New Found Glory + Hawthorne Heights @ L’Astral – 14 November 2019

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It truly feels like all the Pop-Punk bands from my middle school and high-school days have been on tour this Fall, and the angsty teenage boy in me is back, with this time New Found Glory and Hawthorne Heights taking over Montreal’s L’Astral for an evening!

As I made my way a few minutes before Hawthorne Heights started their set, the venue was already packed and I got a decent seat on the balcony, a comfy spot allowing me to see the show and the roaming crowd perfectly.

Ohio’s favourite post-hardcore band Hawthorne Heights played a great 8-song-set, with all the good oldies I know by heart, starting with “Niki FM”, from The Silence in Black and White. I’ve lost count of all the times I saw the band, whether it’s in festivals like the Vans Warped Tour, Montebello’s Rockfest or at some other shows around Montreal so I knew exactly what to expect from their performance and they simply delivered what I was expected from there. Nothing more, nothing else. However, I won’t lie, the crowd was pretty disappointing. From where I was sitting, I only saw a dozen people really being into their set, singing along “Saying Sorry”, “Pens and Needles”, or “Just Another Ghost”. The rest of the crowd felt a bit too robotic, standing there and waiting for their set to be over, I even saw a guy in the front row yawning a few times throughout their set… I felt bad for JT Woodruff and al, who performed really well.

Sure, they don’t really have anything new to offer, even though they still played a couple of songs from their 2018’s album Bad Frequencies. But let’s be honest, after roughly 20 years in the scene, when they aren’t headlining, the crowd only wants the oldies that they can sing along to, hence why they ended with the one and only “Ohio Is For Lovers”. The band wanted us to leave all negativity outside and to have fun that night (as per JT Woodruff’s words in between songs) and that’s exactly what we did.

New Found Glory was next and last on stage. After making us wait roughly thirty minutes with epic songs including the one and only Smash Mouth’s Allstar, it was finally time for Jordan Pundik, Chad Gilbert, and al to make their way on stage… oh wait, did I mention we had the pleasure to also see Yellowcard’s Ryan Key playing guitar for them?!? I wasn’t aware he’d be there so it was so wholesome to see him there, especially as it’s been a while since I saw him performing live, which was probably back at the Vans Warped Tour years ago.

It was my first time seeing NFG live, so I was looking forward to it and they didn’t disappoint, at all. The band was touring in support of their latest covers album entitled From The Screen To Your Stereo 3, via Hopeless records, which meant that we would hear a lot of covers that night, which we did, with roughly a third of their songs being covers.

They started off with “This Is Me” (Benj Pasek & Justin Paul cover), followed by original songs “Understatement” and “Truth of My Youth”. The crowd was so much more receptive to their set, and you could easily tell that they were here for New Found Glory and nobody else (or at least that’s the feeling I’m getting from that evening). They delighted the crowd with a total of eight covers (out of twenty-two songs overall) with also Counting Crows’ “Accidentally in Love”, Frozen’s “Let It Go” (for which Jordan dressed up as Elsa which was hilarious), Go West’s “King of Wishful Thinking”, Sixpence None the Richer’s “Kiss Me”, Christina Perri’s “A Thousand Years”, Goo Goo Dolls’ “Iris”, and Huey Lewis and the News’ “The Power of Love”.

Frontman Jordan Pundik dressed up the part for every single cover which made each cover quite entertaining, with dialogues from each movie to put us into context. The band also played some of their most famous songs, with “All Downhill From Here”, “Vicious Love” (with Kelc Galluzzo of Jetty Bones who did an amazing job singing Hayley Williams’ part!), “Hit or Miss”, “Head On Collision”, and the best of all, “My Friends Over You”, for which the crowd was jumping around and singing in unison with the band, making it an unforgettable moment for everyone.

Even though the venue wasn’t ideal in my opinion, with an okay sound and logistics that could be highly improved (taking over 40 minutes to get my jacket back from the coat check post-show), New Found Glory gave a memorable performance that was worth every penny the crowd paid.

Hawthorne Heights setlist

  • Niki FM
  • Where Can I Stab Myself in the Ears?
  • Crimson Sand
  • Pens and Needles
  • The Transition
  • Saying Sorry
  • Just Another Ghost
  • Ohio Is for Lovers

New Found Glory setlist

  • This Is Me (Benj Pasek & Justin Paul cover)
  • Understatement
  • Truth of My Youth
  • Accidentally in Love (Counting Crows cover)
  • All Downhill From Here
  • Better Off Dead
  • Forget My Name
  • Listen to Your Friends
  • Let It Go (Kristen Anderson-Lopez & Robert Lopez cover)
  • Something I Call Personality
  • King of Wishful Thinking (Go West cover)
  • At Least I’m Known for Something
  • Kiss Me (Sixpence None the Richer cover)
  • A Thousand Years (Christina Perri cover)
  • Failure’s Not Flattering
  • Dressed to Kill
  • Vicious Love (with Kelc Galluzzo of Jetty Bones)
  • Iris (Goo Goo Dolls cover)
  • Hit or Miss
  • The Power of Love (Huey Lewis and the News cover)
  • Head on Collision
  • My Friends Over You

Review – Maxime Le Huidoux 

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