The emo music pioneers prove that pop punk is not dead, live at FivePoint Amphitheater in Irvine, CA.
For those that say emo music is dead, think again. This summer brought together two legendary bands, progressive rockers Coheed and Cambria and emo music pioneers Taking Back Sunday, on an exciting and highly nostalgic summer tour. Their Southern California stop at the FivePoint Amphitheater in Irvine brought in emo and prog-rockers of all ages that Saturday night for an exhilarating summer show full of mosh pits, crowd surfers and adrenaline-pumped rock music.
California-bred and pop punk favorite The Story So Far opened up the first thirty minutes of the night with a somewhat mellow set played to energetic tunes. Highly devoted to their pop punk sound, the band, who formed in 2007, is set to release their new album Proper Dose this September 21st, making this tour the perfect opportunity to show fans old and new what they’ve got. Their new single “Let It Go” is deliciously catchy pop punk and doesn’t drift too far from their previous material; their newest single “Upside Down,” which I wish they played live, is a bit more mellow and nostalgic and has definitely become my favorite off the album. The band’s easy pop rock sound and lead singer Parker Canon’s vocals are what have made this band stick throughout the years — and the massive amount of crowd surfers diving overhead to the photo pit were just one thing that amounted to their live performance energy. They closed off with their popular single “Quicksand” from 2011’s Under Soil and Dirt.
Taking Back Sunday brought all the nostalgia in a set that was packed with high energy. They opened with “What’s It Feel Like To Be A Ghost?” in which lead singer Adam Lazarra has impressively been able to hold up his voice full of screaming emotional melodies and vocals against bandmate John Nolan. With a knack for engaging with the crowd and inviting them to sing-along, Lazarra continued to swing his microphone as the dizzying light show complemented their set. Their legion of fans were made especially apparent during emo favorites “Liar (It Takes One To Know One)” and “Cute Without the ‘E’ (Cut From the Team).” Full of screams and hard-hitting ballads, it’s impressive that the band has been able to play hits from their past 18 years as a band, and still provide an entertaining show. When they played “MakeDamnSure,” that devotion became even more apparent as fans exploded — myself included — and sang together in emo punchy one-liners: “I just wanna break you down so badly, I trip over everything you say.”
Progressive rockers Coheed and Cambria closed the night off with an impressive set that turned the amphitheater from a bright, energetic feel to an apocalyptic theatrical. With more than 20 years under their belt, frontman Claudio Sanchez came hot and heavy with his powerful, head-banging solos and head full of hair. They opened their new song “The Dark Sentencer” from their upcoming ninth album Vaxis Act I: The Dark Unheavenly Creatures. Their big and heavy sound was massive, with an impressive light show, and industrial symbol shining in neon throughout. With the band’s soaring guitars and dark, mystical lyrics that take you into a darkness, it was amazing to see them play favorites “A Favor House Atlantic” and “Blood Red Summer.” Closing their set off with “Welcome Home,” it was hard not to headbang with Sanchez as his driving guitar riffs, clearcut vocals and powerful drumbeats made you want to join along the ride.
For bands that have been around for years, the obvious question can be, “Can they live up to their prime?” Each of these bands, all spanning different generations and somewhat different crowds — from pop rock to emo and prog-rock — have been able to uphold their talent, energy and enthusiasm for the live show. A summer tour that has reunited some of emo music’s bests, it’s an exciting show to witness; and with the end of Warped Tour as the birthplace to many emo bands today, these bands are still going strong.
This article was featured on Blurred Culture.