Taking Back Sunday and the Receiving End of Sirens, September 9 at City Hall Plaza
Saturday night (September 9) on City Hall Plaza, the the first pre-game shots of the semester were chased down with a hearty dose of rock. Before they scattered to their respective campuses and kegs of Bud Light, a crowd estimated as high as 40,000, including a heavy contingent of newly returned college students, flocked to WFNX and the Phoenix’s “Disorientation 2006,” where Taking Back Sunday and hometown heroes the Receiving End of Sirens welcomed the kids back to the Hub. The crowd eclipsed the turnout for both of FNX’s previous City Hall freebies (a storm-drenched Dashboard Confessional show early in the summer, and a glorious Yeah Yeah Yeahs spectacle last month). Despite the ever-present threat of rain, the weather held up, and the the only thing to fall from the sky this night was a downpour of . . . water bottles.
In true punk fashion, TBS fans showed the extent of their enthusiasm with varying degrees of destructiveness – pelting each other with anything they could get their grubby little hands on, stepping up the shoving match in the pit every time the band played a radio single. But neither flying debris nor crowd surfers seemed to bother anyone -- except maybe the parents accompanying their screeching tweens -- and even the bands graciously took the brunt of it. Midway through their set Taking Back Sunday frontman Adam Lazzara riled the crowd by telling them that “European kids play this bottle game too, but they do it better.” Not to be outdone, the crowd resolved to prove him wrong, and Lazzara spent the rest of the night dodging water bottles and shoes, all the while channeling Mick Jagger’s prancing and microphone swinging routine.
With fists raised in the air – sometimes pointing, sometimes flashing the devil horns, and sometimes clapping along - thousands of voices shouted Lazzara’s candidly personal lyrics back at him. “We’re young and now is the time when we should be experimenting,” Lazzara noted, before orchestrating a sing-along to the band’s breakthrough single “Cute Without The E (Cut From The Team),” and vowing to wake up City Hall and scare the cops. But while the night’s rambunctious behavior and the obligatory smell of pot may have turned a few heads, it’s not likely that this crowd could have scared anyone. Belting out songs that pass for today’s youth anthems, the faces in the crowd shined with a dewy exuberance that was anything but frightening.
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