New Found Glory
with Trash Boat
The Social; Orlando, FL • May 9, 2017
by Jen Cray
Twenty years of Pop Punk — that’s a whole lot of 3 chord wonderment and friendly mosh pits. A whole lot of songs about friends, about girls, about choosing your friends over the girl. It’s a whole lot of New Found Glory. To commemorate their two decades together, the Florida-origin band (Coral Springs, represent!) are in the midst of a celebratory tour during which they’re playing a handful of their early albums in their entirety. Orlando was blessed with not only 3 days of intimate shows at The Social (2 different albums each night), but a 4th encore show at the much larger House of Blues. It was a sold-out small and sweaty Social date that this masochist opted to attend.
Sticks and Stones and Coming Home were on the menu for the night, but rather than play them back to back, so that those fans looking to hear all the tasty favorites off of the first album could jet out before the end, they scrambled the setlist into one long mega album. “Understatement” kicked the evening off on a super high, getting the mostly 30-something crowd, who until then had been rather staid and sober, channeling their inner teenager and pogoing away. It was a contagious energy, spilling from the band into the crowd, that reconfirmed why it is that this band, of all those that have come and gone, has stood the test of 20 years.
Call them too poppy, or too emo, or just too damn fun to be taken seriously, but you cannot deny the infectious heart and soul that New Found Glory spew into every performance.
“We’ve got the most open minded fans in the world,” guitarist Chad Gilbert explained before diving into one of their poppiest numbers (“Sonny”) — a song that everyone told them would kill their punk rock credibility. “We have always been ourselves, and did what WE wanted to do.”
Who needs street cred when you’re having such a damn good time? A good, sweaty, sing-along night commenced, and there was confetti and cheers, and probably a few tears. All the feels that a good pop punk band inspire.
Also on the bill was Trash Boat, out of London. Their sound was reminiscent of early NFG but with a screamier, more emocore vocal. The kids had heart, but their sound felt a bit dated. On another bill they may have soared, but this night was all about the clean lyrical joy of songs whose words you can actually decipher. Maybe next time, Trash Boat.
As for you, New Found Glory — see you in a few years, when my personal favorite record (Radioactivity) hits the ten year milestone. I’ll be expecting another go-around at The Social.