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Even in the small town where I grew up, everyone was bumping Taking Back Sunday’s debut album Tell All Your Friends when it came out 10 years ago. The nearest Best Buy was 50 minute away, but we all had the album and we all knew and belted out every single word. Now, a decade later, the original band line-up is back and they performed their first of several special live performances of TAYF in its entirety—and acoustic style—at the sold-out Troubadour in Los Angeles.
While sold out, the show was still intimate. Adam Lazarro was as upbeat as he always is, while John Nolan sat on a stool, smiling, and spoke mostly when spoken to. The whole original line-up was eager to play: Eddie Reyes, Mark O’Connell, Shaun Cooper, and Neil Rubenstein (a somewhat new edition to the band). Even Michelle DeRose (Nolan), John’s sister, flew in from Boston to sing her parts on “Bike Scene” which we learned was originally going to be called “Monterey Peninsula Bike Scene”) and “Ghost Man on Third.”
The crowd enjoyed both the music and the story after story Adam and the band told about each song. “I feel like you are all the kind of people I can be very good friends with,” John said early into the set, sending fans into a happy frenzy.
It being an acoustic set, we didn’t get to hear those luscious screams like in TAYF which may have been the only thing missing from the show. But being able to see the band work, play and talk together (and we even got to hear them play their sort of serious, sort of mocking “Hippie Jam”) after a decade since their stardom was a rare and enjoyable experience.
They played “With Or Without You at the end too (with Adam on bass), which was the only song that deviated from TAYF.