In September of 2000, Coral Springs, Florida pop-punk quartet New Found Glory (NFG) released a self-titled album of 12 songs. 10 years later, the band is touring in celebration of the album’s release.
Opening the March 8 show at In The Venue in Salt Lake City was NFG sound-a-likes Fireworks, electro-nerd rockers Hellogoodbye and fellow punk rock veterans Saves The Day who warmed the stage with a flawless performance.
Covering NFG’s amps were posters of the album art from the self-titled CD. The signature NFG logo of the band’s name printed from a colossal label maker dropped as the band got off to a running start with “Better Off Dead.” Within the first minute, singer Jordan Pundik’s mic shorted out, which apparently wasn’t necessary to begin with, seeing as how the crowd, in its enthusiasm, had taken over the vocals anyway.
Pundik’s mic was replaced while the band started into “Dressed To Kill” with only momentary silence separating the two songs as drummer Cyrus Bolooki counted the rest of the band in.
NFG allowed the crowd a minute to catch their breath as birthday boy/guitarist Chad Gilbert announced they would be playing every song from the self-titled disc in order. Beer-gutted bassist Ian Grushka excused his shirt for the remainder of the set and plucked the opening notes of bass-driven “Sincerely Me” which poured right into the fan favorite and first single from the album “Hit Or Miss,” bringing out the best in NFG and the crowd.
Gilbert showed his high-energy stage presence as he climbed from the drum riser to the top of the amps and jumped, which antics stood in sharp contrast to silent and stationary second guitarist Steve Klein’s reluctance to move around the stage.
Throughout the rest of the set, the band let the audience in on the meanings of their songs and memories of recording them between numbers.
As the last notes of “The Ballad For Lost Romantics” rang out, the band left the stage with a sound byte from an old-school horror movie played over the feedback of the guitars and chants for “one more song!”
After a couple minutes, the band came back with an encore of eight songs, including “Happy Birthday” from the crowd to Gilbert and a fan request of “Sometimes Never” (an old NFG song to which Pundik couldn’t remember the lyrics).
In a music scene where bands often fade away after one or two records, New Found Glory maintains their credibility by boasting a 10 album discography, a live show powered by red bull and pixie sticks and a visible appreciation for their fans. NFG stand their ground ten years later and proves they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, at least “Not Without A Fight.”