They’re mad, bad and dangerous to know, New Found Glory and their “Pop Punk’s Still Not Dead Tour” is landing at the House of Blues, Anaheim for two nights of mayhem on Wednesday, September 8th and 9th.
The tour was first announced in February 2020, with headliners New Found Glory and Simple Plan. Of course, as with just about every tour from last year, it was indefinitely postponed due to COVID-19. Fans of both bands were excited to see that the tour was relaunched in May of this year and would travel through most of the country over the summer.
However, just a few months later and before the first show of the tour, it was announced that Canada’s Simple Plan were no longer part of the lineup, “due to unforeseen circumstances.” The good news for fans of this tour is they have been replaced by ska-punk legends, Less Than Jake.
Hailing from Coral Springs, Florida New Found Glory is a pop-punk band that originally formed in 1997, releasing their debut album just two years later. Despite receiving moderate success, it wasn’t until the release of their self-titled album distributed by Drive-Thru Records and MCA in 2000, that the band began to enjoy mainstream success. Locally, the band saw heavy rotation of their music video, “Hit or Miss,” which also became a staple on alternative and modern rock radio stations, such as The World Famous KROQ.
The album would eventually surpass 500,000 sales, and this success poured over into their new album, “Sticks and Stones.” Released in 2002, “Sticks and Stones” would go on to sell over a million copies, led by MTV and radio-hits such as “My Friends Over You” and “Head On Collision.” Their next effort, “Catalyst” released two years later would also achieve gold status. The band, consisting of Jordan Pundik (lead vocals), Ian Grushka (bass), Chad Gilbert (lead guitar, backing vocals), and Cyrus Bolooki (drums), has continued to produce new music recently dropping their tenth full-length album, “Forever + Ever x Infinity,” just last year.
Often referred to as “the kings of pop punk” or even “grandfathers of pop-punk” their influence over the last 24 years is evident with bands that have come after them, as their inspiration is reflected not only in their sound but even their namesake, such as All Time Low and The Story So Far (both derived from New Found Glory song titles).
There’s no doubt that NFG has an electrifying sound, so much so, their fans still love songs from their 2011 album, Radiosurgery. The album paid homage to the Ramones and their cover of “Blitzkrieg Bop” which fans still ask for to this day at their shows. There’s also their sleeper hit “Anthem for The Unwanted.”
Five years before New Found Glory would play their first show, and just a couple of hours North of their hometown, a young guitarist and vocalist named Chris DeMakes began writing songs with friend and drummer, Vinnie Fiorello for the second time since first meeting. The two had grown up together and eventually started a band called Good Grief before disbanding and eventually forming Less Than Jake in 1992. After recruiting bassist and co-lead vocalist, Roger Lima, saxophonist, Jessica Mills, and trombonist, Buddy Schaub Less Than Jake had their lineup set and released their debut album, “Pezcore” in 1995. And yet, much like New Found Glory, it wasn’t until their second and third releases, “Losing Streak” and “Hello Rockview,” respectively, in 1996 and 1998 that the band started to reach a wider audience and radio play.
Songs such as “Automatic,“ “Dopeman,” and “History of a Boring Town” merged together a perfect blend of third wave ska and punk. Shortly after completing their fourth album, “Borders & Boundaries,” in 2000, the band recruited saxophonist, Pete Wasilewski, formerly of the Connecticut ska band, Spring Heeled Jack. Despite lineup changes along the way, this current lineup would remain intact for nearly two decades. Less Than Jake also released an album last year, Silver Linings, their ninth thus far. This marks the first album for the band since drummer and co-founder Fiorello’s departure, who notably was their main lyricist. For this latest outing, lyrical duties were handled by DeMakes and Lima. Less Than Jake is doing double duty as they’ll be playing the Brew Ska Ska this weekend.
New Found Glory approaches their 25th year as a band next year, while Less Than Jake nears their 30th; both bands have managed to continue making music, remain relative and all the while build a steady and growing fanbase. The night will kick off with openers Hot Mulligan and Lolo.