New Found Glory have been around for 20 years – now I feel old – and are marking the anniversary with the second leg of their 20 Years of Pop Punk tour by hitting all the cities they didn’t get to play on the first leg, as well as return trips to places like NYC. That’s where they were on Sunday night as Brooklyn’s Warsaw Concerts played host to the second of two nights and the band’s 4th time in NYC since April. Now, let me get this out of the way right off the bat: they played My Friends Over You to close out night one and didn’t play it all on the second night, and if I’m gonna go see New Found Glory you can bet I’m gonna want to hear My Friends Over You. I didn’t, and now I wish I had seen them on night one instead of going to a really bad Halloween party dressed as a really bad Batman.
What the band did play was more than a dozen covers. Now, I know what you’re thinking. you’re a New Found Glory fan and you want to hear the hits. That’s a fair argument, I want to hear the hits too, and I really wanted to hear My Friends Over You, but such is life when you’re seeing a band on an anniversary as big as a 20th. Sure, I thought they could have put a few more of their own tunes on the setlist and found a way to squeeze in their biggest hit without shortening the set, especially when the setlist included 27 songs and many of them were covers, but NFG didn’t make it through two decades by not knowing what they’re doing. 27 songs is a lot for any band, and I’m sure many fans would agree that we all prefer to hear the band’s songs rather than so many covers, but you’re still getting your money’s worth on this one.
I’m not trying to knock the band in any way, they were great, their renditions of songs like the Goo Goo Dolls smash hit Iris and and Aerosmith‘s I Don’t Want to Miss A Thing were on another planet, and something about hearing Celine Dion as a punk rock song is absolutely amazing. NFG also covered Don’t You Forget About Me by Simple Minds, which could be a bit ironic if you believe the old rumor from the late 90’s that NFG were actually the graduation band in the movie American Pie, playing the same song, before they made it big. Regardless, I love that song and I’ve never heard a version I didn’t like, so props to New Found Glory for keeping it that way.
NFG’s 3-song encore started with another cover, this time of Peter Cetera’s Glory of Love and wrapped up with Ballad for the Lost Romantics and Hit or Miss. It’s hard to believe New Found Glory started 20 years ago, I was 11 when they first hit the scene and didn’t really get my first taste of their music until my mid-teens. By that time they had already hit their stride and were one of the more popular bands of the early 2000’s, but I had never been able to catch them live before. I wish they had played more of their own tunes so I could hear the songs that made me a fan way back when, but I’ll be damned if they can’t cover any song and make it awesome.
So here’s the deal with this one: if you’re a New Found Glory fan, go see them because you’re a fan. While the album(s) being played on each night were announced well in advance, there’s a chance they may not be playing your favorite tunes when they come through your city. That shouldn’t stop you from seeing NFG, though, as they’re sure to be playing something you know from the past two decades and any fan of the band should be satisfied by their performance, and let’s not even get me started on the intro video that brought back memories of years gone by and my own teen angst. See this one because you’re a fan, or just see this one. Full stop.