By Thomas Stubbs
On Wednesday October 15th, South Street and the TLA welcomed PPP punk veterans New Found Glory on their Glamour Kills Tour.
The past year has been a whirlwind for NFG. Late last year, the band was left standing as a foursome after parting ways with their longtime guitarist, and then announcing their signing to pop punk powerhouse Hopeless Records. The new album was aptly named, Resurrection. Just a week after its release, New Found Glory continued to rise from the ashes and stand tall on their stop in the city of Philadelphia.
Just before 8pm, Fireworks tested the wet and weary crowd, as the rain had soaked all concert goers who were there from the start. It seemed to take Fireworks a few songs to get the crowd in the mood, but by the end of their power pop set everyone had dried up, and readily awaited the next performance from We Are The In Crowd.
Hailing from New York and boasting a female lead, We Are The In Crowd knew right where to pick up. Running headstrong into a high energy set that was highlighted by their signature song, “Dreaming Out Loud”. This east coast band had the entire venue from the gate to the doors rocking along and fired up! Many in the crowd, including myself, wished for a few more songs. The pop punk vocals of Taylor Jardine were a perfect blend of yesterday’s influences and today’s stars.
Shortly after 9:30, fans old and new cheered as Jordan Pundik, Ian Grushka, Chad Gilbert and Cyrus Bolooki crashed the stage, opening big and highlighting their new music with “Selfless” from Resurrection. Next up was an older favorite, “Understatement”. The song had barely begun when the band suddenly stopped playing. Guitarist Chad Gilbert took to the mic to point out a struggling concert goer and insisting that the fans look out for one another in the pit. This selfless act would be a premonition of things to come from the band as the evening progressed.
Mixing their hits from over a decade ago with newer tracks, New Found Glory was as energetic and positive as they’ve been since their first album in the late 90’s. During short crowd interactions, Pundik spoke of inspiration and attributed the band’s continuing success to the fans. Seemingly in response to the ups and downs of the last year, he went on to say that life isn’t always what you expect and you’ve got to roll with the punches and find the positive in every situation.
Friend of the band, Stephen, emphasized that point when he conveyed to me that the band is staying positive as they start this new chapter and focusing on rebranding the band into an updated version of their signature sound and energy.
As the night went on, fans danced, moshed, cheered and sang along as “Hit or Miss” and “Failure’s Not Flattering” mixed seamlessly with “Stubborn” and “Stories of a Different Kind”. In total, 24 songs were played, ending with “My Friends Over You”.
But the crowd hadn’t had enough and pleaded for more.
The band obliged and played an encore of five songs, closing with “All Downhill From Here”. The crowd was in for a whimsical surprise to close out the night as a tsunami of confetti came down on them from the rafters above.
In releasing this new album and heading out on tour, the band highlights moving forward, breaking away from bad relationships and growing as a person. NFG was and still is true old school pop punk at it’s best. Their personality and their ability to relate to the audience is what has kept die hard fans coming back for over a decade and also drawn in a new generation of young fans. They even invited their “biggest fan”, a little girl named Delaney and her mother, to join them onstage at one point during the show, once again demonstrating their appreciation for their fans.
If this show was any indicator of the band’s attitude and mindset, New Found Glory seems ready and willing (pun intended) to overcome any obstacles and keep on playing the music that we love.