New Found Glory
with Bayside, The Movielife, and William Ryan Key
House of Blues; Orlando, FL • March 17, 2018
by Jen Cray
South Florida pop punk veterans New Found Glory kicked off their Sick Tour to a capacity crowd at Orlando’s House of Blues and it was, indeed, SICK. With an elaborate graffiti art backdrop that changed color depending on the lights, balloons, confetti, and surprise new touring member Ryan Key of Yellowcard, their stage production alone was a step above anything they’ve ever done. That would have been enough, but ever the overachievers, NFG stacked the bill with a handful of acts that do quite well filling up theaters on their own.
William Ryan Key debuted his acoustic solo act which was so laid back he doesn’t even use a pick. “I’m not playing for 2 hours tonight, so I get to enjoy a glass of wine,” he told the crowd after introducing himself and promising to throw in a Yellowcard song at the end of his set — a promise he made good on, with a quiet sing-along version of “Ocean Avenue.”
Back after a decade-long breakup, New York’s The Movielife perform not just with established technique, but with the kind of gratitude that comes with being given a second chance. Their new album Cities in Search of a Heart , their first since 2003, has a cleaner, more polished sound and even packs a romantic ballad — “Pour Two Glasses,” which they play, in between the more crowd-stirring melodically emotive bits.
Bayside, another pop punk band that called NY home, are one of those bands who’ve never made an impression on me, despite having seen them on a number of occasions. This time is the exception. The band dominates the stage, and singer Anthony Raneri demonstrated a confidence I had not previously seen from him. Their lively set was musically more in keeping with what was to come from the headliners, and the crowd responded whole-heartedly.
So that by the time New Found Glory stormed the big stage, the room was lit. The setlist touched upon just about all of their 9 full lengths and even included their covers of Peter Cetera’s “The Glory of Love” and Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger.” There were fans brought up onstage to sing, dozens of balloons were kicked around, and there was an odd commercial plug for Dave & Buster’s (are they sponsoring the tour, or is guitarist Chad Gilbert just a big gaming fan, who can say?). It was light hearted, and fun, and silly, and everything you want from a pop punk show. Some might even say it was SICK.