taking back sunday live review photo

A Decade And-A-Half Under The Influence | Taking Back Sunday Live Review & Concert Photos | House Of Blues Orlando | April 3, 2015

by • April 15, 2015

In 2005, I flatlined in the emergency room after a horrific car accident. I grew up on Long Island, New York, just eight blocks away from Mark O’Connell, the drummer of Taking Back Sunday. The accident took place at the far end of the O’Connell’s block. Taking Back Sunday was the soundtrack to my recovery.

I have been listening to this band since 1999. I remember downloading various live performances and demos on Napster as often as I could. In 2003, during the middle of high school, I found out that my parents and Mr. and Mrs. O’Connell were friends. My inner high school fangirl screamed, “Umm, what?! Why wasn’t that brought to my attention earlier?!” Not long after that, Mark and I met.

In 2005, while I was home for Christmas break, a group of friends and I went out for drinks at a local bar. We were celebrating my birthday. We drank a lot. I blacked out. The next thing I remember, I was waking up in the hospital. I was in a coma for three days.

We had a designated driver who wasn’t drinking that night so I wasn’t too worried about getting home safely. It may have occurred to me that if the police were to stop us, the driver would not be drunk, so they cannot press DUI charges, and then we would need a DUI lawyer (like those at Salwin Law Group) and so on. When he arrived to pick us up, he put my friends and me (all five of us) in his Mitsubishi Lancer and we headed home. He lost control of the car.

We flipped four or five times and hit a telephone pole, 15 feet in the air.

I was in the hospital for 11 days. While some of my friends were visiting and I was doped up on morphine, I slurred, “It all goes back to poop.” Since then, the phrase is comic relief turned sentimental. I even got a tattoo referencing the joke (below). Poop has always been my thing. “Shit happens, but you make the best of it.” That’s why I chose the happy poop emoji. It also reflects how I view “the accident,” soon to be 10 years later.

Katie Baldwin Tattoo

When I got out, my parents talked to the O’Connells about the accident. Mark did them a solid. He came over and hung out with me while I was recovering from the accident. He brought over the demo of Louder Now. We listened to it in his mom’s VW Touareg. It was so surreal. He didn’t treat me any differently just because I had four teeth missing. He just hung out with me as if we were already good friends. It helped a lot with fighting off depression. But, at times, I do seem to wonder if they had contacted some or the other top-rated injury attorney to help them with fighting for the claim for the accident that had happened to me. After all, it did take me so long at the hospital and that would have been expensive.

Once I was almost fully recovered (was waiting for dental implants), as a treat, my mother and I flew out to San Diego to visit my best girlfriend, Natalie (who was also in the accident). We spent about a week out there. During the visit, Louder Now was leaked. By the time the album was released, I knew all the lyrics.

The best TBS show I’ve ever been to was the Louder Now album release show at Irving Plaza in NYC. I couldn’t tell you how many of their shows I’ve been to; I lost count a long time ago. I’ve planned my trips home to New York around their tour schedule, just so I could see them play. Hell, I even flew home just to see them play Irving Plaza when John Nolan and Shaun Cooper returned. I didn’t even hesitate. I am proud to say: Yes, I am that fan!

When Taking Back Sunday announced their show at House Of Blues in Orlando, I made sure I was off from work so I could have the entire day to get pumped up. I group texted my fellow Shows I Go To staff members, Adam Fricke and Martin Cardenas, to determine their ETAs to House of Blues Orlando. Adam and I got in and caught the last song of openers, You Blew It! The venue was fairly filled and we were still able to move around comfortably.

I was really bummed when letlive was taken off the show bill. The Menzingers came on and they were awesome! I was totally diggin’ them! The place started to fill up some more and Marty (Martin) was still M.I.A, stuck up to his ears in Mickey’s mayhem traffic. I was becoming antsy because the VIP Loge tickets were under his name. The TBS set was quickly approaching and a slightly out of breath Martin blew through the front doors. We met at the entrance and hauled ass upstairs because it was starting to get a bit crowded. I finally met Sarabeth! She treated us to some Jameson whiskey shots. We were on our merry way!

Marty and I chatted while we waited. It was mostly questions about my life and my personal history with TBS (which now you all know about). Adam was downstairs getting ready to shoot. I was getting all excited since it had been a couple of years since last seeing the guys play. Marty grabbed us a couple of beers and I pulled up their tentative setlist on my phone. It was proving to be pretty consistent throughout the tour.

Once Taking Back Sunday took the stage, we were rockin’ out the whole time. I was singing along at the top of my lungs. Naturally, my favorite songs are from Tell All Your Friends and Louder Now. Marty and I did a little dancing of our own. Adam finally came up to the Loge and was being so serious while he was taking pictures. I asked him to make damn sure to try and get some good shots of Mark. I should’ve asked him to take some shots of Marty and myself dancing. Ah well, speaking of Mark? I loved how they had him on a raised platform.

mark oconnell taking back sunday live review

The backbone needs some support, too. Along with showing Mark off, I loved the digital screens they had. It definitely added a lot more and they kept the visuals interesting. The screens reminded me of the lights they had onstage with them for the “Louder Now Tour.”

Besides singing every word at the top of my lungs and dancing with Martin, I fulfilled my duty of Snapchatting the show. For those who watched the snaps, many apologies for my horrific voice and very possibly shaky videos.

The crowd was insane! All kinds of people were starting pits. Crowd surfing was constant. And the whole place was singing along. It was awesome to see. It was amazing to be part of it! The show was true to the set list … until the encore. They started it with “Call Me in the Morning,” did a little improv with some Green Day classics: “Brain Stew” and “Jaded,” followed by “Cute with the ‘E’ (Cut from the Team),” and ended with “MakeDamnSure.”

To this day, I am forever grateful for such an amazing recovery. The opportunities I had to enjoy life will always be with me. I nearly lost my life that day. Thank you Doreen, Charlie, Broseph (aka my family), Momma O (Roberta), Mark, Joanny, Sarah, Natalie, Jim, Keith, Matt, Nick, Bossart, & RVC for everything.

Taking Back Sunday will always hold a special place in my heart. Mark O’Connell and his family will always hold a special place as well. I have always thought of all members of Taking Back Sunday-every lineup-as my dear friends.

Taking Back Sunday Live Review by Katie Baldwin.
Taking Back Sunday Live Concert Photos by Adam Fricke.




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