Pop Punk Lineup Thrills Fans of All Ages at The Deluxe at Old National Centre New Found Glory, Real
The Deluxe at Old National Centre in Indianapolis was hot and loud Tuesday evening – just the way it should be for a night of in-your-face pop punk. Although I’m relatively new to the scene and have only seen a handful of pop punk shows, I love the speed, energy, and charisma of this particular genre. I also love that the music appeals to disenfranchised people of all ages, giving them not only a voice but also a community. Doll Skin, the fierce, female foursome from Phoenix, opened the show with “Daughter,” a kick-ass song that’s all about GRLPWR. Their high-energy set included songs from their first EP through their just-released last album, “Love is Dead and We Killed Her.” Although they experienced technical difficulties, they kept rocking – HARD – and having a blast on stage. Next up was The Early November, a New Jersey band with more of am emo vibe. Although their songs tend to thoughtful and melodic, they still had great energy and audience rapport as they played a well-balanced mix of songs from their 20-year career. Real Friends, a five-piece band from the Chicago ‘burbs, had a large contingent of fans in the house, and were greeted enthusiastically. They opened with “Mess,” a peppy, yet poignant song about growing up. The crowd surfing, which had begun with Doll Skin’s set, intensified as Real Friends worked the audience into a frenzy. An interesting thing happened after Real Friends’ set: a bunch of people who had been against the barrier moved to the back of the crowd, making room for the New Found Glory fans. I thought it was a wonderful example of Hoosier Hospitality. (Or perhaps they just didn’t want to get kicked in the head by the crowd surfers.) When New Found Glory took the carnival-themed stage, I knew we were in for a party. As the first notes of Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” played, frontman Jordan Pundik bounced onto the stage in full “Rocky” mode, complete with patriotic robe, boxing shorts, and boxing glove. New Found Glory executed the cover well, and the appreciative audience sang along with gusto. (I’d like to add that was the first time I actually enjoyed hearing that song.) The rest of the 19-song regular set was peppered with over covers from their latest EP, “From the Screen to Your Stereo 3.” These fun, light-hearted songs, along with other rollicking tunes, were executed with both great energy and a bit of irony. (If you’ve not heard their version of “Let it Go” from Disney’s “Frozen,” go watch the video now. No, wait. Do it right after you finish reading this review. newfoundglory.com/news/let-it-go-from-frozen) Even though Florida-based New Found Glory has been doing this since 1997, they sounded strong and fresh. Touring guitarist Ryan Key (Yellowcard), blended well with Pundik, bassist Ian Grushka, guitarist Chad Gilbert, and drummer Cyrus Bolooki. There was no holding back during the set, including three encore numbers. I was truly impressed by their stage presence, the way they connected with their audience, and their sincerity. For a band that’s frequently cited as one of the most influential groups in pop punk, they seemed pretty down to earth and appreciative of the love they got from their fans. (By the way, a shout-out to the pink-haired guy who surfed at least a half-dozen times – he was surely living his best life that night.) New Found Glory closed out the night with “My Friends Over You,” which is arguably their most popular number. Everything about this song represents the glory days of early pop punk, and the emotional response from the crowd verifies that this genre is far from dead. New Found Glory, Real Friends, The Early November, and Doll Skin are on tour together through July 14, 2019.
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