State Theatre Portland
Taking Back Sunday

Taking Back Sunday

Tonight Alive, Sleepwave

Thu, April 17, 2014

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

State Theatre

Portland, ME

$25 advance / $30 day of show

This event is all ages

Buy tickets online here, in person at the Cumberland County Civic Center Box Office and charge by phone at 800-745-3000. The State Theatre Box Office will be open one hour before doors on night of show.

Taking Back Sunday
Taking Back Sunday
"Sometimes it takes some time to remember where you were headed in the first place and the people you intended to go there with..." -- Taking Back Sunday

This is the record that a lot of people never thought would happen: A brand new Taking Back Sunday album that features the same line-up as the band's platinum-selling 2002 debut Tell All Your Friends. Although the players here -- frontman Adam Lazzara, guitarists Eddie Reyes and John Nolan, drummer Mark O'Connell and bassist Shaun Cooper -- are the same, it's important to point out that this album isn't a sequel to this band's debut as much as it is the beginning of a new chapter of innovation and productivity from this celebrated Long Island rock act.

"When I listen to a song like 'Sad Savior' or 'Who Are You Anyway?' it's evident that this record isn't true to any scene or genre," Lazzara responds when asked what aspect of Taking Back Sunday he's most proud of. Nolan -- who left Taking Back Sunday alongside Cooper in 2003 -- echoes this sentiment, adding "I can't imagine us having written this album after Tell All Your Friends," explains Nolan. "It doesn't feel like the follow-up up to that album and we definitely wouldn't have been able to bring these songs to life if we hadn't gone through all the experiences that we've all been through during the past seven years."

Since the release of Tell All Your Friends, Taking Back Sunday has released three more studio albums, which have sold over two million copies, headlined arenas, toured multiple times in amphitheaters with bands such as Linkin Park, Weezer and Blink-182, and shared Festival Stages with the likes of The Police, The Smashing Pumpkins, Radiohead and Phoenix. In August of 2011 they will perform on the main stage at Reading and Leeds festivals for the fourth time. Cooper and Nolan, meanwhile, went on to form critically-acclaimed band Straylight Run, who in 2007 released The Needles The Space on Universal Republic Records, headlined Warped Tour and performed on Late Night with Conan O'Brien. However, all of the members admit that there is a certain chemistry that only exists when these five musicians are together in the same room.

What began with the simple idea of all five members coming together at the Sonic Ranch in the border town of Tornillo, Texas (near El Paso), last year quickly resulted in a sonic windfall that saw the band writing nearly a dozen songs -- and from there Taking Back Sunday never looked back. "The whole experience of us getting back together was really freeing," Lazzara explains. "We went into all of this knowing that our music didn't have to sound a certain way, so we just decided to see what happens and this is what came of it." Nolan adds, "I think we all knew that we had to take this band to a place where it hadn't been before for it to really work; it couldn't all be about nostalgia."

After two more writing sessions at the Sonic Ranch and a stint in Seattle at the Robert Lang Studios, the band reconvened in Los Angeles with Eric Valentine (who produced their 2006 album Louder Now as well as albums by Queens Of The Stone Age and The All-American Rejects) in late August to begin work on the band's self-titled album, taking periodic breaks to incorporate the new songs that continued to pour out of their collaborative efforts. "I like to think of Eric as a rocket scientist because he's so skilled when it comes to production," Lazzara explains. "He spent so much time making sure everything sounded perfect and each track's personality really got to shine."

Undeniably Taking Back Sunday's most varied record, Taking Back Sunday is also their most ambitious, and it showcases the band's music in ways that you might not expect judging from their previous efforts. This is stridently evident on the album's opener "El Paso," a raging post-hardcore anthem that is by far the heaviest thing Taking Back Sunday have ever put onto tape. "That song came from a riff that Mark had that had gotten the snub in the past, which I'm glad about because I don't think it would have been as awesome as it is now," Lazzara explains. "I feel like that song really embodies the mood and environment we were all in when we first when down to the Sonic Ranch."

Another track Lazzara is especially proud of is the album's first single "Faith (When I Let You Down)," a song that's equally as cathartic in a more pop-oriented context. "I tried a lot of new things on this record and the fact that there's a lot of space in the verses is something we had never done before," he explains. Ultimately Taking Back Sunday is full of sonic firsts, from the atmospheric album closer "Call Me In The Morning" to the energetic rocker "Best Places To Be A Mom," but Valentine's specialty is making sure that the disc exists as a cohesive whole. "Even though times have changed, we haven't, and none of us are the kind of music listeners who just want to own a few singles," Nolan explains. "We all like to listen to our favorite albums from start to finish and naturally we wanted to make a record that sounds like that."

