NEPA Scene Staff

Taking Back Sunday plays with Scranton’s Menzingers at Sands Bethlehem Event Center on July 1

Taking Back Sunday plays with Scranton’s Menzingers at Sands Bethlehem Event Center on July 1
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From a press release:

It was announced today that platinum-selling emo rockers Taking Back Sunday, who are currently on tour celebrating the band’s 20th anniversary, will perform at the Sands Bethlehem Event Center on Monday, July 1 at 8 p.m.

Philadelphia punk rock band The Menzingers, who got their start in their hometown of Scranton, will open the show. A few weeks later, they will embark on a national headlining tour with The Sidekicks and Queen of Jeans as support.

Tickets, which are $42.50, plus fees, go on sale today at 2 p.m. and can be purchased at, the Event Center box office (77 Sands Blvd., Bethlehem),, all Ticketmaster outlets, or by phone at 800-745-3000.

If you can’t believe that Taking Back Sunday have been around for 20 years, you’re not alone because they can’t either. Although the pride of Long Island, New York have had a handful of member changes over the years, the current lineup of the band – vocalist Adam Lazzara, guitarist John Nolan, drummer Mark O’Connell, and bassist Shaun Cooper – have all been there since the beginning.

From the band’s landmark 2002 debut, “Tell All Your Friends,” to their most recent full-length, 2016’s “Tidal Wave,” Taking Back Sunday has evolved from a key player in the early 2000s emo scene to a genre-defying rock band who have gold and platinum albums without ever ceasing to push the limitations of their sound. This fact is evidenced on “Twenty” a 21-song collection released in January via Craft Recordings that spans all seven of their full-lengths and solidifies them as an act with a catalog that will undoubtedly outlive them.

Taking Back Sunday started out like most of their peers by playing local shows and recording demos. However, unlike most of those peers, they went on to sign to a major label, tour alongside Linkin Park, and become international superstars. That said, they still speak of the band’s early days as if they just happened yesterday.

“I’ll never forget – we played Ground Zero in Long Island in 2001 and it was the first show we played where people were singing along and going crazy. It was a tiny place that held 100 people, but you could sense something had changed,” Lazzara recalled.

“After the show, I remember we carried some equipment back to John’s car and we were sitting in it just not saying anything. We were just thinking, ‘That was the best thing ever.’ I was starry eyed and staring into space; I couldn’t believe that just happened.”

Nolan concurred, adding, “Even after the band got a lot bigger and did things that were a lot more impressive, that moment was really huge because you could tell something was happening. Everyone was going nuts and that really stands out to me as being one of the defining moments of Taking Back Sunday.”

This 20-year anniversary tour is a celebration not only of those career-defining moments, but of the landmark albums that chronicle the band’s story: 2002’s “Tell All Your Friends,” 2004’s “Where You Want to Be,” and 2006’s “Louder Now.” Whether your introduction to the band was singing along to “A Decade Under the Influence” in a sweaty club or hearing “MakeDamnSure” or “Sink into Me” on the radio, the band’s return to the road is sure to be a look back at some of the highlights from this unlikely group of musical misfits.

Musical legacy aside, what’s most impressive is the fact that, after two decades and countless successes, Taking Back Sunday have managed to preserve that initial spark that excited them as teenagers. That fact alone is one worth celebrating, and audiences will experience these moments of nostalgia live and loud.

“It feels strange to say out loud… 2019 marks 20 years since I joined Taking Back Sunday and my life changed forever,” Lazzara said.

“We will be traveling the world to celebrate the amazing brotherhood, music, and life we have created together over the past 20 years. We hope you can join us for what is sure to be an experience to remember.”

See NEPA Scene’s review and photos of The Menzingers’ show in Bethlehem last August here.