By Greg Cohen
New Found Glory are sellouts…..in a good way. The band launched its Fall 2015 co-headlining tour with Yellowcard on October 8, 2015 at the LiveWire in Scottsdale, AZ. LiveWire holds 1,100 and the show was sold out (making them sell-outs – see how I did that).
It’s hard to ignore the similarities between New Found Glory and Yellowcard. Both got their start in 1997/98. Both originated in Florida. Both were early entrants in the pop-punk genre. Both recently separated from a founding/long time band member. Both released their most recent albums in October 2014. Both feature a punk-rocking violinist. Fine, only Yellowcard has a violinist, but it’s still hard to ignore the many similarities between these two bands that make them perfect compliments to each other on a double bill. Despite these similarities, however, Yellowcard’s vocalist and guitarist Ryan Key says that the two bands have toured together in Japan and Europe but have never previously toured together in the United States.
Their Scottsdale show launched their 2015 U.S. tour that will include 33 shows in 45 days. NFG is touring in support of Resurrection, its eighth studio album which was released last year in October 2014 and its follow-up Resurrection – Ascension, released on October 7, the day before the concert.
While Yellowcard may stay a little more to the pop side of pop-punk, NFG is clearly planted on the punk side. And to say that the crowd appreciated a good old-fashioned punk rock show would be an understatement. Lighting was dark and moody throughout. The crowd-surfing started before the first song even finished and a small but persistent mosh pit in the middle of the crowd lasted for much of the set. To say that NFG was energetic would be an understatement. NFG jumped, stomped and charged their way back and forth across the stage throughout the set. The crowd responded in kind, jumping and dancing through the entire set with a constant river of crowd surfers flowing from the back of the venue to the security pit, some of them two or three times over. One excited fan even made it up on stage until he was gently escorted off by a roadie (continued below photos).
Photos © 2015 Greg Cohen
The concert was NFG’s second time back in Phoenix as a four-piece since the departure of founding guitarist-lyricist Steve Klein in late 2013. While Klein may have been a driving force within the band until his departure, the live show did not suffer from his absence. I didn’t see their October 2014 show at the Marquee Theater so I don’t have a point of comparison, but it was clear from this show that the remaining members of NFG are sufficiently frenetic that it’s easy to forget that there are only four band members on stage instead of five.
If you are an NFG fan, and there were 1,100 of in attendance, there was a lot to like about this concert. The crowd fed off the band’s energy and the band seemed to be energized by the crowd. It is definitely safe to say that no one in attendance went home disappointed by the show they saw – and participated in – to kick-off New Found Glory’s fall 2015 U.S. tour.
And did I mention that both bands lend themselves to a very similar, very positive review.