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New Found Glory Opened Acoustic Tour With a Winner in Saint Louis Saturday

New Found Glory performing at Delmar Hall in Saint Louis Saturday. Photo by Greg Artime.

 

–by Vicki Lee and Randy Thompson

–photos by Greg Artime

 

New Found Glory kicked off their “Make The Most of It Tour” in the Gateway City with a sold-out performance at Delmar Hall on Saturday night.

Imagine having the most energetic, jump up-and-down, power pop punk band in history unplugging in front of you. We all knew it was coming. We heard this last album and now, here it was, right there in front of us. An extremely talented lead singer, and three acoustic guitars with no drums when the lights came up.  New Found Glory had taken the stage and their new tour had begun.

New Found Glory performing at Delmar Hall in Saint Louis Saturday. Photo by Greg Artime.

Everybody knows that this could not possibly work, unless you are New Found Glory. What they gave the audience tonight was a chance to be part of the music. They played with the same energy, heart, and skills that they have presented in the past but this time, they had a mission. They wanted the audience to sing along, hear every single lyric, and connect on a different level than ever before.  And sing the audience did, from the opening verse of “Get Me Home” to the last lines of “Dream Born Again”, the fans were with the band song after song.

New Found Glory performing at Delmar Hall in Saint Louis Saturday. Photo by Greg Artime.

We were fortunate to be sitting next to diehard fans, Sara and Chris. They felt the same energy that they have at previous concerts when the band was fully electric and pounding out the sounds. They were pleased with this new approach. Apparently, so were the other members of the sold-out audience who clamored for more songs that they could sing, clap, and sway along with.

The most personal aspect of this performance was related to the cancer diagnosis of guitarist Chad Gilbert. He suffers from a very rare form of cancer that attacks the lungs; Pheochromocytoma. Remarkably, he was able to participate fully in this concert, sometimes seated and sometimes walking with other members of the band. It is amazing and gratifying how this band has circled around their guitarist and his family to produce an album that touches on the pain, loneliness, boundless fear, growing love and appreciation that comes from such an experience.

New Found Glory performing at Delmar Hall in Saint Louis Saturday. Photo by Greg Artime.

Several of the songs from their just released album, Make The Most Of It, were written specifically to describe and share this experience with the audience who they connect with so deeply. Some songs that come to mind from the album that brings us on this journey with the band, include “Watch The Lilies Grow”, (dedicated to Gilbert’s daughter, Lily), “Mouth To Mouth”, (his wife resuscitating him when she first found him unresponsive), and “Kiss The Floor”. It is important to note that a percentage of proceeds from the album go to the Pheo Para Alliance for research and development on this rare cancer. Also during each show of this tour a Taylor Mini Mahogany acoustic guitar with custom NFG pick guard will be raffled off to an audience member to raise money.

New Found Glory performing at Delmar Hall in Saint Louis Saturday. Photo by Greg Artime.

There was a lot of joking between the band members and engagement with the fans as the concert progressed. And at the beginning of the encores Leanna Firestone, who opened the show, was invited back to the stage. She played keyboards and backed up on “Sonny” and “I Don’t Wanna Know”.  The audience was obviously pleased with the full effect of the change by a band that was brave enough to switch things up after a storied 27-year career, cheering until the last notes faded and the lights came up.  Bravo to you, New Found Glory, carry on!

Aforementioned Leanna Firestone opened the concert bravely sitting in front of an enthusiastic crowd on the first night of a brand-new tour with just her acoustic guitar and her voice to carry her forward. She is a well-known TikTok star with over 700,000 followers. Her music is a blend of pop and narrative lyricism related to her past experiences. She was humorous in her approach and the audience fully accepted her honesty and candor. The audience knew and sang along with her on “Least Favorite Only Child” one of her early hits.

Leanna Firestone performing at Delmar Hall in Saint Louis Saturday. Photo by Greg Artime.

Leanna has a beautiful singing voice and writes lyrics with truth and honesty. Her music has a coffee house vibe. There is a mellow, sweet, and thoughtful essence in her songs. She wasn’t afraid to face a broken heart or share that with us, knowing that we have all been there at one time or another. She also sang her newest EP Public Displays of Affection in its entiretyThe beauty in Leanna’s songs is that what she shares in her lyrics is what we feel when she sings her songs, it’s all out front in her songwriting in the manner of a Joni Mitchell or Jewel.  Her future as an on-stage performer seems to be assured because of her ability to give herself fully and artistically. Leanna is a talented acoustic guitarist with meaningful lyrics and a gorgeous voice.

 

 

New Found Glory Set List:

Get Me Home

Hit or Miss

Understatement

On My Mind

Mouth to Mouth

My Friends Over You

Reasons

Broken Sound

Too Good to Be

It’s Not Your Fault

All Downhill From Here

The Story So Far

No News Is Good News

Dressed To Kill

Ready & Willing

Iris (Goo Goo Dolls cover)

Kiss the Floor

Encore:

Sonny

I Don’t Wanna Know

More and More

I’ll Be (Edwin McCain cover)

Dream Born Again

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