Concert Reviews

Over the Weekend: Blink-182 at Fiddler's Green

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The men of Taking Back Sunday had even more reason to be frustrated. For the first part of the set, the sound mix was beyond dreadful, with the drums of Mark O'Connell and bassist Matt Rubano drowning out pretty much everything else, including the signature vocals of Adam Lazzara. If the five bandmates knew it, however, they didn't let on, throwing themselves into songs like "What's It Feel Like to Be a Ghost?" as if they weren't operating at only about 40 percent strength. But mid-set, Rubano left the stage to race around Fiddler's, plunking crazily in stairwells and walkways -- and as soon as he did, the levels moderated. Suddenly, Lazzara no longer looked like he was lip-syncing to the wrong song, and the band's power could be felt instead of just approximated.

As noted in our 2007 review of Linkin Park's Projekt Revolution tour, which also featured TBS, Lazzara uses microphone swinging as his on-stage signature. Instead of simply whipping the mike around like a martial-arts weapon, he frequently allows the cord to rap around his neck -- yet somehow, he always manages to grab it before the thing knocks him unconscious. Sure, it's a shtick, but it's an impressive one. Equally notable, though, was the contrast between his vocal exhortations and his Southern gentleman banter. Although Taking Back Sunday calls Long Island home, he hails from Alabama, and his sly introduction to "Where My Mouth Is" made the subsequent performance that much richer and riper, building momentum for "MakeDamnSure" -- a predictable closer, sure, but also the right one.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts