Taking Back Sunday is a loud band. Now, take away their drummer, bassist and one of their guitarists, and give the remaining two acoustic guitars and what is left? A rough, raggedy and earnest heart and soul. Taking Back Sunday members Adam Lazzara (vocals) and John Nolan (lead guitar) came to Stony Brook on Saturday to play an intimate unplugged show at the Staller Center.
The show, which nearly filled up the 1,050 seats available at the main stage, featured a set comprised of Taking Back Sunday’s early cuts and newer pieces.
Accompanied by an electric violin played by Stony Brook music major Dylan Ebrahimian, Taking Back Sunday provided a stripped down set of tunes that created a relaxed vibe for the students of SBU.
Some of TBS’s faithful fans were scattered around the show. Take Logan Mazzara, a senior history major at Adelphi, who has seen Taking Baking Sunday 21 times. She claims that you can even “dance to music with jazz hands and shimmies.”
Freshman biology major Allison Lembo refers to TBS as “nice guys” who have performed great shows in the six times that she has seen the band.
Even kids from outside of SBU came to see the show, like Allison’s sister, Michelle, a junior psychology major at State University of New York at Old Westbury. She has seen TBS an impressive 67 times, with tonight being her sixth TBS unplugged show. She finds the band’s music to be “relatable and very catchy,” plus they apparently “grow nice beards.
The band was not only applauded for stripped down versions of songs like “You Know How I Do,” Divine Intervention,” “Cute Without the “E” (Cut From the Team)” and the closing song “MakeDamnSure.”
Singer Lazzara took a break to allow guitarist John Nolan to play two songs from his side project, Straylight Run (“Existentialism on Prom Night” and “Your Name Here”).
The band also received cheers for their banter in between songs. Both Lazzara and Nolan talked about everything from
Lazzara missing his newborn son who melts his heart, to the ominous abs of Chris Hemsworth in “Thor: The Dark World,” to TBS’s early days in Long Island.
They even mentioned how famous 90s pop band Hanson apparently has their own beer called “Mmmhops” in reference to their famous hit “MMMbop.” Plus, after requests from the audience for some Nirvana or Led Zeppelin, the duo had no problem playing a quick tune from those two legends (only one third of a song though, because singer Lazzara claimed to be able to play one third of any song).
At the end, the crowd gave the band a standing ovation as they walked off.
Crowd members like sophomore chemistry major Connor Borghard thought the show was “funny, but had a very personal feel to it.” He thought the band sounded great and would even goes as far as to see the full band live and electric next time.
Fellow sophomore marine vertebrate biology major John Carswell enjoyed the banter between the players and complimented the show on its intimacy.
He noted how even though there were parts of the show he could not see, he felt connected to the band and their open conversation with a very engaged audience.