It’s not often that you see a lot of bands these days make it to the ten-year mark. Even less make it to fifteen. Fortunately, that’s not the case for New Found Glory, and, as of 2017, they’re celebrating twenty years of being a band. When I found out they’d be playing albums from their earlier discography in full on their 20 Year Anniversary Tour, I knew I had to go.
I’ve often heard guitarist Chad Gilbert mention at past shows that the state has always been like a second home to them, because it was one of the first places away from their home state of Florida that really got into their music. New Jersey has always loved New Found Glory, and it showed with how quickly fans sold out two shows at The Stony Pony and one at Starland Ballroom. I was lucky enough to catch the latter of these Jersey shows.
The night kicked off with a UK pop punk group, Trash Boat. I wasn’t familiar with their music prior to the show, so I had no idea what to expect. The band came out with a lot of energy and got the crowd hyped up for New Found Glory to take the stage. I’ll be honest by saying I’ve been falling out of love with newer pop punk artists lately, but I didn’t feel that way about Trash Boat. Instead, I left that night as a new fan of the band. It was their first time over in the USA, but I hope it’s not their last.
Not too long after Trash Boat finished their set, New Found Glory took the stage and immediately jumped right into “Understatement.” The crowd screamed in excitement, and it didn’t take long for a sea of crowd surfers to make their way over the barricade. Each night was a combination of two CD’s, and Starland Ballroom was treated to Sticks and Stones and Catalyst in their entirety. Even though some of these songs had never been played live before, they went over extremely well with the crowd.
There wasn’t a dull moment for the whole set – even when they slowed things down for songs like “I Don’t Wanna Know.” During some parts throughout the night, it was hard to hear the band over how loud the crowd was singing along. NFG finished the set with a three-song encore that ended with what is arguably their biggest hit: “My Friends Over You.” If you know their shows, you know it’s not a true New Found Glory show unless that song is played.
These four guys may be twenty years into their careers, but their music is still loved by so many. I think the banner on the front of drummer Cyrus Bolooki’s drum riser that read “1997 – forever” is what every NFG fan is hoping for. I know I am.
NEW FOUND GLORY
COVERAGE: ALYSON COLETTA