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Review: Taking Back Sunday @ Best Buy Theater, 7.17.11

Adam Lazzara, Taking Back Sunday singer, performs at

Adam Lazzara, Taking Back Sunday singer, performs at Bamboozle. (April 30, 2011) Photo Credit: Agaton Strom

There must be a switch in Adam Lazzara's head that launches him into overdrive when the Taking Back Sunday frontman feels he can't offer fans his usual 100 percent.

Judging from the epic ending of the Rockville Centre-based band's show last night at the Best Buy Theater, that switch was definitely engaged.

Lazzara, who severely sprained his right ankle Thursday night jumping from a bank of speakers in Charlotte, N.C., was clearly in pain, as he gamely tried jumps and landings on his one good foot early in the set.

So when he climbed off the stage toward the end of the band's 75-minute set and over the barricade into the capacity crowd, it was a surprise. When he began making his way through the capacity crowd toward the sound board on the mezzanine, it was shocking.

Completely surrounded by fans, he made it to the rear of the theater, handing over his mic to concertgoers who took over the vocals of “There's No 'I' in Team,” while the rest of the crowd shouted along. For the end of “Cute Without the 'E,' ” Lazzara was hoisted onto fans' shoulders in the mosh pit and passed along overhead back to the stage, before taking a bow with guitarist/singer John Nolan and hobbling off, carrying his shoes.

It was an unforgettable moment on top of an already-memorable night. After all, Taking Back Sunday feels that they once again have something to prove. Their latest album – the first since Nolan and bassist Shaun Cooper returned to join Lazzara, guitarist Eddie Reyes and drummer Mark O'Connell – became the band's first to debut outside of the Top 10 since its 2002 debut “Tell All Your Friends,” despite strong reviews.

“We have a new album out,” Lazzara said, introducing the band's current single “Faith (When I Let You Down).” “Not enough of you know about it, so I'm about to blow your damn minds.”

And that's exactly what the band did, as the song's catchy riffs and emotional lyrics lifted the already-frenzied capacity crowd. The new songs from “Taking Back Sunday,” especially “You Got Me,” which Lazzara said features his most honest lyrics ever, and the thunderous “El Paso,” are even stronger live than in their recorded versions, while “180 By Summer” sounds even more unhinged with its new vocal arrangement.

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Taking Back Sunday is already impressive with its music. Hopefully amazing shows like last night's will help remind people of that.

SETLIST: El Paso / Make Damn Sure / You Know How I Do / Liar / Faith (When I Let You Down) / Bike Scene / 180 by Summer / Error Operator / You Got Me / Timberwolves vs. New Jersey / Existentialism on Prom Night / What's It Feel Like to Be a Ghost / A Decade Under the Influence / You're So Last Summer / This Is All Now / There's No “I” in Team / Cute Without the “E”

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