Lights, Camera, Action!
Wednesday night (11/6) New Found Glory hit the Slowdown on the From the Screen to Your Stereo to Your Town tour and it was absolutely terrific!
Along for the ride were Emo pioneers Hawthorne Heights with opening support from Free Throw and Ohio natives Jetty Bones.
Before I get too far, I have to give a gigantic shout out to New Found Glory drummer Cyrus Bolooki for getting me a last minute photo pass. Being that the show was completely sold out I was worried I would have to wait out in the cold and try to snag an extra ticket from a generous fan. Luckily, I caught Cyrus by the bus and he was able to put me on the list. After confirming photo access I was walking on air!
I know people always say “I’ve been following since the first album,” but with New Found Glory it’s completely true, (from the debut full length anyway). My brother got the self titled album after hearing “Hit or Miss” on a promotional Warped Tour compilation CD. By the time NFG started blowing up with the success of “My Friends Over You” from the Sticks and Stones album we had already seen the band on Warped Tour and a headline show with MxPx and Good Charlotte at Pershing Auditorium in Lincoln, so we were pretty big fans.
Over the next 15 years I would go on to see NFG several more times on the Warped Tour and in 2017 for the 20 Years of Pop Punk tour.
Out of all of these shows, From the Screen to Your Stereo to Your Town just might be the best I’ve seen yet.
As I mentioned above, kicking off the show was Jetty Bones from Ohio. These guys were a lot of fun. They had some great crowd interaction. Since they were the first band of the evening, fans were still trickling in, so there were a lot of quiet moments in between songs for making jokes and talking directly to fans in the front. A guy named Brandon kept shouting “I love you!” Singer Kelc took it in stride and said “I love you too!” Kelc and the gang played a solid set of upbeat pop punk to get the crowd warmed up.
After Jetty Bones was the emo/pop punk act Free Throw. It was fitting that these guys are on tour with Hawthorne Heights, because they sounded similar, but a bit more aggressive. There were two kids next to me that were super into Free Throw and it got me really pumped up! I wasn’t familiar with any of Free Throw’s previous work so I couldn’t sing along, but their passionate choruses really made me wish I had studied up. The best I could do was mini-mosh with the kids and just throw a fist up. I’ll definitely have to check them out on Spotify. If you’re a fan of Hawthorne Heights, Taking Back Sunday, or Brand New, then Free Throw will be right up your alley.
Next up were the emo favorites Hawthorne Heights. JT Woodruff and crew didn’t waste any time throwing down a killer set of classic hits. Kicking things off with the smash hit Nikki FM, the crowd was ready to screech like it was the high school prom.
HH played a fairly short set, but from front to back the crowd thrashed and sang along to all of their favorite sad boy songs. Like many legacy acts, Hawthorne Heights closed with their biggest hit “Ohio is for Lovers.” All around, folks in their 30s and 40s screamed those famous lyrics “So cut my wrist and black my eyes, so I can fall asleep tonight, or die!” I’m not gonna lie, I’ve been rocking HH from the beginning so I was all too happy to scream along. I noticed a girl to my left taking video and snickering, but guess what? I’m too old to care and it was so fun! Any time HH wants to come through Omaha I’m happy to come out and scream along like it’s 2002 with my swoop hair cut.
After some stage set up and a quick sound check the boys from Coral Springs, FL were ready to rock. As the house music played Smash Mouth’s “All Star” I looked at my friend Andrew from the Lincoln band Featherfoot Charlie and said “Smash Mouth’s got that Shrek money!” Not long after New Found Glory stepped on stage playing “This is Me” from the film The Greatest Showman. Lead singer Jordan was decked out in a red suit coat and top hat just like Hugh Jackman.
If you didn’t catch it earlier, NFG is on tour in support of their third collection of movie related cover songs titled From the Screen to Your Stereo III.
I was already a huge NFG fan but I knew this show was a must-see as the band would be playing a lot of songs you don’t normally get to hear live.
Even though the set included lots of movie cover songs, there were tons of NFG classics like the second song of the set “Understatement,” from the gold record Sticks and Stones. Everyone on the floor pushed and shoved to get a little closer to Jordan’s outstretched microphone.
Continuing with another absolute banger, NFG launched into “Truth of My Youth” from the 2004 album Catalyst. I was so stoked for this one. When I saw NFG in 2017 they were playing a special set that included only material from their self titled record and Sticks and Stones so anything after those releases didn’t get played. Pretty much all of NFG’s songs in the set were fast, but “Truth of My Youth” just tears along at breakneck speed making the whole place jump!
After a few more hits, Jordan stepped on stage in an Elsa dress and wig from the movie Frozen. NFG has always been a band that knows how to have fun and interact the with the crowd and this was a perfect example. They did an awesome job covering the song “Let it Go” from the Frozen.
About halfway through the set NFG played the song I was waiting for “King of Wishful Thinking,” originally performed by Go West from the movie Pretty Woman. I hung on tight to my front row spot, but after hearing my favorite song I was ready to get out of the insane pit. Until that point I had not one, but two beers spilled on me, from the same person! I was also kicked in the head by a few cowboy boots. Who goes to a punk rock show in cowboy boots? Gotta love the Midwest.
NFG would go on to play all of their biggest hits and several more movie songs including “A Thousand Years” from the Twilight franchise complete with werewolf costumes and “The Power of Love” featuring Jordan dressed as Marty Mcfly from Back to the Future.
After “Power of Love,” NFG closed out the night with “Head on Collision” and arguably their biggest hit “My Friends Over You” from the same Sticks and Stones album. The crowd wildly cheered as the band thanked everyone for coming out and for all the support over the years.
There really wasn’t much more I could ask for. The set list was absolutely insane, NFG was just as high energy as ever, and I got some decent photos. Overall it was an incredible night.
Again, huge shout out to Cyrus for the last minute pass. You can check out NFG’s latest album From the Screen to Your Stereo III wherever you stream music.
Band photo galleries can be found below.
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New Found Glory Gallery
Hawthorne Heights Gallery
Free Throw Gallery
Jetty Bones Gallery