LIVE REVIEW: New Found Glory/Turnstile/This Wild Life/Turnover – Lansing, MI – 3/24/15

Some bands just know themselves down to a science. They know their sound, they know their fans, and they know their aesthetic. They know what makes them great, and never stray too far from that fact. Case in point: The pop-punk powerhouses known simply as New Found Glory.

Now down to a four-piece and under the support of their seventh studio album Resurrection, the act have continued to stay more relevant than ever—most recently, headlining a nearly sold-out “Sleep When I Die” tour with hardcore up-and-comers Turnstile, acoustic darlings This Wild Life and emo-rock quartet Turnover. I recently attended a sold-out date of the tour at the Loft in Lansing, Michigan, delivering one of the early standouts for best show of the spring.

The evening kicked off around 7:30 p.m. with Turnover. Though I’ve only dabbled in the band’s catalog until now—mostly with their surprisingly melodic Magnolia and self-titled debut EP—their 30 minutes made me want to put them into my regular rotation. Attendees should expect a setlist devoted to the band’s forthcoming effort Peripheral Vision, out May 4 on Run For Cover Records, including lead single “Cutting My Fingers Off.” However, older favorites from Blue Dream and Magnolia were still thrown in for good measure.

Next was acoustic Epitaph Records duo This Wild Life, a band whose set I’d been looking forward to seeing since the tour was announced. Ever since I walked by the band’s early set at last year’s Vans Warped Tour, I’d knew I had to see the act perform in a club setting at my earliest convenience.

Though the band started the set off to some minor technical difficulties, affecting the otherwise solid performances of Clouded’s “History” and “Over It,” the rest of the set went off without a hitch. Highlights included a slowed-down rendition of Blink-182’s “First Date” and a full-band version of closer “Concrete,” with guitarist Anthony Del Grosso performing on the drums.

Rounding out the bill’s support was Baltimore hardcore quintet Turnstile, delivering an absolutely pummeling 40-minute set. Out of the evening’s four-band bill, Turnstile were easily the band I was most out-of-my-mind, holy shit level of excited to watch. With the band’s stellar debut full-length Nonstop Feeling being released earlier this year, most days I found myself watching YouTube videos of the band’s headlining sets to pass the time between then and last Tuesday. And let me tell you, even with my already high expectations, the band did not disappoint.

Ripping through material from their new record, as well as older EPs Step 2 Rhythm and Pressure To Succeed, the band damn-near leveled the 400-capacity room, delivering an excellent performance—mostly thanks to the always aggressive energy of frontman Brenden Yates. Even more surprisingly, the band’s mixed gender/age crowd got along throughout the evening; From what I had noticed, Turnstile fans were respectful of space, while first-timers joined in the stagediving, body-flying madness. The result was an incredibly heartening thing to witness, watching music fans from different backgrounds and ideals join together and finding common ground. All things considered, if you can take one thing away from this recap, then let it be this: Keep an eye out for Turnstile. They could damn well be the future of their genre.

Finally, around 10:30 p.m., New Found Glory took the stage. The band came out, quickly ripping into a spirited performance of Sticks & Stones’ “Understatement” and new favorite “Selfless” as the manic crowd swarmed the stage.

As the set continued that evening, connecting with songs both new tracks (“Resurrection,” “One More Round,” “Ready & Willing”) and old favorites (“Hit Or Miss,” “My Friends Over You,” “All Downhill From Here”), a true testament to the band’s staying power (18 years and counting). Most admirable of all had to be vocalist Jordan Pundik, who recently broke his foot performing, kept the same amount of energy as a normal performance, never missing a beat with the crowd.

Though this wasn’t my first time seeing New Found Glory on a headliner (I was in attendance at the Detroit stop of the Glamour Kills tour last October), it was by far the best I’ve seen from the band. For whatever reason, the band’s high-energy antics translate extremely well to a more intimate setting. It gave the impression that anything could happen and the possibilities of their set were potentially endless. This feeling was all but solidified as the band’s confetti cannon completely coated the air during their encore. At the moment, I knew something I’d known for a long time coming: We’re lucky to have bands like New Found Glory.

As I was leaving the Loft that evening, guiding myself down the venue’s unusually narrow staircase, I couldn’t help but hum the “so long, so long” hook of the band’s track “Resurrection.” Though I knew it was farewell for now, I knew that it wouldn’t be for long.