New Found Glory, The Audition, The Open Season @ HQ, Adelaide, (10/04/07)

I’ll admit that I was nervous about how many people would actually show up to see US pop-punk stalwarts, New Found Glory. I’d heard rumours that few had bought tickets and their latest album, Coming Home, hasn’t created as much interest as previous releases. But, I was pleasantly surprised and slightly relieved that when I arrived just before The Open Season started, HQ, was nicely filled out.

The local act put in a solid performance, their generic rock nothing spectacular, but easy to listen to all the same.

Main support for the tour came in the form of The Audition; part of the US led pop-punk resurgence along with bands like The Academy Is..., Cute Is What We Aim For and Paramore (who were originally scheduled to be the support act). Playing songs from their album Controversy Loves Company, they opened with the catchy-as-hell You’ve Made Us Conscious, and strangely, vocalist Danny Stevens, tried to set up a wall of death before the second song but only succeeded in encouraging an empty space on the floor.

While The Audition’s songs are likeable with definite foot tapping moments, unfortunately the crowd never really felt it; but also slightly expected when you’re virtually unknown and thrown into a support slot a few weeks before the tours start. The crowd it seemed, were just waiting for New Found Glory.

Slipping on stage in the dark to the –  “Rocky’ theme song, New Found Glory fired straight into Understatement accompanied by a massive cheer. This is the third time I’ve seen them and their performance is still energetic and exciting; vocalist Jordan Pundik, is erratic across the stage and still doesn’t sing all the words because he loses his breath because of it.

The first song performed off Coming Home was disc opener, Oxygen. While on the record the new songs sound more –  “mature’, live they are exciting and much closer to the old New Found Glory people know and love. The on stage banter between Pundik and guitarist, Chad Gilbert, was humorous and natural; Gilbert apologizing for their two and a half year absence and informing the crowd that they were going to make up for it.

With a back catalogue of five full length albums, there was a lot of material to draw from but the set consisted of all their best songs; the crowd going crazy over classic New Found Glory pop-punk anthems, Failure’s Not Flattering and Dressed to Kill, before closing with Hit or Miss. With barely a break before returning for the encore, they belted out a few more songs before finishing the captivating show with My Friends Over You.

Pop punk isn’t dead; it’s being over run by the emo/screamo trend but New Found Glory aren’t changing for anyone.