New Found Glory
The Loft (Palladium)
April 6, 2009

Better Than: Being one of those poor suckers who got their glasses smashed off by 250lb. hardcore dancers with flailing fists. Hey, it happened. Twice.

Last night's New Found Glory show was scheduled to take place in the Palladium's Loft.  Based on a presale ticket count, the venue's management figured that the Loft's quaint facilities would more than accommodate the bill. 

And, actually, the show did kick-off in The Loft--but, you'd be sadly mistaken to think the evening ended there. 

Last Night: New Found Glory At Gilley's

During Set Your Goals' set, hundreds of people were standing (and jumping) on The Loft's wood-beamed floors. Directly below the Loft, patrons were enjoying dinner inside the Studio Bar & Grill.  Security officials said that feeling the Loft's floor shake is normal. But it's not normal, they say, for patrons inside the Studio Bar & Grill to hear a crack, or see the ceiling bow in with each simultaneous jump from above.

Last night, the Loft - holding hundreds and located above dining restaurant-goers - was getting ready to cave.

Security guards came up the stairs with flashlights, motioning for sound booth operators to cut off the band's equipment. The band was completely confused and wasn't in any hurry to heed the security guards' requests. After being asked several times to get off the stage and to go back to their van "for their own safety" "because of an emergency situation," they exited stage right. A mass exodus of teens and young adults followed, filtering out into the 40-degree weather.

I had flashbacks of the Great White media coverage in 2003. And so did several parents who had been in the restaurant, and were now searching frantically to find their child(ren) amidst the massive crowd taking to the streets.

Soon thereafter, the police showed up. Everyone was told not to go home, but to just chill in the parking lot. Some weren't interested in waiting, and peaced out.

Ten minutes later it was announced that Gilley's (a much bigger, ground-level venue located in the same complex) would host the remainder of the show. A stampede of pop-punk fans raced around the corner and into the long corridor leading into Gilley's.

Once inside, it was a waiting game.

All of the gear had to be transported into Gilley's, set up (for a second time) and sound checked (for a second time).

"We should all go home and start journals about this night," one waiting fan said.

The crowd had been patient, and finally... it was time.

New Found Glory hit the stage with energy and enthusiasm at a little past 10 p.m., opening with its new single "Listen To Your Friends".

Under the spell of Jordan Pundik's signature nasally, whiney--but somehow enjoyable voice--the crowd turned into an all out mosh-fest. Unlike your usual pencil-thin scene crowd, this show attracted some older, more muscular fans. (Linebackers with no control of their limbs or movements scare me.)

NFG's latest release is a complete 180۫  from its 2006 album Coming Home. Although that release was full of heartfelt lyrics and music, it was also less edgy, less punk (and less NFG, some say). But, oh, how the tables have turned...

Not Without A Fight is New Found Glory's first major release since guitarist Chad Gilbert's 2007 marriage and divorce from Sherri Kay DuPree of the Tyler, Texas-based band Eisley (who was remarried this week to Say Anything and Two Tounges vocalist Max Bemis).

Heartbreak bodes well for creative processes, it seems. The Not Without A Fight Tour is full of performances by pissed-off dudes who are taking it back to their roots: raw punk-pop, with crafty, sometimes cynical lyrics and powerful, energetic performances. Forget that lovey-dovey stuff. Songs on Not Without A Fight bare names like "Don't Let Her Pull You Down," "I'll Never Love Again," "Heartless At Best" and "I'm The Fool".

But New Found Glory has never taken themselves too seriously. They seem like regular guys who care more about having fun and putting on a good show than about becoming rockstars. The longevity that is afforded to them partly for these reasons is often overlooked by young bands wishing to create their own success.

Long after The Maines, Metro Stations and FTSKs, the New Found Glories will still be rockin'.

Critic's Notebook
Personal Bias: I've been listening to New Found Glory since 2000, and they've definitely played a role in shaping my musical taste. 

By The Way: Crisis averted. The Palladium's security guards were helpful, professional and cautious under extremely stressful conditions. Cheers!

Random Note: If the Studio Bar & Grill is up and operating the next time you visit the Palladium, the ¼ lb. Roadie Burger and fries are only $2.95! When was the last time you ate a meal for under three bucks? It was pretty tasty too...

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