It’s the start of a new year, the days are long, the sunsets mesmerising, the weather is the type that creates life long memories of sun, sea and…song. What better way to celebrate summer than American rockers Taking Back Sunday going on a 20th Anniversary tour! They are playing tracks from their breakout album Louder Now as well as their debut Tell All Your Friends.

Supporting Taking Back Sunday is Brisbane’s Young Lions, a band very much at the forefront of the new wave of Australian rock bands. Bands that tour relentlessly, honing their stage craft and style, while simultaneously releasing new music. 2018 had seen the band tour extensively everywhere you can imagine, with everyone you can think of. 2019 starts the same way it seems.

Young Lions have an atmospheric understated start. The songs are a mixture of cool riffs, sprinkled with melodic guitar solos. With a back catalogue spanning three albums yet only forty minutes on stage, there isn’t time for friendly banter. Singer Zach Britt comes deep into the crowd for a couple of songs, getting up close and personal with everyone engaged in the show. The lads finish with Destroy Me a song that can only be described by using far too many genres such is the quality of the nuances in the track. Is it punk, is it rock, metal? Who knows? What I do know is this band are to be watched closely as they ascend the music ladder.

Taking Back Sunday are here for this weekends up and coming Unify festival. They also have a new compilation album titled Twenty featuring songs throughout their career out shortly. Tonight starts their Australian leg of shows and they take no time in dusting off the cobwebs and Christmas food getting right into You Know How I Do, the opening track from Tell All Your Friends.

Any self respecting Taking Back Sunday fan know how it goes, the rock anthem of Cute Without The E (Cut From The Team) followed by epic ballad Great Romances Of The 20th Century. Ghost Man On Third has always been an emotional, from the gut, heartbreaking track. Tonight though a little sparkle of magic was added as the room stood still for the performance and heart wrenching vocals from Adam Lazzara.

It’s not all emo sadness though, as Lazzara regales us with a story about the piano intro to Blue Channel being a little to close to Van Halen before aforementioned intro is played at comedy speed. Lazzara is a frontman who knows what to do, while the stage may be cramped, he explores all the corners, talking to audience members one moment, mic twirling the next, keeping everyone engaged in the performance.

The next part of the set moves onto the hit album Louder Now. MakeDamnSure is naturally the big crowd favourite, while Up Against sounds as vibrant as the day of release before the band finish that set with I’ll Let You Live.

They admit there isn’t enough time for a fake encore so they get into a few bonus tracks which includes an epic You Can’t Look Back before the band depart the stage over two hours after they first walked on.

Australia awaits the rest of the tour. A tour of emotional anthems of our youth. What better way to honour that by singing those words back at the band. A band that told the story of those chapters of our lives. While you’re at it, get everyone involved because this is a show you don’t want Tell All Your Friends about what they missed.

Live Review By Iain McCallum