Thursday, December 17, 2009

Taking Back Sunday - Band Of The Year 2009

It's always been an uphill battle for Taking Back Sunday. Whether it be the constant rivalry with that other Long Island band, or the slew of line-up changes that leave you guessing who's playing guitar, TBS have seen it all. But this year they put that all behind them and dropped one of the best records we heard in '09. And for that, Backstage Press is pleased to reward them with Band of the Year for 2009.

It's been a few years since we've heard from TBS. After ex-guitarist Fred Mascherino left the band back in October of 2007, TBS went into hiding. It seemed like we would never hear from this punk-rock powerhouse again. But that all changed when guitarist Matt Fazzi joined up. Their next step - writing a new record.

New Again was released in June, and quickly propelled TBS back into the ranks of punk-rock stardom. To those of us in New England, their concerts became an almost monthly occurrence for the rest of the summer. Let's take a look back.

It all started this past May when the band set out on the road to give fans a preview of their yet-to-be-released album. Of the three or four cities that were graced with this opportunity, Boston was one of them. TBS spent the day in and around the Hub, letting fans hop on their tour bus for a quick listen, snag a free t-shirt and score some autographs. I was personally at the Danvers, MA stop, and I can say it was one of the coolest experiences of my life.

Cut to late June and the band were busy headlining a tour with Anberlin and Envy
On The Coast. After being a fan for nearly six years, I finally got to see TBS live. Two nights, two shows. New Hampshire and Boston. Different set lists each night let the local scene hear both old and new tracks. TBS were quickly slated to become the soundtrack to my summer.

By mid-July, Boston was just starting to regain their hearing. And that's when the Long Island natives strolled through town again, this time offering a free concert at City Hall Plaza as part of the Dew Tour.

Then in August, TBS opened for one of the biggest shows all summer - the
blink-182 reunion tour. You had to drive a bit to see them, Hartford to be exact, but it was well worth it. They owned the stage that night as almost 20,000 fans packed the amphitheater.

After four consecutive months of shows you'd think the band would take a break. Not these guys. They came back in November for their last hurrah. They brought out Anberlin and the All-American Rejects for an arena tour that blew the speakers. In fact, I'm still in awe over that show.

Besides the amazing musicianship that this party of five possess, it's their off-stage character that helped them clench Band of the Year. I had the opportunity to meet and talk with these guys a few times over the course of '09, and I've got to admit they are some of the most humble and accommodating dudes I've ever met.

So here's to you Taking Back Sunday. Thanks for the music, the showmanship and the constant entertainment. Congratulations, you've earned it.

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