2002 was a seminal year in pop-punk music. Countless now classic album releases from Sum 41, Simple Plan, Face to Face, and more provided the soundtrack to the summer for almost anyone under the age of 25. Perhaps none of these releases, however, were bigger than the monster album “Sticks & Stones” from New Found Glory. Debuting at number 4 on the billboard 200 charts and supported by an appearance on the 2002 Vans Warped Tour, the album gained instant success and became a personal favorite for angst driven teenagers across North America.
Fast forward to 2012, 10 years after pop punk was at it’s peak. Many of the bands who provided these classic albums have chosen to relive their glory days by embarking on anniversary tours and treating their fans to live performances of their albums in their entirety. New Found Glory is among these bands. Fans proved that punk is still alive, with tickets to Thursday’s performance in Boston selling out mere hours after going on sale. It was clear that there was great anticipation and demand for the live nostalgia of New Found Glory’s breakout album.
Kicking things off was an indie rock quartet from the New York/New Jersey area by the name of Candy Hearts. The female fronted band was met with a lukewarm reception by the crowd, as their sound was not quite what New Found Glory fans would likely be familiar with. Leaning more towards indie rock or the pop side of pop punk, the band provided a respectable performance, but not one that would whip the crowd into frenzy.
Things picked up a great deal when California hardcore outfit The Story So Far took to the stage. With no barrier in place in front of the stage, the band was immediately met with fans rushing to the front of the stage while loudly shouting the bands lyrics right back at them. The set was an extremely high energy performance that raised the bar and put the crowd in the perfect frame of mind for New Found Glory.
Finally, New Found Glory took to the stage. Right from the opening notes their set was a chaotic mixture of crowd surfing, moshing, and stage diving. The band rolled through the initial set of their classic album Sticks and Stones with favorites such as “Understatement,” “My Friends Over You,” and “Head On Collision,” giving fans a chance to sing along at the top of their lungs, while proving to be as high energy as they have ever been and showing why they are still one of the most popular punk bands in the industry.
Several of their songs were introduced with anecdotes about what went into writing them in the first place. After finishing up with "Sticks and Stones" the band came back out for an encore of hits that took fans through the band’s entire career. During the encore, guitarist Chad Gilbert took time out to address the recent rumors of a potential hiatus telling fans that he and the band are “here to stay,” and "couldn't imagine doing anything else other than being in this band,” a revelation that was well received by fans. It was clear on this night that the band doesn't belong anywhere else and doesn't need any time off; they are still just as on point as they have ever been.