June 28, 2016 Taste of Chaos Rolls Into Jones Beach, NY 6-18-16
Following a five year hiatus, Rock Star’s Taste of Chaos Tour returned in a big way in 2015. Initially begun in the fall of 2005, the tour became referred to as “Winter Warped Tour” by fans as it boasted a lineup of a variety of high profile bands through the years, including The Used, Killswitch Engage, Deftones, Thirty Seconds To Mars, Bullet For My Valentine, and Disturbed, among many others. Revisited last year, though only producing a one-off show in California, 2016 sees a full string of shows running from late spring through early summer.
The eighth overall installment of the tour, the lineup features steady regulars Dashboard Confessional, Taking Back Sunday, Saosin, and The Early November, as well as Saves the Day, Motion City Soundtrack, The Starting Line, Quicksand, The Get Up Kids, Senses Fail, The Anniversary, Reggie and the Full Effect, and Hot Rod Circuit on select dates. A hot ticket, the show arrived at Nikon at Jones Beach in Wantagh, New York on Saturday, June 18th, for an evening of perfect weather and an even better lineup.
The Early November
Taking the stage first was New Jersey’s The Early November. Resurrected in 2011, following a four year hiatus, since then they have released two new albums, 2012’s In Current and 2015’s Imbue. A welcomed return by adoring fans, Arthur “Ace” Enders (vocals, guitar), Joseph Marro (guitar, keyboard), “Ultra” Bill Lugg (guitar), Sergio Anello (bass), and Jeff Kummer (drums) were a perfect selection to ignite the energy in the open air theater with the bay in the backdrop.
Greeting the crowd, they opened with 2006’s “Decoration” before moving into 2012’s “Frayed In Doubts” and “Tell Me Why.” Mixing it up, and making the most of their time on stage, they quickly brought it back to early days, offering up the beautiful “Ever So Sweet.” Conversing with the audience, and making the mood personal, while The Early November is the type of band that is perfect for a small club, they filled all spaces in the mini-stadium and had fans on their feet.
Emotional and sincere in their delivery, Imbue’s “I Don’t Care” fit nicely amidst the older tunes such as their first song, “I Want to Hear You Sad,” before concluding with “Baby Blue” and “Narrow Mouth.” Certainly a band worth arriving early for, upon finishing the tour in July, the group looks to take some time off before a fall tour with Mayday Parade through Australia.
Next on stage was another recently reunited band, Saosin. Initially begun back in 2003, upon their farewell in 2010, many thought it was the end of an era, but surprising in 2014 the band returned. Not only did they return, but this time original vocalist Anthony Green was back for the first time in a decade. Now as strong as ever, Green, Beau Burchell (guitar), Chris Sorenson (bass), and Alex Rodriguez (drums) are back in 2016 with an exciting new album, entitled Along the Shadow. Certainly a pleasant surprise to followers, Saosin show no signs of slowing down in the second chapter of their career.
Setting the tone by coming out to the epic Game of Throne’s theme, the band hit the stage hard with the new song “Racing Toward a Red Light.” While Burchell, Sorenson, and touring guitarist Phil Sgrosso took to the edge of the stage, Green took full advantage of the massive platform while commanding the crowd. Energetic as ever, Green showed passion and vivid emotion in his voice as they blasted along with “Translating the Name,” “The Silver String,” as well as “3rd Measurement in C.”
No stranger to the Jones Beach stage, Green has played dusk sets here before, most recently 2013’s Uproar Festival with his other band Circa Survive. With that said, as the sun began to set in the west, he shaded off the light, joked about it beating on his face. Unaffected by the distraction, Green and the band moved on quickly with more favorites including “I Can Tell There Was An Accident Here Earlier,” “Illusion & Control,” along with “Control and the Urge To Pray.” No longer content with the confines of the stage, Green jumped into the crowd as the band closed out with “Seven Years” as he invited the audience to help him finish off the song. Playfully threatening to shut the show down if they were not loud enough, the audience responded, singing loudly and fulfilling the request. Showing they are still vital, yet more mature, Saosin are back and better than ever.
Motion City Soundtrack
Moving the show along, fans were elated, yet tearful to see Minneapolis, Minnesota’s Motion City Soundtrack’s banner hoisted next. The reason why, Motion City Soundtrack are currently on a farewell tour, headed toward an indefinite hiatus. The end of a two decade long era for original members Justin Pierre (vocals, guitar) and Joshua Cain (guitar, vocals), coupled with their longtime bandmates Jesse Johnson (Moog synthesizer, keyboard), Matthew Taylor (bass guitar, piano, backing vocals), as well as Tony Thaxton (drums), it is a bittersweet goodbye. Performing in New York City just two days earlier on their So Long, Farewell Tour, this one-off date on Taste of Chaos was an added bonus to local area fans.
With emotion in the air, the band came out opening with what many consider the defining track of their career, “Everything is Alright.” Moving on with “Her Words Destroyed My Planet,” they returned to older material, offering up “Make Out Kids,” “Time Turned Fragile,” and “L. G. FUAD.” Providing a fully textured sound as a collective, Pierre, Cain, and Taylor enjoyed the front of the stage while Johnson and Thaxton energetically played behind them with Johnson performing his signature Moogstand.
What was considered to be their final Long Island show, they did not miss a beat as they rocked along with “Last Night” before treating long time fans to 2002’s “My Favorite Accident.” Fitting to the mood of many listeners, they played on with “Broken Heart” before getting the pit in motion for “Attractive Today” before bidding farewell with “The Future Freaks Me Out.” With this beloved band close to the finish line, shows are selling out at a fast pace. The band’s tour continues its way through the United States before heading overseas to the UK and Australia before closing out in Japan. With that in mind, be sure to see them last one last time live before they castaway for the unforeseeable future.
