Where: O2 Forum Kentish Town, London
Blistering guitar riffs reverberate from the instant Black Foxxes hit the stage, with strangled, impassioned vocals to boot creating an electric atmosphere rarely seen from an opening band. It takes little more than two or three songs before the crowd are fully immersed in Black Foxxes’ energy, and to say we’re impressed by their gutsy performance is an understatement.
Frank Iero and the Patience
Screams usually reserved for a headline band echo the venue as Frank Iero shuffles bashfully onto the stage, something we can only assume is a hesitant façade as moments later he lets rip and launches full-throttle into a lengthy, animated set. People cheer, punch and crowd surf with aplomb and, yes, some of this adoration is probably thanks to Iero’s past musical ventures, but he proves himself worthy of such reaction as he performs with true punk spirit and punchy excitement.
Taking Back Sunday
Right. Let’s put it out there right now- don’t go to see Taking Back Sunday if you don’t know any lyrics. That’s no insult to their performance; they are a captivating joy to watch, with punky chaos, charming chit-chat and Adam Lazzara’s amusing microphone antics. But the vocals are so quiet- whether that’s an issue with sound, venue or touring has simply taken its toll- that, without knowing any lyrics, you probably wouldn’t catch a word all night.
But, that aside, Taking Back Sunday pull off a killer show.
With a setlist that cherry-picks the best bits from their career, not to mention a few surprises along the way, they create a gorgeous ebb and flow, both soothing us with ‘Flicker, Fade’ and ‘Better Homes and Gardens’ while whipping us into a frenzy with ‘Liar (It Takes One to Know One)’ and ‘What’s It Feel Like to Be a Ghost?’. By the end of the night, we don’t know which way to turn!
Perhaps the highlights tonight come from moments of pleasant marriage between the band and crowd, as ear-splitting sing-a-longs prove just how loved this New York five-piece are. The country swing of ‘Tidal Waves’ is fun, but it’s with older tracks ‘You Know How I Do’, ‘Cute Without the E (Cut From the Team)’ and ‘MakeDamnSure’ that the real uproar rears its head, deafening screams consuming the venue. At times we see the band give up singing altogether, instead flashing an earnest grin and soaking up the affection before them.
Taking Back Sunday’s limelight has faded somewhat since their original ‘00s hype, but seeing this fanbase lose themselves tonight shows true solidarity and honest, heartfelt love between them and the band, something that not all artists can hang onto. Long may it reign!