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LIVE IN MPLS | 3/20: New Found Glory at the Varsity

NFG1

by Jordan

Since New Found Glory’s Resurrection and after losing guitarist Steven Klein (on far less than good terms I might add), Minnesota eagerly awaited the return of the classic pop-punk band. The band came, and boy did they more than make up for their absence.

Bringing along acts of various genres, New Found Glory emphasized the love for all music. Starting off with Turnover, the crowd was rocked along a half an hour of emotionally depressed, spellbinding indie rock. Next to the stage was one of my personal favorites, acoustic duo, This Wild Life. Sadly, despite my own enthusiasm for the band, it seemed the crowd was growing far too restless to make it through the set. Luckily for the crazed fans, Turnstile provided an energy that would have satisfied even the most hardcore metal heads with their Rage-Against-The-Machine-like sound.

As a fog of sweat swirled about the room after Turnstile’s set, it appeared it was now time for what the crowd had been waiting for. An unexpected 1950s tune played in the background as the lights went out. Guitar static began to leak out into the venue; this was it. The opening riff of “Selfless” shredded through the speakers and the crowd erupted. The pop-punk foursome came to bring their energy and love for music; I had never seen anything more apparent. The band powered through to their newfound anthem, “Resurrection,” letting the crowd know they were back and better than ever—even without their former guitarist. Other early set jams included 2014’s “The Worst Person,” where the band playfully beckoned the enthusiastic crowd to sing the bitter chorus.

You might be the worst person I’ve ever met/I’ve ever known…

The classics came next, with cuts like “Understatement,” “Something I Call Personality,” and most notably “Hit or Miss” where singer Jordan Pundik jumped to the barricade and held out the microphone for kids to belt out the beloved lyrics. Even some unexpected songs came too, such as a cover of Go West’s 90s hit “King of Wishful Thinking.”

After learning of the foot injury Pundik acquired during the first song, guitarist Chad Gilbert let us know the band wasn’t going without a fight. It was then that they burst on through the extensive set with new song, “One More Round.” Not only had they persevered through some tough times as a band, they were determined to persevere through injury that night, hardly showing any signs they had been battered and bruised.

It was refreshing to see the crowd scream along lyrics to even the band’s most underplayed live songs like “Hold My Hand,” “At Least I’m Known For Something,” and “Singled Out.” The energy never relented, and the punk rockers absolutely fed off of it.

“It doesn’t even matter what we play. Old or new, it’s obvious you guys just want the records and all of them! Thank You!” Gilbert exclaimed. He then began to strum the opening part to the song that epitomized that joy, “Ready and Willing.”

Ending with fan favorite, “My Friends Over You,” the band slipped off stage amongst the sweat and cheers. Surprisingly, or maybe not so, the band ran (and hobbled) back on to the stage to play the lesser known “Ballad of Lost Romantics,” giving the most devoted fans a chance to shine alongside them.

This sold out stop on New Found Glory’s Sleep When I Die Tour showed that pop-punk is not dead, it’s alive as it’s ever been.

Setlist

Selfless

Resurrection

Hit or Miss

Understatement

Something I Call Personality

King of Wishful Thinking

At Least I’m Known For Something

The Worst Person

One More Round

Don’t Let Her Pull You Down

I’m Not The One

Hold My Hand

Ready and Willing

Failure’s Not Flattering

Singled Out

Dressed To Kill

My Friends Over You

Encore:

Ballad of The Lost Romantics

The Story So Far

Intro

All Downhill From Here

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