Sequels don’t have to suck, and New Found Glory has proved that with their latest collection of punk rock movie covers, From the Screen to Your Stereo 3. The Florida natives have been a band for over two decades, and their history of making movie covers goes back just as far. The inaugural From the Screen to Your Stereo dropped in 2000 with spirited, punk-infused renditions of tracks like “My Heart Will Go On” from Titanic and the theme song from The Neverending Story. The EP was such a big hit with NFG fans that the band released another set of covers in 2007, featuring songs like “Kiss Me” and “The King of Wishful Thinking.” Now they’re back at it with the third version, on a tour fittingly dubbed “From the Screen to Your Stereo to Your Town.” Doll Skin, The Early November and Real Friends are tagging along as well.
The show at Gas Monkey Live was a bit of a slow burn, but that was to be expected from a Monday night crowd. The Early November frontman Arthur Enders understood, telling us, “I’m not gonna ask you to get crazy for this next song, but when it drops just give me the happiest, jolliest wave.” He then went on a chronological journey through the band’s catalog, making his way back to what he called a “distant time before cellphones and social media were really a thing.” That time was 2003, and the song was “Baby Blue.”
For their closing tune, the band stripped down to just Enders and one other member who traded his guitar for an amplified violin. The two gave a heartfelt performance of the band’s hit ballad, “Ever So Sweet,” to which many fans were enthusiastically screaming along. The venue couldn’t have been filled more than one quarter to capacity, yet the band played as if it were packed full of people. Perhaps that’s just our Monday blues talking.
Next up was Illinois-based emo band Real Friends, who gave an upbeat performance that really got the crowd excited. At lead vocalist Dan Lambton’s request, fans created what we can only assume was the biggest, most intense circle pit Gas Monkey Live has ever seen.
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The neon-haired girls of Doll Skin were even spotted enjoying themselves in the chaos and getting other fans riled up. It was impossible not to smile at Real Friends’ sincerity and affecting stage presence. At one point, Lambton also asked us to get our hands in the air and as he was mimicking the gesture, he realized that he “should’ve put on deodorant.” The band then performed an emotional cover of The Starting Line’s “Island,” and Lambton shared that the song created a sense of pure joy for them that “no negativity can penetrate.”
The stage was then transformed into the facade of a movie theater, complete with a marquee displaying the band’s name, “Dallas, TX” and the date of the show. There was also a movie-theater-style popcorn machine onstage, which the guys took advantage of later in their set. New Found Glory kicked things off with their cover of “Eye of the Tiger,” during which frontman Jordan Pundik sported a red, white and blue boxing robe, and guitarist Chad Gilbert wore a skeleton Halloween costume. The band then furiously played back-to-back hits including “Understatement,” “All Downhill from Here” and “Summer Fling, Don’t Mean a Thing” before pausing again to address the crowd.
NFG’s playful banter and adorable antics are always appreciated. Gilbert likes to point out that Ian Gurshka is the sexiest bass player of all time, and they’ll always call out interesting fans they see in the crowd. All of this turned out to be a diversion for a wardrobe change for Pundik though. When he came back to the stage, he was decked out in a full-on Elsa costume from Frozen for the band’s cover of “Let It Go.” It was quite a spectacle. They continued to deliver a mix of fan-favorites and movie covers for another solid hour.
NFG has nine studio albums at this point, so they probably could have played all night before running out of material. The band closed the night, unsurprisingly, with their 2002 mega hit “My Friends Over You,” and there was not a still body in the room.