Taking Back Sunday
Following a brief set change, an American flag was hoisted as concertgoers began chanting, “USA!” What was this patriotism all about? Well, it served as the backdrop for Long Island natives Taking Back Sunday. Hometown heroes, the current lineup of Adam Lazzara (Vocals), John Nolan (Guitar), Eddie Reyes (Rhythm Guitar), Shaun Cooper (Bass), and Mark O’Connell (Drums) all are very familiar with Jones Beach theater, whether it be attending shows as a kid or playing the venue in front of massive crowds. Elevated to new heights following 2006’s Louder Now, it is difficult to believe the album recently celebrated its tenth anniversary. No less inspired, but much more wise, Taking Back Sunday continue to move on strongly all these years later as they were ready to bring their genuine sound and energy to the forefront of Taste of Chaos.
Coming out to Disney’s The Lion King theme, a signature intro of the band, they were quickly greeted with a sea of cheers as they opened with “Cute Without The ‘E’.” Immediately enticing fans to singing along, the performance moved quickly with “Liar (It Takes One To Know One)” and “Flicker, Fade.” Keeping the momentum flowing, “What’s It Feel Like To Be A Ghost?” saw beach balls floating around the crowd as Lazzara casually moved across the edge of the stage leaning forward and singing with ease.
Giving fans another classic, “A Decade Under the Influence” trumped before the hits continued with “Stood a Chance” and “You’re So Last Summer.” Showing a comradery with their hometown fans, they playfully joked around, mentioning “that every time they mentioned the tour’s name they received $80, just enough to purchase one beer at the VIP bar.” In addition to the welcomed sarcasm, they added, “What exactly does chaos taste like anyway?” A good question to ask, perhaps the crowd answered that when the band jammed into “Timberwolves at New Jersey.”
Continuing on, Lazzarra asked the large audience who had come for nostalgia, adding it just meant the band and their fans had grown together. Indeed a truthful statement, Taking Back Sunday embraced the nostalgia as they went into “Better Homes and Gardens” and “Error: Operator,” which inspired some crowd-surfing. Announcing their excitement for their upcoming album, Tidal Wave, they treated everyone to the title-track, which was extremely well-received. Gracious for the endless support of Long Islanders, they praised the audience and had them all clapping their hands for their final song, “MakeDamnSure;” an overall delightful closing choice.
While Lazzara may have asked exactly what chaos taste like, Taking Back Sunday is a flawless match for the Taste of Chaos Tour. The above mentioned forthcoming album is set for release on September 16th, so be prepared for new material and just maybe, more touring.
With the sun beginning to set, fans awaited the arrival of the final act of the night, Acoustic Rock veterans Dashboard Confessional. Very familiar with the comfort of Taste of Chaos, Dashboard Confessional were served their first taste back in 2015. Out of Boca Raton, Florida, the group came together the same year as Taking Back Sunday, releasing their debut EP, The Swiss Army Romance, in 2000, and have not looked back since. Intended as a solo album for founding guitarist/vocalist Chris Carrabba, the EP turned into a career that has lasted almost two decades. While they have not released a studio album since 2009’s Alter the Ending, Carrabba, Scott Schoenbeck (bass), Mike Marsh (drums), and John Lefler (guitar, vocals) continue to satisfy followers with captivating live performances.
With the band ready, the lights went out as a wave of cheers erupted for opener “Vindicated.” Overwhelming everyone, even security guards stageside could not help but sing along. Revisiting the song that started it all, they quickly took everyone back with “The Sharp Hint of New Tears” before energetically moving on with “The Good Fight,” “Saints and Sailors,” and “Get Me Right.” Electrified and upbeat, the band brought each track to life as Carrabba’s distinctive vocal delivery danced over the time.
Only five songs in, the mood shifted to a stripped-down acoustic setting as each member besides Carrabba departed from the stage. All by his lonesome, with an acoustic guitar strapped over his shoulder, Carrabba played along with “The Swiss Army Romance” and “The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most,” before concluding with “Remember to Breath.” A storyteller-like vibe broke the stadium down into a coffeehouse vibe for this segment of the show before the band re-entered to pump the volume back up for “Don’t Wait” and “Again I Go Unnoticed,” before slowing down once more for “The Best Deceptions.” A fitting segue for another solo acoustic spotlight for Carrabba, he proudly announced that Dashboard Confessional is currently working on a new album. Immediately greeted by cheers, he happily announced he wanted to play a track off of it, and that would be the emotion-tingling “Heart Beat Here.” True to form of their past, the new song merely added even more buzz around the band as they have yet to determine a release date of the album.
Arriving back on stage for the remainder of the performance, the band joined Carrabba to kick off the finale act with everyone’s favorite, “Screaming Infidelities.” Aware how much the song means to so many, Carrabba and company chose to let the fans take over vocals for a majority of the song, a unison singalong that was simply hair-raising. Following that, they went into a cover of Coldplay’s “Fix You” before the lights went completely dark following “Stolen.” With a full moon and a starry night providing the only light, cheers for an encore grew loud before the band gave into demand, ending their set with “Hands Down.”
The sincerity Dashboard Confessional brings with each note and lyric have deservedly brought on the admiration of their many fans. Much like Taking Back Sunday, the group looks to finish out the tour before turning their full attention on the release of their upcoming album. If “Heart Beat Here” is any indication, fans have a lot to look forward to while they impatiently await more news of the album’s release. As for Taste of Chaos 2016, it all wraps up on July 16th, but have no fear, Vans Warped Tour overlaps, assuring it will be one hell of a summer.