If the name of the tour is anything to go by, New Found Glory’s ‘From the Screen to your Stereo to your Town’ tour was bound to boast big things. First off it possessed a stellar line-up, hosted by the incomparable pop punk kings New Found Glory who curated support from The Early November, Real Friends and Doll Skin (who we sadly missed).
The Early November brought something much more mellow, the kind of pop punk that you listen to on long drives with your feet on the dash. Vocalist Ace Enders noted that they’d been doing this a long time, starting in humble VFW’s (social clubs) and working their way up into the likes of the ever famous House Of Blues. They’re a true joy to hear live and they bring a particular kind of energy that really connected with the crowd.
As far as connecting goes, you can’t get much deeper than in the relatable lyrics of Real Friends. The band, specifically their vocalist Dan Lambton, have always been candid in sharing their hardships and this is something clear in every word sung. It is something that resonates with a crowd that can often feel like they don’t belong anywhere else, or with anyone who just has their own internal struggles. Lambton even takes the time to share a story regarding his own mental health struggles, a dark time for him that held the future of the band by a thread. Despite this though, he seems happy as he bounds across the stage and wears a smile even through the most heart-wrenching of songs.
New Found Glory have been at this now for over two decades and they show no signs of slowing down. Despite having a lengthy back catalogue of their own original music, New Found Glory have also taken to recording not just one but three cover albums that see them creating pop punk renditions of your favourite movie tracks. For their third installment of ‘From the Screen to your Stereo’, the band recreated everything from Frozen, The Greatest Showman and Pitch Perfect. Their setup for the night matches that of a movie theatre, with popcorn machine set up on stage to fit the theme. Tickets branded with their logo and name are plastered over the stage, including a back drop with a marquee that New Found Glory proudly displayed the city they’re performing in.
They open the show with a cover, the massive ‘Eye Of The Tiger’ made famous by Survivor and Rocky. Vocalist Jordan Pudnik graces the stage dressed like he’s ready for the ‘thrill of the fight’ and somehow gracefully balances a mic in hand covered by a boxing glove. What New Found Glory has always done well is a high octane performance, the kind to match the fast-paced beat of every one of their songs. Between the jumps and charisma of bassist Ian Grushka, playing and singing directly to fans individually’, New Found Glory pick out some of the biggest and best tracks from their past to play alongside the covers.
Head On Collision, All Downhill From Here and Truck Stop Blues join the setlist along side Cups, King Of Wishful thinking and a show-stopping rendition of Let It Go. The perfomance see’s Pudnik transform into Elsa, blue dress and blond wig to boot. It’s an unexpected element that brings a smile to everyone’s face as they sing back a song everyone hates to admit they know every word to. There’s a reason why New Found Glory have been so long-standing in this scene, it’s because they don’t take things too seriously. While yes, this is their career and they’ve an extensive body of work to show for it, they can be light hearted and create a show that isn’t restricted by rules – they just have fun with it. It’s what makes them so accessible to so many people and why they continue to sell out venues to masses. Here’s to many more years.
The Early November
New Found Glory