There are perils and pleasure that are inherent with seeing New Found Glory live in 2018. In the midst of celebrating 20 years of existence with their most recent effort and corresponding tour, Makes Me Sick, the band represents angst, uncertainty, and a period of awkward adolescence for many of their fans. Their very first album, 1999’s Nothing Gold Can Stay, was an ambitious and bold debut from a facet that would become a cornerstone in a genre of music known as pop-punk. New Found Glory have always remained steadfast about both consistency and authenticity.
Every New Found Glory record serves as a reminder of their unprecedented staying power and the same can be said about last year’s Makes Me Sick. Heart-pounding and vigorous in nature, their ninth album capitalizes on the band’s ability to draw us in with catchy melodies and keep us there with blistering sincerity. At Boston’s House of Blues last Wednesday (May 30), the South Florida natives celebrated two decades of making music the best way they know how: By putting on an unforgettable performance.
William Ryan Key (formerly of Yellowcard) along with The Movielife and Bayside were fitting opening acts. But it was Bayside that most notably reveled in the nostalgia of the evening. Having just celebrated the 10th anniversary of their third studio album The Walking Wounded, frontman Anthony Raneri was refreshing and jovial in front of an audience eagerly awaiting his every move. Songs like “Masterpiece,” Duality” and “Montauk” reflected this excitement; closing song “Devotion and Desire” felt too brief — yet entirely satisfying — in its execution.
As soon as New Found Glory took the stage, there was a palpable shift throughout the entire venue. Everyone in attendance became more excitable, more vibrant, more alive. Lead singer Jordan Pundik bounced onstage as “All Downhill From Here” was revealed as the very first song of the night. He kept this same manic energy for every song.
“Dressed to Kill,” “Head On Collision,” and “Failure’s Not Flattering” were older tunes that prove to only get better with age; “Party On Apocalypse” and “Happy Being Miserable” were newer, heavier songs that get better the more you listen to them. An encore featuring a cover of Survivor’s “Eye Of The Tiger” was an unexpected thrill, but the opening chords to “My Friends Over You” washed over the audience as New Found Glory’s last song — and gave us all a flash of elation from our youth.
Photos by Candace McDuffie; follow her on Instagram @cmcduffie1.