Live review: Taking Back Sunday, Dashboard Confessional, more (6/21/2016)


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Taking Back Sunday, Dashboard Confessional, Saosin and The Early November
Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheater
June 21, 2016

The Charlotte stop of The Taste of Chaos Tour hit the Music Factory on Tuesday night to a packed house. Everyone was more than willing to wait in 90-degree heat to see a this year's lineup with a nostalgic theme. With headliners like Dashboard Confessional and Charlotte’s own Taking Back Sunday, it’s no surprise the Charlotte Metro Credit Union Uptown Amphitheatre was filled.

As the sun slowly sank, Saosin and The Early November opened up with solid half hour sets (Saosin missing Anthony Green due to a delay at the airport). What crowd there was at that point milled about, taking in the show but clearly biding their time until the headliners. The amphitheater wasn’t even half full until Taking Back Sunday really hit their stride, suddenly bursting at the seams as they screamed along to the band that voiced their high school experience.

Taking Back Sunday played a 13-song set to the roaring crowd. They received the kind of welcome only a hometown can give you (frontman Adam Lazzara lives right around the corner in NoDa, as does guitarist Nathan Cogan). They started with a few throwbacks, fan favorites like “Cute Without the E (Cut from the team)” and “Liar (It takes one to know one).”

Seeing them onstage, it’s clear that these guys have been doing this for the past 17 odd years—they really have a handle on how to work a stage and a crowd, especially Lazzara. “I understand a lot of you probably came out this evening for nostalgic purposes,” Lazzara said between songs. “There ain’t nothing wrong with that ladies and gentleman…. But you do know what that means, yeah? That means we’ve been doing this together, we’ve been growing together! I was there when you were smoking cigarettes out behind your high school. I was there when you got your driver’s license…and all that to say here I am, in Charlotte, North Carolina, I’m still here today.”

Lazzara in person is like an evangelical preacher, bending the crowd to his every whim. The five-piece band roared through a set consisting of fan favorites and a few newer songs, including a brand-new track from their upcoming album called “Tidal Wave” that, as Lazzara said, “Is too damn good not to play.”

Dashboard Confessional got a few more songs in as they took the stage around 10, opening with “Vindicated” as the impressive LED display illuminated the foursome. The band is much less interactive and talkative than Taking Back Sunday, but it’s clear why they were the evening’s frontrunners.

Every single person in the crowd sang along to what seemed to be the soundtrack to their high school and college years. Taking Back Sunday may command the stage with their presence, but Dashboard Confessional manages to do it through two guitars, a bass and drum kit, and the insane vocals of Chris Carrabba. He barely had to speak to get the crowd amped up; all he had to do was launch into the opening verses of fan favorites like “Screaming Infidelities” or “As Lovers Go,” and they were eating out of the palm of his hand.

As a foursome, they have their live show down pat. Having four talented musicians on a stage together isn’t always enough to have the right chemistry for a rock show, but it’s something that Dashboard Confessional have always managed perfectly, and this year was no exception. Their 16-song set was full of the right mixture of old and new songs that got Charlotte on their feet and swaying to the beat. This is only the third week of Taste of Chaos, so if you missed their Charlotte stop, there’s always the chance to catch them in another city. And you should probably take that chance.

Taking Back Sunday setlist
1. Cute Without the E (Cut from the Team)
2. Liar (It takes one to know one)
3. Flicker, Face
4. What’s It Feel Like to Be a Ghost?
5. A Decade Under the Influence
6. Stood a Chance
7. You’re So Last Summer
8. Holy Water
9. Timberwolves at New Jersey
10. Better Homes and Gardens
11. Error: Operator
12. Tidal Wave
13. MadeDamnSure

Dashboard Confessional setlist
1. Vindicated
2. The Sharp Hint of New Tears
3. The Good Fight
4. Saints and Sailors
5. As Lovers Go
6. The Swiss Army Romance (acoustic)
7. The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most (acoustic)
8. Remember to Breathe (partially acoustic)
9. Don’t Wait
10. Again I Go Unnoticed
11. The Best Deceptions
12. Heart Beat Here (acoustic)
13. Screaming Infidelities
14. Fix You (Coldplay cover)
15. Stolen

16. Hands Down


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