New Found Glory Returns Home and Rocks South Florida
Punk rock heavyweights New Found Glory returned home to their roots in South Florida for a Wednesday night sold-out socially distanced concert at The Pavilion at Old School Square in Delray Beach, Florida
In what could be considered a home game of sorts for New Found Glory where the band established itself in 1997 just a short 20 minute ride south on I-95 in Coral Springs, Florida.
With NFG founding members Jordan Pundik on lead vocals, Ian Grushka fingerpicking the bass, Chad Gilbert shredding on lead guitar, Cyrus Bolooki pounding on the drums and touring musician Will Pugh on backing guitar they delivered a spirited high energy punk rock show to South Florida’s concert starved fans with plenty of home cooking that left those who attended this show asking for a second helping.
Without an opening band to get the crowd charged, New Found Glory took the stage and immediately kicked things into high gear delivering a non-stop 90-minute rock show that couldn’t keep frontman Jordan Pundik still as he moved from side to side like a panther having finally been set free from his cage.
This is the type of rock band that leaves nothing to question especially after seeing lead vocalist Jordan Pundik who was full of vim and vigor and immediately took control of the audience and drew them in with his on-stage antics.
The band got things rolling and tapped into their extensive catalog of 10 studio albums including a few from their latest album Forever + Ever x Infinity and cherry picked some of their fan favorite tunes. NFG opened with All Downhill From Here from their fourth studio album. From there they transitioned into Something I Call Personality, Stay Awhile, Greatest of All Time, Understatement, Truth of My Youth before getting into a cover Survivor’s 1982 hit Eye of The Tiger. NFG continued and ripped into Don’t Let Her Pull You Down, Better Off Dead, Sincerely Me, Anthem for the Unwanted, Hit or Miss, Nothing to Say, Listen to Your Friends, Head On Collision. Known for doing a few covers at their shows, the band got into a cover of Kristen Anderson‐Lopez & Robert Lopez’s 2015 single Let it Go. Of course, longtime fans of NFG have come to expect these types of shows after over 20 plus years of high energy punk shows both stateside and across the world. With the city’s 10 pm noise curfew looming, NFG quickly got into Ready & Willing, Happy Being Miserable, Dressed to Kill, Kiss Me, Forget My Name.
New Found Glory hasn’t missed a beat and kept fans on their feet gyrating and dancing in the safety of their pods. Clearly NFG has a solid group of dedicated fans that filled the Covid-19 safe pods to capacity at Old School Square for a night of the band’s very best. Longtime fans sang nearly every song word for word and got exactly what they came for, a non-stop high energy show that kept fans rocking the entire 90-minutes. One thing is for sure, New Found Glory is committed to delivering a fun punk rock show that leaves their ravenous audience wanting more and more. As the band wrapped up the night, it didn’t appear that the fans were done and cheered on New Found Glory for an encore that included three of their most popular songs including Himalaya, Selfless and the bands most commercially successful single My Friends Over You that peaked at the 85 spot of Billboard’s Hot 100 in 2002. On this night, NFG didn’t disappoint and left it all out there.
Credit to Old School Square for not only making sure that everyone attending the show had a great time, but to also provide a safe environment by requiring those in attendance to follow the venue’s strict Covid-19 safety protocols closely. Old School Square was the first South Florida venue to bring back live concerts in a safe outdoor setting that made it possible to stage concerts with some of the biggest names in music, despite the Covid-19 pandemic having shuttered most venues to live in-person shows.
The colorful Ian Gruska came dressed in his usual (unsual) vibrant multicolored shirt that has become his signature look. From the first drum strike to the final bow, both Gruska and Gilbert found themselves jumping up and down like it was 1999 again, perhaps the break was good, they looked fresh and revitalized. It appeared that there wasn’t anything to keep the band from delivering a sampling of the bands very best on a beautiful cool South Florida night. The vibe was there, it’s back and could be felt from the stage front pods to the very back, regardless of your location, the buzz that we all missed has returned. Seeing NFG was common ground for many, for some it was a chance to reconnect with friends or perhaps the opportunity to make some new ones. As live music slowly returns, let’s hope we will see more of New Found Glory as these storied road warriors have already set course on keeping pop punk music alive for the foreseeable future.
All Downhill From Here, Something I Call Personality, Stay Awhile, Greatest of All Time, Understatement, Truth of My Youth, Eye of the Tiger, Don’t Let Her Pull You Down, Better Off Dead, Sincerely Me, Anthem for the Unwanted, Hit or Miss, Nothing to Say, Listen to Your Friends, Head On Collision, Let It Go, Ready & Willing, Happy Being Miserable, Dressed to Kill, Kiss Me, Forget My Name, Encore: Himalaya, Selfless, My Friends Over You