For 20 years Floridians New Found Glory have helped pioneer the pop punk genre; and they are celebrating that milestone in style with their ‘20 Years of Pop Punk’ tour. Tonight that tour stops off in a sunny Norwich at the cities UEA venue, in which the band has performed many times in the past twenty years.
Along for the ride and opening up on the tour are Eastbourne’s young hopefuls ROAM. ROAM are a band who have been hitting the road hard for a number of years now and are building a solid reputation as a live act. Tonight the band continue to demonstrate why they are so hotly tipped with a lively set that gets the audience moving early on. With catchy songs such as ‘Deadweight’ and ‘Hopeless Case’ already in their arsenal and a second album on the way next month the future is looking bright for ROAM.
The ’20 Years of Pop Punk’ tour is no ordinary tour as our headliners have decided to play not one but two albums in full each night of the tour. To make things even more interesting they are rotating which albums they play each night. Their seminal 2002 release ‘Sticks And Stones’ is being played thirteen out of the fifteen dates, with ‘Not Without A Fight’, ‘New Found Glory’, ‘Catalyst’, ‘Nothing Gold Can Stay’ and ‘Coming Home’ all also featuring. Fair play to the band, as that’s a lot of songs to learn!
Tonight Norwich is being treated to ‘Sticks And Stones’ and the album that followed it in 2004 ‘Catalyst’, a real treat for fans of early 2000’s pop punk. As soon as the band storms the stage and launch into ‘Understatement’ it’s clear that both the band and the audience are here for a good time and there is a great atmosphere throughout the evening.
With the latest trend of playing albums in their entirety, bands more often than not choose to play the album from start to finish. For this tour New Found Glory have chosen to mix things up a little and have turned the two albums into more of a regular set list. This move helps pace the performance better than similar shows and really works in the bands favour.
Between the two albums there is a number of fan favourites such as ‘Truth Of My Youth’, ‘All Downhill From Here’, ‘Sonny’ and ‘Head On Collision’ which all elicit scenes of joy amongst the audience tonight. There is a surprise in store as alongside the two albums the band also throw in new song ‘Happy Being Miserable’ which already appears to be in that fan favourite bracket.
Although I have previously felt that the band lost something live when they dropped a guitarist and become a four-piece, tonight I don’t get that feeling and everything seems to click into place; to be fair though the band have had twenty years to get it right. With plenty of dates left on this tour I’d urge anybody in two minds about getting a ticket to do just that as this is one fun evening of the finest pop punk both old and new.