New Found Glory

with The Audition + Stealing O'Neal

While most people at 3 o'clock on Easter Saturday afternoon are out doing the weekend shopping, underage 'punk' kids were lining Russell Street eagerly awaiting US pop-punk pioneers, New Found Glory. In the last few months Billboard has been home to a number of rock acts and New Found Glory were no exception. After the release of their fifth studio album in September 2006 'Coming Home', New Found Glory had finally made their way to Billboard on the tour of the same name.


As I finally make my way downstairs into a fairly empty room, I realise just how small the California based band underage fan base is in Melbourne, surprising considering they have had growing success since breakthrough record 'Sticks and Stones' in 2002. Perhaps New Found Glory's following has grown up with the American band, which therefore means their biggest crowd may have been at the over 18 event at The Palace on Sunday.


Melbourne band Stealing O'Neal had already kicked off their set putting on a very energetic and fun show. I had seen these guys play before and was excited to see them again. Stealing O'Neal have already played with some of Australia's biggest names and have somewhat of a buzz surrounding their name of late. Lead vocalist Chris is quick to interact with the crowd and proves so with a call and response in an acoustic version of the famous Arctic Monkeys song "I bet you look good on the dance floor", in which I like more than the original.


Main support was by Chicago based pop/punk emo hybridists, The Audition, whom are on their first Australian tour, also promoting the release of their debut album 'Controversy Loves Company'. The Audition formed in 2003, and since then have put together a solid live act. They have the right look, sound and a wonderful stage presence, unfortunetly they sound the same as every other pop-punk band and don't seem to have much uniqueness about them, however they do have a very promising career. By the end of the set vocalist, Danny Stevens, had the crowd psyched for New Found Glory to take the stage.


We were introduced to New Found Glory's set with some cheesy 70's music and then Jordan, Chad, Steve, Ian and Cyrus entered kicking off their set with 'Understatement' from their third album 'Sticks and Stones'. A fair mix of new and old songs followed and of course a cover song 'Glory of Love' [Karate Kid] from the 2000 EP 'From the Screen to the Stereo'. There were many attempts at crowd surfng and circle pits amongst the small crowd, and this proved considerably difficult.


In all of Jordan Pundik's excitement he managed to almost knock himself out on one of the speakers hanging from the roof, after realising he was bleeding he yelled out "punk rock" and left the crowd cringing everytime he went near the speakers. Pundik did seem to be quite hurt, but this didn't stop him from being humurous in song 'Head on Collision', pointing to his head, obviously referring to his own personal head on with the speaker. New Found Glory are an amazing live band with lyrics reminiscent of real life situations in which their fans are able to connect with.


Highlights of the night included popular track 'Truth of my youth' and the completely random move 'the worm' by one of the roadies, as well as when guitarist Chad picked on the Atreyu fan who refused to smile throughout the set, after which they dedicated 'Its not your fault' to him and Atreyu for being such an "angry band", compared to their "happy band". I was however disappointed they didn't play 'Too Good to Be' and 'Boulders' from the new album, oh well. Despite my disappointments New Found Glory definitely proved that they are indeed pioneers. Long live 'punk rock'.

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