With four stellar performances, the Honda Civic Tour’s recent stop at the Blue Cross Arena was the best deal to hit the Rochester area in months at only $23 per ticket for four action packed hours of punk-style entertainment.

A self-proclaimed “cheap punk band from New York City,” The Disasters’ sound was non-distinctive and that of a traditional punk band. They lacked the spark that successful punk bands need to set them apart from their peers.

While they didn’t exactly steal the show, the band did perform a good short set, and it was much better than a lot of opening bands out there. Because it was their last show, the other bands jumped on stage during their last number, covering them with silly string. By the end of their set, there was some energy in the crowd, preparing them for the awesome show that was to come.

Less Than Jake was up next, and they didn’t just quietly walk on stage – they made an entrance. They stormed on stage in darkness to the “Star Wars” theme song. Creative new lyrics to the song like “these are the voyages of the idiotic band Less Than Jake” set the mood for their 35-minute set and the audience was immediately super-charged with energy.

While their live sound was markedly different from their recorded sound, the songs were still a huge hit with the crowd. The numbers they performed took on a much faster pace than their recordings, which helped, rather than hindered the performance.

The most noteworthy part of their set was Buddy’s performance on the trombone. Using traditional instruments in a non-traditional way shows the talent the band possesses, and the trombone pieces were even more amazing live.

They played a good mix of songs, including favorites like “The Last Time.” The only thing that would have made their performance better was if it had been longer.

Starting each set with a bang became a theme throughout the night as Good Charlotte opened their performance with “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.”

Although the show sometimes took on the feel of a sing-along with the ear piercing shrieks of a young, mostly 13-year-old crowd to their newer hits, the band did play some old favorites like “The Little Things” to keep the older crowd happy.

The band’s series of high-energy numbers was only interrupted when they discussed the impact of suicide on a more serious note. Encouraging fans to stick out the bad times and making promises of better times ahead, the band tried to give their fans hope. They followed up the brief talk with a hope-filled number, “Hold On,” dedicated to friends lost to suicide.

After three hours of entertainment and continuous high energy, the crowd was finally ready for New Found Glory’s five star performance. Kicking off their over one hour long set was “Something I Call Personality.”

In the beginning of their performance the band was letting the crowd do a large portion of the singing, which was initially disappointing because the point of a show is to hear the band perform, not the audience. But after the first few numbers Jordan admitted to the crowd, “I’m having some trouble singing. I ate too much chocolate yesterday.” From that point on he sang a lot more, and the band turned in a flawless performance.

New Found Glory was the ultimate crowd-pleaser, turning in a performance that was truly all about their fans. They played both new hits from their most recent album “Sticks and Stones” like “Understatement,” and an awesome rendition of “Head On Collision” with a powerful, vivid guitar solo, along with some older favorites like “Better Off Dead” and “Dressed to Kill.” But that was only the beginning. The show was interactive, complete with a band-member running through the crowd on the floor, shaking hands and giving high fives. They even asked the crowd if anyone could give them haircuts and participated in the toilet paper throwing that took place throughout the audience.

Adding to their normal repertoire of original numbers, New Found Glory added Peter Cetera’s original hit “Glory of Love” in perfectly transformed punk style. In a successful attempt to humor the audience the band also burst into mini satirical renditions of Eminem’s “Lose Yourself,” immediately followed by 50 Cent’s “In Da Club.”

To wrap up the show, New Found Glory played a crowd-pumping, powerful rendition of their big hit “My Friends Over You.” The entire crowd sang along with the band who made the popular hit seem brand new with tons of energy and strong vocal and instrumental performances.

Attesting to the overall strength and energy of the show was that even after the performance was over and the fans were pouring out of the arena, people kept screaming and yelling, and commenting on the awesomeness of the show. The only disappointing thing about the whole experience was that the Honda Civic Tour only stopped in Rochester for one night.

Egan can be reached at cegan@campustimes.org.

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