Lyrically Taking Back Sunday sees Lazzara and Nolan exploring relationships, a theme they focused on last time they worked together as well. However, instead of singing about the insular Long Island hardcore scene, that landscape has broadened to include the band members' respective relationships with their wives, kids and God. "John and I are both teetering on real adulthood, so with this record we both wanted to experiment with how straight-forward we could be lyrically," Lazzara says. Instead of being cloaked in metaphor, the lyrics on Taking Back Sunday show the band questioning their relationships as much as they embrace them, resulting in the most honest Taking Back Sunday album to date.

Lazzara is also quick to point out that adding Nolan back into the mix helped him expand his own range and gave these songs a life of their own. "I've found that I write better when there are two perspectives on the same subject; there are some songs on this record where John was coming from a totally different place than I was but when we put the two things together this whole new idea grew from it," he explains. "All of our tastes have changed over time but everyone was so trusting during the writing process and I think that allowed us to go certain places we hadn't visited in the past."

Let's face it, it would be simple for Taking Back Sunday to get back together solely in order to embark on an anniversary tour for Tell All Your Friends, but despite their previous successes they are quick to point out this record is a brand new beast that is ushering in a different era for the band. "This album isn't us trying to be something we're not," Lazzara summarizes, "it's just us and I'm really proud of that." If you listen to Taking Back Sunday with an open mind, you'll agree that it is an important record that marks a giant leap forward for a band that truly defies categorization.
Tonight Alive
Tonight Alive
"We were just teenagers when we started playing together in our parent's garages in the Sydney suburbs," smiles Tonight Alive front woman Jenna McDougall.

A little bit older and a whole world wiser, today Tonight Alive are a band brimming with energy onstage and off – bursting with stories from the road and with a lust for life that overflows into their lyrics, their music and their explosive live shows. Today they're a family so close-knit that it seems almost unthinkable that there was a time when the band didn't know each other, but as guitarist Jake Hardy explains, it was a mutual passion for music that caused the members to gravitate towards each other through their local scene, and ultimately brought the band that we know today together.

"Myself and our bassist Cam [Adler] were in a band together when we were at high school, we were mostly covering tunes from other bands that we were into," explains Jake. "Through mutual friends we met Whakaio and asked him to join the band on keys and guitar. That's when we started getting more serious. We started writing our own songs but we still needed a committed vocalist and drummer."

On the other side of town, Jenna McDougall was playing her own acoustic shows – inadvertently putting in the groundwork that would lead her to front Australia's most exciting young band.

"Jenna asked me to help her record some of her acoustic demos," explain Cam. "When we were done I said that my band didn't have a singer and I gave her a demo of a song we'd written and asked her to record her vocals over it …and that was it!"

"We had our first practice the day before my birthday, on May 31st 2008," grins Jenna, "We booked our first show at 'Hypefest' for August that year under the name 'Tonight Alive'. Hype would later become the place we cut our teeth, developed our live show and was ultimately our doorway into the local Sydney scene."

After the first year since Tonight Alive's inception, the band parted ways with their original drummer - at which point the lineup was completed by Matty Best who was originally travelling for four hours each way to practice. "We had one band practice with Matt. He was really tight and he already knew all the songs. That was the moment that we knew everything had clicked," Jenna explains.

Still too young to hangout in bars, the band found themselves at the heart of their local music scene, finding their sound and playing songs that would go on to form the band's first EP, All Shapes And Disguises.

"We saved all our money and took time off work to record and practice," says Cam. "Jenna was still at school at that point so it was difficult to find time, but we managed to get into the studio with Dave Petrovic who later went on to record our second album, The Other Side. We recorded our first and second EP's with him (All Shapes And Disguises and Consider This) in 2010, and with his help we knew that we'd finally found our sound."

The recordings began to generate a buzz that saw Tonight Alive picked up for a support slot on UK band Lost Prophets' Australian tour, venturing out on the road properly for the first time. They were soon spotted by major labels and invited to perform at a showcase, during which, both Whak and Jake snapped a string in the first song.

