SaosinHappy New Year! What better way to move into a new year than by stepping into a time machine with Saosin? If an Anthony-Green-fronted Saosin doesn’t get your nostalgic radar humming, then perhaps a set from Taken will bring you where you should be.

My night started out with extreme excitement as I waited for Taken to step on stage. I’d heard about Taken, alongside the likes of Thrice and Saosin, while I was a mere sophomore in high school. Back then, I struggled to find a ride to shows (or anyone that even listened to the music I was falling for), so it should come as no surprise that this was my first time seeing Taken perform. I immediately realized what other music fans were missing out on since Taken does not tour. The set was heavy, loud, chaotic, and also very sincere. You can see the passion for music flowing from Taken as they knocked out an intense performance. The last time I saw frontman Ray Harkins behind a microphone was during the Thrice Farewell Tour in this same venue. It was a real special event to finally see him perform in front of his own band, screaming to their own songs. Even more special was that we all got to share the experience with Ray’s 3-year-old son who will now be able to say that his first live show experience was for his own father’s band.

As I mentioned before, I didn’t get out to many shows when I was first really getting into the music scene. The first time I saw Saosin was one of the first shows since Anthony Green had left. After seeing him back with Saosin during last year’s Riot Fest in Chicago, I couldn’t wait to witness this rebirth up front in a small venue. With this set, another throw back to older times surfaced: the pit barrier was moving – this crowd was ready to explode. As soon as Saosin began their performance, it was non-stop singing and crowd-surfing. The action on stage was just as insane, including a literal head-splitting collision. Blood dripped down Green’s face all night as Saosin played all of their debut EP along with some new songs. With a thriving fan base and the promise of new songs, it’s safe to say this blast from the past is looking at a bright future.

Thanks to Ray for allowing me to shoot tonight’s show!