Coverage by: Anthony Vito Cosentino, Brenda Gomes & Kevin Miller
Sunday was a miserably rainy day filled with gusting winds and overcast skies in Asbury Park, which was certainly not ideal considering that New Found Glory was scheduled to rock the outdoor Stone Pony Summer Stage last night. Luckily enough, the rain couldn’t stop the rock, and the show was moved right down the road to the indoor venue Convention Hall, an equally legendary location in the heart of Asbury. Luckily we here at Cloak and Dagger were able to have photographers cover in Toronto and New Jersey this weekend.
The show lasted most of the day as there were full band performances on the main stage, while acoustic acts entertained the crowd upstairs in between those sets. The long winding line that was building inside to stay out of the elements was finally ushered into the venue around 4:30 pm. I ran back and forth between stages not wanting to miss a thing, as each performance brought something slightly different to the table while still fitting naturally on the bill together, and it was nice being able to listen to live music consistently throughout the day rather than wait for what always feels like an eternity in between sets for the next band to play.
While local acts and throw backs like Crime In Stereo rocked the main and acoustic stages, the first up for the Sick tour was William Ryan Key. Releasing his first solo EP this was a highly anticipated set for us. The second Key hit the stage our expectations went through the roof, and all due to just technical difficulties. Having to travel from the Toronto date straight through NJ anyone who knows that trip, you can anticipate delays. Due to those delays, the crowd was forced to sit through Yellowcard songs. The crowd became SUPER excited once they heard the news. Opening up with Lights & Sounds it just set a precedent for all the singalongs that were to come later that night.
After Key's set we headed over to the main stage inside Convention Hall to catch Long Island's, The Movielife. After being on hiatus for quite some time to explore other endeavors such as, I Am The Avalanche & Nightmare Of You, the band has found themselves back together and recently released a new album via Rise Records called "Cities in Search of Heart". It was really a great experience getting to see this classic band. Front-man Vinnie Caruana stated to the crowd, "It's been a long time for the Movielife, some of you may have heard of us some of you may not have." Being a fan of the Movielife since I was a teenager I never took the time to think that they are reaching a whole new group of people years later. Their set was nothing but high energy and pure FUN at the rock show. Playing classic hits like Hand Grenade and Jamestown while integrating new jams, it left the crowd wanting more once their set was finished.
Despite the anticipation being lessened thanks to the constant performances throughout the day, I still could not wait for the moment that Bayside was set to take the main stage, and they certainly didn’t disappoint. Storming the stage at around 7:40pm, they came out swinging with the punchy first track “Already Gone,” riling up the crowd and bringing them surfing up to the stage almost immediately. Following that was the ideal song that only makes sense considering this was indeed the Sick Tour, the infectious “Sick, Sick, Sick” had the whole crowd chanting along to the pre-chorus, and rightfully so. Their setlist was a brilliant mix of old and new songs, with classics like “Masterpiece” from their first album making an appearance along with the painfully catchy “I’ve Been Dead All Day” from their most recent album. Bayside proved within less than an hour that they were going to be a tough act to follow.
However, if any band was up to the task, it was New Found Glory. I thought Bayside had an insane amount of energy in their performance, up until New Found Glory finally took the stage to close the show, all members running back and forth like a child who just discovered their first sugar rush. In a way, I think the whole crowd felt like children in that moment, because New Found Glory showed us that even after over 20 years of performing, they haven’t lost an ounce of spunk. We were treated with nostalgic fan service as the show opened with the classic “All Downhill From Here,” exciting fans for what was certain to be a wild final set. They played several songs from their most recent album from which the tour derived its name, Makes Me Sick, including “Party on Apocalypse,” “Call Me Anti-Social,” “Happy Being Miserable,” and “Barbed Wire.” The beauty in these songs, and the entirety of their newest record for that matter, is that they blend seamlessly with the hits that put New Found Glory on the map as a pop punk powerhouse in the early 2000s.
It’s obvious that the band has a deep love and respect for their fans, as evidenced by the fact that they brought a member of the crowd on stage to sing with them on two separate occasions throughout the night. The second fan happened to mention on the mic that this was his 165th New Found Glory show, and it’s that kind of devotion from fans that emphasizes why New Found Glory is still doing this after 20 years. Despite all these amazing moments throughout the show, the highlight of their performance was definitely the encore. As the crowd begged for more, we were surprised with a pop punk rendition of “Eye of the Tiger,” as singer Jordan Pundik donned an American flag robe in honor of The Rocky movies which made the song an instantly recognizable hit. Not a band to disappoint, the final song of their encore was “My Friends Over You,” and the camaraderie that could be seen between in the crowd during this song was almost overwhelming. Fans were arm in arm singing every word, and if last night’s performance was any indication, it looks like New Found Glory may just be a continuing force in pop punk for another 20 years.