"We thought it had gone horribly wrong at first, but we did our thing and smashed through and ultimately the label were really impressed! We signed a deal shortly after and immediately pushed to travel overseas to record our first album," recalls Whak excitedly.

It was this drive to expand their horizons and to take their music outside of Australia that saw the band head to LA to record their first full-length album, What Are You So Scared Of? in 2011, working with producer Mark Trombino (Blink-182, Jimmy Eat World).

"We were just out of high school, and we were coming home after the studio every night and cooking and hanging out together in LA," laughs Jenna. "It was our first real taste of freedom and we had an amazing time. It brought us all closer together and helped us to define our message as a band."

That message, one of hope, positivity and determination, provided the backbone of What Are You So Scared Of? and lead their debut to be described by many fans as a life-saving record.

"A lot of people have said that we saved their lives and that our music got them through really difficult times," explains Jenna passionately. "To be that band for people is amazing because it was music that got us through difficult times ourselves. The band's message is about not living in the fear of other people's judgment, not being held back by other people's opinions, about having self-worth. That's something that's carried over to our latest album too from a different perspective; there's truly a silver lining to everything"

Initially touring across America in a van with no backseats on a rough'n'ready adventure-of-a-tour described by the band as "a right of passage", Tonight Alive returned home and embarked on several extensive and consecutive Australian tours to support the album's Australian release, which eventually drained even this most energetic of bands.

"By this point it felt like our feet hadn't touched the ground," says Jenna. "We were exhausted and burnt out by a year of solid touring. I had been really ill for about 9 months between mid 2011 and early 2012, spanning over 9 different tours both national and international. I was battling severe head-to-toe eczema, seeing handfuls of different doctors in between tours. So after Australia's Soundwave festival we made the decision to cancel all of our upcoming commitments to recover and insure the rest of 2012 would reach it's full potential."

Battered almost to breaking point, the band took time to rejuvenate and catch their breath, but with What Are You So Scared Of? being released around the rest of the world, they soon found themselves back on the road – but this time refreshed and with a renewed fire inside them. Their rapidly expanding global fan base saw Tonight Alive hit the shores of Asia, North America and Europe with the likes of Pierce The Veil, All Time Low, Yellowcard and Young Guns – embarking on the almost perpetual journey that still continues to this day, penning the tracks for album two, The Other Side, as they went.

"The first track that we wrote for The Other Side was 'Don't Wish' in a hotel room in Jakarta, Indonesia, while we were on tour in 2011. Every track on the album can be dated back to the tour it was written on as we were on the road consistently between the recording of our first full length at the end of 2010 to the recording of our second at the end of 2012." explains Jenna.

"After playing on the full Summer of the Vans Warped Tour 2012, trekking across Europe and The UK on a headline run and later supporting Pierce The Veil across America we decided after spending so much time away from home, that we would go back to Australia to record our second full length record, The Other Side. We found a big house out in the bush at Coffs Harbour (7 hours north of Sydney) and set up our own studio there to record once again with Dave Petrovic."

What the band emerged with is a definitive rock record – a bold advance that Jenna describes as having both "balls and bite".

"It talks about challenges and experiences that we've never been through or understood before. I think we found our lyrical and musical direction, and through that wrote a rockier and more confident version of What Are You So Scared Of?."

With the new album finished the band feel rejuvenated and reborn once again. Armed with new material and a world's worth of road experience, Tonight Alive are ready to continue their journey across the globe – one explosive show at a time – and look set to take their music farther and wider than ever before.

So has the adventure so far changed them? "Not a chance!" Jenna exclaims. "We're more experienced and wider travelled, but even when we're home we still hangout every day. We started as friends with a passion for music and in that regard nothing has changed. There's no ego and no ulterior motives, we just love making music and I think that's why we have such a strong and dedicated fan base."

"We've travelled a long way but we're still as passionate as ever. Tonight Alive is the strongest it's ever been as a band – we're the same five kids that set out on this journey, only now we're more in love with the music than ever before."

The Other Side will be released on September 6th through Sony Music Entertainment, Australia
Sleepwave is the new band from former Underoath singer Spencer Chamberlain.

"I believe in the power of a song and I believe in rock n roll but I also believe it is time for change in music. This is me bringing back things I think are missing from rock and pouring my heart and soul into my music to share with as many people that are willing to listen." – Spencer Chamberlain.
Venue Information:
State Theatre
609 Congress St
Portland, ME, 04101