Review by Ryan Bright
On Wednesday April 20th, 2011 Montclair University had their annual Montclairfest with Florida based band New Found Glory as their headliner. I’ve seen New Found Glory over ten times and this was by far one of their best shows I’ve seen. To begin with, they were playing an auditorium with seats, which is unheard of for a band of their persuasion. Kids were going nuts, stage diving into seats with complete disregard for themselves and their fellow students. NFG played their usual singles (“Head On Collision,” “Forget My Name,” “Hit Or Miss,” etc) and the crowd was singing along in unison. One thing that baffled me though was the lukewarm response to them playing “Dressed To Kill,” a song from their self titled album. They got a better crowd response when they played covers of “Kiss Me” and “Iris.” I can’t stand both of those songs and was rather disappointed because I knew that I would be missing out on some of their fine three-minute gems. I can understand the response though, since this was a college show, most in attendance were probably not true fans and had only heard a few songs. So when they play songs that were Billboard number ones, they could actually sing along and not feel like noobs. One thing that made me happy were the kids who were fans; they went bonkers when they played a Gorilla Biscuits cover, showing their roots. It made me feel like I was at a show where audience participation was encouraged and you were made to feel like part of the band. Chad Gilbert, lead guitarist, was having technical difficulties throughout the night, but mainly because kids kept unplugging his cables while running across stage. They came back with an encore of The Ramones “Blitzkrieg Bop” and finally “My Friends Over You.” Steven Klein, the rhythm guitarist, gave his guitar to a girl mid-song. She danced around and pretended to play with the best look I’ve ever seen on anyone’s face. When “My Friends Over You” played, kids rushed the stage and crowded the band, making it almost impossible for them to finish. I heard one kid outside after the show say, “Bro, I shook New Found Glory’s lead singer’s hand, how many people you know can say that?” I love the accessibility about college shows. You can hang out with band at Chili’s, like one girl I talked to, or jump onstage and rage with them. It’s a show for the kids to let loose and have fun during the stressing weeks near finals, and that’s exactly what it accomplished.