Taking Back Sunday made their 5th stop on the Tidal Wave tour in Milwaukee, WI at the Turner Hall ballroom. If you have never been to turner hall, let me tell you it has been one of the oldest buildings I have ever been in (being constructed in the 1850’s). It takes 3 flights of stairs to get to the box office and all of them are slanted. They are attached at the wall and are starting to show their age – once you get into the ballroom it looks like your average recently renovated dance hall turned-event space. Turner Hall doesn’t hold quite that many people, which since the Tidal Wave tour is marketed as a “club venue tour” it definitely fits the bill. The stage was expansive which gave the guys a lot of room to move around in which really added to the show. The first set of songs in the list was the entire Tidal Wave album top to bottom. I had gotten a chance to do a few listens through of the album before so that I could compare what they were like played live. It may have been since this stop is pretty early on the tour, but it looked like the band wasn’t as comfortable playing the new album as they should have been. Note: It also was Eddie Reyes’ first show back on the tour, which could have contributed to this feeling.
After playing “All Excess” Adam Lazzara addressed the crowd (for the first of many times in the show) and thanked everyone for coming and “bearing with us” by listening to the album in its entirety. I appreciated the sentiment, because after my initial listening’s I wasn’t completely sold on the album itself. Call Come Running and Holy Water off of the new album definitely were highlights of the Tidal Wave portion of the set which sent Lazzara’s mic swinging for the first time of the night. “Homecoming” and “I’ll Find A Way to Make It What You Want’ were emotional tracks for Lazzara as he had to pause the transition between the two.
Once they got through Tidal Wave you could almost see the entire band take a deep breath as they opened up the second part of the show with “Cute Without the E” Even Adam Lazzara was swinging is mic away more freely and interacting with his fellow band-mates more often and the audience could feel this as well. The rest of the set gets an A+ from this reviewer as it went just as smoothly as any other TBS show I have been to. Some of the highlights were of course “Liar”, “Flicker,Fade” and ending on a high of “MakeDamnSure”. It was a relief to see that they weren’t trying to make the past disappear, TBS just wants to let everyone know of the new direction they are taking. The lighting was perfectly matched to each song and the acoustics of the old building were right on. During the Tidal Wave portion of the set they even had the Tidal Wave logo on the sides of the stage!
All and all, Tidal Wave is a new album and this was the beginning of the tour. Could it have looked more seamless? Yes. I just think that it’s way too early to tell how the rest of tour will go. I have a strong feeling that it will only take a few more stops for the group to really feel the new album. My personal opinion of Tidal Wave? It is not the kind of album that Happiness is… era TBS would create but then again a band ages and evolves. That is what we are seeing, the evolution of Taking Back Sunday, the themes are still there but the band has matured and so will the music.