WEST BABYLON, New York — With a big chart debut last week, it'd be easy for Taking Back Sunday to bask in their newfound success. But the hard-touring Long Islanders don't opt for easy, and even on a day off from the Warped Tour, they were working.
To thank their loyal fanbase, Taking Back Sunday performed two intimate in-store performances on Monday, one at New Jersey's Vintage Vinyl and then a triumphant Long Island homecoming at Looney Tunes Records.
"When we were kids, [guitarist] Eddie [Reyes] got kicked out of Looney Tunes for loitering," bassist Matt Rubano said. "So it's good to be home and not get thrown out of here."
More than 700 enthusiastic fans were on hand to welcome the band home. Almost all of them were turned away, as only 200 wristbands — which granted fans access to the show — were issued. When the doors finally opened, and the lucky wristbanded ones were hustled inside, they were packed between rows of CDs.
Photos from Taking Back
Sunday's in-store show
When lead singer Adam Lazzara took the stage, he was greeted with a chorus of screams and shouted song requests. He laughed, brushed the hair out of his face and addressed the crowd.
"I don't know much about music numbers," he said. "But we've had an awesome week, and we owe it all to you guys."
Then he and guitarist Fred Mascherino launched into an all-acoustic set with "A Decade Under the Influence," the band's first single from new album Where You Want to Be, while the band's other members, family and Long Island buddies watched from the wings. Fans in the audience sang along loudly, eyes closed, cell phones held aloft. And they didn't let up once during the six-song set. Older songs from the band's first album, Tell All Your Friends, were greeted with even more enthusiastic sing-alongs, the audience drowning out Lazzara's voice during "Cute Without the 'E' (Cut From the Team)" and "You're So Last Summer."
As the signing portion of the event began, it became obvious just how fanatic Taking Back Sunday's fans really are. Girls scrawled "TBS" on their foreheads and stomachs, shook visibly and blushed. And the guys weren't much different. But as each approached the signing table, arms outstretched, wide-eyed and stammering, Mascherino greeted and thanked each and every one of them like they were his longtime pal. It was the least he could do.
"Kids sleep out overnight to attend these in-stores," he said, shaking his head. "The support for us is amazing. We only wish we could do enough to thank them."