Concert Review: New Found Glory at the Grog Shop

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Last night at the Grog Shop, where the band played two sold-out shows, it was hard to believe New Found Glory guitarist Chad Gilbert when he said it's been ten years since the band played its biggest album, Sticks and Stones, in its entirety. From the beginning of the opening tune, "Understatement," the sold out audience was screaming and jumping along, and by the second song “My Friends Over You,” fans were literally hanging from the ceiling’s rafters and beams. NFG more than matched the audience's energy, a feat for a band playing its second full set in one night. After the original tour stop at Grog Shop sold out in less than an hour, the band booked a later show, something Gilbert said was because shows in Cleveland are always filled with fans “losing their minds.” He also said he recognized many audience members as “repeat offenders” who managed to make it to both sets. When “Head on Collision” had everyone dying to get closer to stage, singer Jordan Pundik welcomed anyone whose “ovaries or nut sacks were being crushed” to hop on stage and walk to the back, something no one took advantage of but instead stuck it out in the front row. Halfway through the set after “Forget My Name,” Gilbert thanked the crowd for “singing so loud we can’t hear anything up here.” The only real pause during the show was after “Singled Out,” and it was just to plug the keyboard back in. NFG finished the album, ending with “The Story So Far.” They came back for a seven-song encore, hitting the highlights of their 2004 album Catalyst, “Truth of My Youth” and “All Downhill From Here.” Pundik put band hiatus rumors to rest, saying, “we’ll tour til we’re 80,” before ending the night with “Hit or Miss (Waited Too Long)” from their 1999 debut album Nothing Gold Can Stay.
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