Taking Back Sunday – Brighton Centre

By paul

Taste of Chaos Tour,
Brighton Centre
13th November 2006

As I sit here writing this just under the twenty-four hour deadline set to me by good old Mr. Savage, my entire fucking body ACHES. Not just the ‘ow I’m in pain give me sympathy’ type of ache, this is full on post-circle pit pain. Still, coming out of an absolutely mental gig with bruised and battered limbs is a small price to pay for the sheer party that was Taste of Chaos 2006.

We’ll set aside for the minute that the choice of venue was crap (no alcohol + no smoking in the arena makes me a very bitter man). We’ll also set aside the fact that half the crowd spent most of their time bundling each other to the floor, there were no concession stands in the venue at all, and if you lost your ticket at any point during the evening, you wouldn’t even be able to leave the arena floor to use the toilet. Despite all of this, it was hard not enjoy the musical show put on by the bands present in the country’s cultural capital.

As I arrived, Saosin were just wrapping up the last song of their set, and from what I could hear, they managed to translate their massive sound from the record to the stage with excellent results. It’s only a shame that I missed the majority of their set due to them starting earlier than anyone was expecting (we’ll blame the mis-print of door opening times on the tickets for that one). Senses Fail exploded onto the stage with ferocity and their trademark harmonies travel well across the Brighton Centre’s vacant floor. I can’t imagine the band would want to return here after tonight, as there’s barely a handful of people that even look like they’re interested in what’s going on in front of them. Despite this, Buddy Nielson leads his New Jersey amigos through a half hour set full of passion and enthusiasm. Although his voice begins to strain before their finale, you can’t fault the amount of effort the boys put in to their show. Without a shadow of a doubt, the highlight came in the form of ‘Rum is for drinking, not for burning’, as it managed to encapsulate the band’s energy within its 3 minute life-span.

I’ve said it a million times before, and one more time won’t hurt….Alexisonfire put on an absolutely blinding show. By the point they hit the stage, the crowd have fortunately woken the fuck up and ‘Drunks, Lovers, Sinners and Saints’ gets the party going. Powering through a water-tight playback of their most famous tracks (see Waterwings, Accidents, .44 Calibre Love Letter) as well as the strongest tracks off ‘Crisis’, there’s not a single person left standing still by the time they’re done, and quite rightly so.

A short break and it’s time for Anti-Flag‘s somewhat trend-setting breed of Anti-establishment punk rock to fall upon the ears of Brighton’s scene. From this point on, things got a bit blurry. Stupidly large circle pit plus me on the floor getting trampled all over doesn’t make for the best way to see a band, yet I still managed to come crawling out with a smile on my face. As the opening riff of ‘Press Corps’ floods the arena, Anti-Flag know they can go home, safe with the knowledge that they’ve shown a few thousand kids a great time.

There’s no stopping Taking Back Sunday at the moment. With an internationally acclaimed third album bothering the Top 20 both sides of the Atlantic, and tours selling out in record time, there’s every reason for them to be co-headlining the 2006 TOC tour. Lead guitarist Fred Mascherino is sadly missing tonight’s performance due to family issues, but fortunately for us, an absolutely astonishing contingency plan had been formed in advance to overcome TBS’s shortcomings. With guest musicians from almost every band on tonight’s bill filling in for Fred on vocals and guitar, the Taking Back Sunday Family Circus is formed to show everyone just how perfectly a scene can pull together to combat a problem such as this. Following an Adam Lazzara solo performance of ‘Divine Intervention’, the setlist is somewhat predictable, yet a tasty cover of The Cure’s ‘Just like Heaven’ is thrown in to keep us guessing. It truly has been a blazing performance, and one that will stay in the collective minds of thousands for quite some time.

The only thing stopping this show from receiving a full five stars is the effect the venue itself had on the evening. It sounds petty to be making such a menial criticism, but the fact that drinking and smoking isn’t permitted inside the Brighton Centre’s main hall really numbed the atmosphere from what it could have been. It’s a crying shame really, as none of the bands here were at fault, and all deserve maximum credit for the effort they put in to give the crowd a good time.

Andy R