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Wet Plate Portraits: Taking Back Sunday At O2 Academy Bristol

Wednesday, 26 June 2019 Written by Helen Payne

Photograph: Gareth Jarvis

It’s been 20 years since Taking Back Sunday formed on Long Island, New York. From where we stand right now, we can look back over two decades of thrills, spills, emo classics, mosh pits, long hair, short hair, loud guitars and unadulterated singalongs that helped define the listening habits of a generation. Such a milestone is worth celebrating, and these guys know the perfect way to do so.

“We’re gonna play ‘Tell All Your Friends’ front to back!” Adam Lazzara screams at his disciples at Bristol’s O2 Academy, the last stop on the UK leg of the band’s tour before they head over to Europe and then back home to the US.

In his Alabama-via-North Carolina drawl, he adds with a maniacal grin: “And then we’re just gonna keep on playing until they tell us to stop.” The audience, who prove the band’s longevity by appearing unexpectedly young to be so in love with an album that arrived in 2002, go batshit.

By now, Taking Back Sunday are pretty used to all this fuss. Earlier that day backstage at the venue, the band — Lazzara, guitarist John Nolan, bassist Shaun Cooper and drummer Mark O’Connell — are unfazed by a group of black-fringed teenagers gawking from behind the railings, peering to see what all the fuss is about as they pose before our old school camera. 

The camera in question leads us to the crux of our endeavour on this fine Thursday afternoon. The resulting wet plate portrait of the band, taken by perfectionist photographer Gareth Jarvis, is made by dipping a glass sheet into various chemicals, relaying the image onto said sheet, and using developer fluid to reveal the fruits of his labour. 

Before the shoot the quartet are sat around coughing and sniffling, road-weary and a little bored, scrolling on their phones and looking for snacks after soundcheck, but they’re soon pretty stoked to be using equipment from the 1850s — as well as the toxic substances that spark some eventful memories from their teenage years.

Having to stay still for so long (three seconds) proves difficult for frontman Lazzara, who is itching to use up all this preserved energy on stage later that evening. Our solo portrait of the singer comes out a little blurry, but maybe that’s a fitting encapsulation of what’s to come.

Those energy levels aren’t restricted for long and later that evening, Lazzara is 20 years old again, jumping across the stage, sliding around with little dance moves, and of course winning everyone over with his trademark trick: lassoing the microphone and catching it in a manner that could only be described as stylish.

What’s lacking in sound quality is made up for by the energy in the room, the crowd’s anticipation, and the adoration in their eyes. This is a band who have provided light in a dark world for thousands of emo kids over the years, and they’re making damn sure they continue to do so.

Taking Back Sunday Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Mon July 01 2019 - BETHLEHEM Pennsylvania - Sands Bethlehem Event Center (USA)
Fri September 13 2019 - KANSAS CITY Missouri - KC Live! at the Power & Light District (USA)
Thu September 19 2019 - NORFOLK Virginia - Waterside District - VA (USA)
Fri September 20 2019 - BALTIMORE Maryland - Power Plant Live (USA)
Sat September 21 2019 - ST LOUIS Missouri - Ballpark Village (USA)
Thu October 03 2019 - CHARLOTTE North Carolina - Fillmore - Charlotte (USA)
Fri October 04 2019 - CHARLOTTE North Carolina - Fillmore - Charlotte (USA)
Sat October 05 2019 - ATLANTA Georgia - Heaven Stage at Masquerade - GA (USA)
Sun October 06 2019 - ATLANTA Georgia - Heaven Stage at Masquerade - GA (USA)
Tue October 08 2019 - ORLANDO Florida - House Of Blues - Orlando (USA)
Wed October 09 2019 - ORLANDO Florida - House Of Blues - Orlando (USA)
Fri October 11 2019 - FORT LAUDERDALE Florida - Revolution Live (USA)
Sat October 12 2019 - FORT LAUDERDALE Florida - Revolution Live (USA)
Sun October 13 2019 - ST PETERSBURG Florida - Jannus Live (USA)
Mon October 14 2019 - ST PETERSBURG Florida - Jannus Live (USA)
Wed October 16 2019 - NASHVILLE Tennessee - Marathon Music Works (USA)
Thu October 17 2019 - NASHVILLE Tennessee - Marathon Music Works (USA)
Fri October 18 2019 - CINCINNATI Ohio - Bogarts (USA)
Sat October 19 2019 - CINCINNATI Ohio - Bogarts (USA)
Thu October 24 2019 - DETROIT Michigan - Saint Andrews Hall - Detroit (USA)
Fri October 25 2019 - DETROIT Michigan - Saint Andrews Hall - Detroit (USA)
Sat October 26 2019 - TORONTO Ontario - Danforth Music Hall Theatre (Canada)
Sun October 27 2019 - TORONTO Ontario - Danforth Music Hall Theatre (Canada)
Thu October 31 2019 - BUFFALO New York - Buffalo RiverWorks (USA)
Fri November 01 2019 - BUFFALO New York - Buffalo RiverWorks (USA)
Sat November 02 2019 - CLIFTON PARK New York - Upstate Concert Hall (USA)
Sun November 03 2019 - CLIFTON PARK New York - Upstate Concert Hall (USA)
Tue November 05 2019 - HARTFORD Connecticut - Webster Theater (USA)
Wed November 06 2019 - HARTFORD Connecticut - Webster Theater (USA)
Fri November 08 2019 - BOSTON Massachusetts - House Of Blues - Boston (USA)
Sat November 09 2019 - BOSTON Massachusetts - House Of Blues - Boston (USA)
Sun November 10 2019 - SILVER SPRING Maryland - Fillmore Silver Spring (USA)
Mon November 11 2019 - SILVER SPRING Maryland - Fillmore Silver Spring (USA)
Wed November 13 2019 - PHILADELPHIA Pennsylvania - Franklin Music Hall (USA)
Thu November 14 2019 - PHILADELPHIA Pennsylvania - Franklin Music Hall (USA)
Fri November 15 2019 - NEW YORK New York - Terminal 5 (USA)
Sat November 16 2019 - NEW YORK New York - Terminal 5 (USA)
Sun November 24 2019 - DETROIT Michigan - St. Andrew’s Hall (USA)
Mon November 25 2019 - DETROIT Michigan - St. Andrew’s Hall (USA)
Tue November 26 2019 - TORONTO ON - Danforth Music Hall (Canada)
Wed November 27 2019 - TORONTO ON - Danforth Music Hall (Canada)
Wed June 26 2019 - HAMBURG Grunspan (Germany)

Click here to compare & buy Taking Back Sunday Tickets at Stereoboard.com.



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