It was the final night of three sold out shows, and an homage to one of New Found Glory’s oldest albums, Nothing Gold Can Stay (1999) and one of their most popular, Catalyst (2004). They hit the stage with “Intro” followed by “Truth of my Youth,” bringing just as much punch and vigor to the stage as they did in their heyday.
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Everyone in the room has a similar story. Mine — An angsty middle school breakup playlist featuring “Failure’s Not Flattering” and “The Goodbye Song.” My first punk show drinking booze in the parking lot before pushing violently to the front of the stage. A CD bought in quarters using me and my friends’ combined lunch money.
After “Tell Tale Heart” and “Winter of ‘95” New Found Glory (NFG) took a moment to share their own memories with us. “We’ve had a long history at The Social before we were even a band,” recalls lead guitarist Chad Gilbert. They reminisce about the days of jumping in their van and heading from Coral Springs to Orlando to pick up any show they could in an effort to make it big. Not to mention the pre-streaming era where they would call every record store to find the cheapest CDs, and later “giving computers STDs” with Limewire. They encourage everyone to buy their newest album, Makes Me Sick, on Amazon Prime instead of the merch booth. Psh, Millennials.
Stay Gold, Ponyboy
For those who may have forgotten, NFG rose to stardom in the early 2000s, blazing a trail through the pop-punk scene during its boom, and was featured in everything from Madden NFL to the soundtrack of your skate videos. For 20 years as pop-punk heavyweights — as they proudly showcased on their stage backdrop — they are impressively well-prepared for songs we haven’t heard in years or decades. Their energy is invigorating.
The crowd rides the wave of the pit and chants every word, echoing the woes of their misanthropic adolescence. Many are here for their second or third night, but nothing can tire our excitement and pure angst.
Without bands like New Found Glory keeping pop-punk alive, how else would we savor the memories of every heartbreak, joy, and tragedy in our lives? I can’t speak for everyone, but I left with the sound of much-needed nostalgia ringing in my ears. While we celebrate 20 years of pop-punk, NFG continues to prove some gold things do stay.
New Found Glory Live Review by Ariel Rivera.
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