Live: Taste of Chaos in Indianapolis

On the third night of the Taste of Chaos tour, The Early November, Saosin, Taking Back Sunday, and Dashboard Confessional hit Indy. The weather was perfect, and the Lawn at White River turned out to be the perfect size to accommodate the crowd. The audience was certainly older than the usual summer concert crowd, with the median age in the mid-twenties—some had grown out of their emo days… Some hadn’t. It proved to be an emotional and nostalgic show for all, and for all a kick-ass night. The Early November kicked off the night by giving us a taste of both their older and newer material, and Indy was more than ready to hear their carefully-composed set. Jeff Kummer absolutely killed his percussion, per usual. Much of the crowd was still filing in while Saosin played, but they quickly pulled them right into the action. Juxtaposing screams with melody and falsetto, the comparatively younger band rocked their simple stage setup. They focused on the music, rather than audience engagement, and the energy behind the barricade picked up naturally about halfway through the set. Emphasizing instrumentals rather than vocals, Saosin definitely brought a harder edge than The Early November. Taking Back Sunday began with the quintessential Lion King opening, and brought it hard from there. Interestingly, they chose to start with their older hits, which whipped the crowd into shape quickly. “Liar” featured a bit of remixing, but it seemed to be exactly the right amount. There was absolutely no one in the crowd who wasn’t into it, and there was mutual interaction between the crowd and the band. Many of the concert-goers were called out for their pit-antics, which brought a sense of intimacy to such a large venue. It’s easy for artists to go too far in terms of crowd-interaction, but these guys know exactly how to pump everyone up. Absolutely worth mentioning is Adam Lazzara’s amazing performance. These guys have been going at it for a decade and a half, and he hasn’t lost anything to the years. His vocals were on point in every sense of the phrase, not to mention his incredibly smooth dance moves and mic twirling. The audience definitely responded more to classic TBS material, but everyone was into the new tracks as well. They seemed to be drifting from the emo scene, just like most of their fans. Regardless, no one could have asked for a better set. When I say the members of Dashboard Confessional spent a lot of time on stage, I mean it literally. During any given song, at least one of the members could be found rolling around, rockstar sliding, or sinking to the ground. If they weren’t doing one of those, they were probably jumping around. There’s always something to look at during a Dashboard set, and they make sure of it. As expected, the instrumentals were divine. The guitar was sick, and the whole set was full of solos to prove it. Chris Carrabba has one of the sexiest voices out there, and he knows it. They also played some new material, and, like Taking Back Sunday, they too are drifting away from the melodrama they’re known for. One of the new songs was completely acoustic, and frontnman Carrabba performed it solo, giving it a unique and unexpected vibe. I don’t think it gets more emo than Dashboard Confessional. At the end of the show, I was left wondering: “Bro, how many girls have broken your heart?” Apparently, however, the audience could relate—they served as damn near a backup chorus. If you need a direct route back to 2010, the Taste of Chaos has a ticket for you. If you want to see how your favorites have grown, good news, it covers that too. If you haven’t been keeping up with them, it’s time to start: this is not a tour you want to miss. Click here for photos from the show! -Kelly Fox Photos by Shelby Miller