceeds.
"This is really incredible," Taking Back Sunday's guitarist/singer John Nolan said. "It's kind of mind-boggling."
Taking Back Sunday was winding up its tour celebrating the 10th anniversary of its breakthrough album "Tell All Your Friends" when superstorm Sandy struck late last month. The band rearranged its schedule -- which already included sold-out concerts Wednesday at The Paramount in Huntington and Friday and Saturday at Terminal 5 in Manhattan -- for two benefits in the area, Friday night's benefit for Long Beach and one next Sunday in Toms River, N.J., for New Jersey charities.
The band -- Lazzara, Nolan, Cooper, O'Connell and guitarist Eddie Reyes -- treated the benefit like a celebration, doing an energetic first set of their hits and a second set playing "Tell All Your Friends" in its entirety, closing with two rare tracks from the album's recording sessions.