NEW YORK, NY—New Found Glory is a band that 20-somethings such as myself have no problem admitting influenced a large part of our youth and continues to flow through the speakers of our cars as we sing loudly on the drive into work. Even though I knew this was a sold out show, I was not prepared for the amount of people packed into Irving Plaza. Before I could even make my way up the stairs into the main venue stage, there was a hot, muggy, smog-like draft blasting towards the doors downstairs. I knew I was in for something incomparable to any other show I’d ever been to.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve walked out of venues with sprained wrists or severely twisted ankles because of how tightly packed a concentrated area was, but this was a sight to be seen. Not only was the balcony overloaded, but the main floor had people crawling on top of one another just to breathe.
I showed up after Fireworks played their set because, simply, I don’t know or care about who they are, but I did catch the second half of Hellogoodbye’s set and it was nothing special. I’m not a huge Hellogoodbye fan so I’m really not the one to judge if they had a good set or not, but their stage presence was boring. No one in the crowd seemed interested, and the chatter of the crowd overpowered the noise coming off the stage. I, personally, don’t think New Found Glory needs any openers, but one good thing did come out of it: Pee-Wee’s Playhouse. A smart move on the venue’s part; they played clips from Pee-Wee’s Playhouse between sets, and it brought almost all of us back to our childhood.
I know I’m going to hear it for this next part but I stayed outside and downstairs for Saves The Day. The only song I know is “Funeral” and seeing that one song was not worth getting covered in large men’s sweat (there was an over abundance of very large men there). Actually, the composition of the crowd was typical, which made me laugh on more than one occasion. New Found Glory still has those female fans that think they are better than everyone else, and still has those boys that just want to fist pump, and jump up and down in their skate shoes, but nevertheless everyone was as excited as I was for New Found Glory.
I didn’t find out until I was at the show that the guys were playing their entire first album, which, if I did my research, I should have known. When they came out, the floor felt like it dropped at least six inches. They didn’t even start their first song and people were crowd surfing. They were unreal. Energetic, funny, and spot-on are just a few adjectives to describe the quality of this show.
After their self-titled was played front to back, and after a few dedications to a dead thyroid who is watching down from heaven, and some friends, they walked off stage. As if anyone thought that was the end of the set, someone started a “NFG” chant. Maybe it was just the energy of the crowd but I found it unnecessary because it didn’t even take 30 seconds for the guys to make their way back onto stage. I was unaware of what direction the encore was going to take because previously New Found Glory played some throwbacks.
They played “Catalyst” that immediately, and with no personal understanding of how, started a pit. They then continued on with a couple songs off their new album which had a lot of jumping up and down going on. There were a couple moments that I was legitimately afraid the floor was going to cave in beneath me. It was then announced that normally they would only play one more song, but in the spirit of being in NYC they were going to play a Gorilla Biscuits cover, and the floor split into a pit bigger than I ever thought could fit.
Finally, they closed with “My Friends Over You” and those large men I had mentioned turned into 13-year-old girls screaming every lyric (The kid next to me even cried. It was awkward.). For a crowd as packed and energized as this one I’m surprised there were no fights or sex on the floor. Nice change of pace.
There was no way New Found Glory could have done a better job. Every song was perfect, every joke was hilarious and everything seemed to run smoothly.