I’ve been telling my friends for years now that if there’s one band for me that can do no wrong, it’s got to be Taking Back Sunday. So when the idea for this e-zine started to come to fruition and we all decided to do our on pieces on why we have these bands that can do no wrong, I thought it would be an easy article to write. Then I sat down and I stared at the computer for over half an hour trying to decide exactly what it was about Taking Back Sunday that I love so much, so fully, and so completely. The answer came just as I got frustrated with my inability to write things down, I don’t know.
I’ve looked back and really, I just kind of knew one day, possibly after a concert of theirs, or maybe just some random event, that when I said “Taking Back Sunday, God I love them. They can’t do anything wrong as far as I’m concerned,” that I meant it, and they really are the one band that I think I’ve always been able to count on. But, it’s possible that I’m getting ahead of myself here, so let’s take it back.
I remember it was on December 9, 2003, when I first heard them. The TV was playing in the background as I sat at the computer and was chatting away. I had just turned seventeen and wasn’t paying attention to much at all when from the television came the words, “The truth is you could slit my throat, and with my one last gasping breath I’d apologize for bleeding on your shirt.” I barely was able to pay attention to the printed words on the screen that told me who the artist was, but I caught it. And I remember that Christmas that I got a ridiculous amount of money that I spent on CD’s and I made sure that Taking Back Sunday was one that I bought.
The power went out a few days after I bought that CD, and I turned on my little Discman and laid in bed, half asleep, completely entranced by every note and every lyric that played through my ears. I listened to Tell All Your Friends, from start to finish, five times through that first day. Totaling about two and a half hours spent listening to, and loving, every single song on that album. From that day in December when I heard them I was hooked.
It’s hard for me to explain, but after I learned of the initial split, yeah I turned into a Straylight Run fan, too, but this article isn’t about them. My first Taking Back Sunday show experience didn’t happen until that summer when I saw them on Warped Tour, and in that year alone, I saw them four times, and I bought Where You Want To Be the day it came out, and that album suffered the same fate Tell All Your Friends did, and I listened, and I loved. Louder Now, the same way. I bought that one three times, mostly because of the DVDs being released then the release of part two, and just the band as people, and the band as musicians, I love them all. Past, present, future. I can forgive them for New Again, but my opinions on the personal lives and the influence that has over their music, well, that’s not really my job to talk about. The point of this all I suppose is just to reiterate that Taking Back Sunday has been there for me since I was seventeen, and that was six years ago now.
They’re still here for me today, through the more angsty sounds of the older days, to the more deep lyrics of today. There’s nothing, through their faults and successes that I would change about the men behind the music. They mean more to me than I could ever hope to explain to them, and I’ve been listening to them through the hardest parts of my life. My parents divorce, my first loves, my first heartbreaks, they played on my stereo the day I started college, and the day I dropped out. When my heart was first broken, shattered, presumably beyond all repair, it was Where You Want To be that I turned to to pull through and help me.
I can’t even think of one song or one moment when I knew it was true and that I would love this band more than anything in the world. It just occurred to me, out of the blue as I was telling my friend, and the original one I can’t even remember, that they, this little band that I’ve seen grow up and explode from the Boardwalk, which is a little hole-in-the-wall place, to sold out arenas. I’m proud of them, and there’s nothing about them that I would change. No matter who tries to shake me on this, telling me that so-and-so was an asshole, or so-and-so is an alcoholic, or tells me the things that may or may not be going on in their personal lives, which by the way I don’t give a crap about and to me doesn’t make one a fan, that changes nothing about their music to me (plus, at one point in time I’d met every member, none had been anything less than a perfect gentleman), or the meaning behind it.
So this is for you, Taking Back Sunday. You’re it for me. I trust you, even though it goes without saying, you do no wrong when it comes to my heart. I’ll stand by your music until you push me away. Even then I’ll probably come back. I thank you for your music and its influence over my life. You can’t do anything wrong, in my little heart of hearts.
(photo taken from TBS Union)