Saturday night, Coral Springs punkers New Found Glory and three other bands took over the Electric Factory. All the opening acts, RxBandits, H2O, and surprise guest, River City High played energy-packed sets, getting the crowd warmed up for headliner New Found Glory.
Shortly after H2O finished their set, the stage filled with smoke and a spooky Halloween-themed backdrop with giant black light sensitive “New Found Glory” logo was revealed. The band hit the stage to the tune of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” and fans went wild. At one point, a couple fans managed to crowd surf their way onto the stage, and then they jumped off into the crowd before security guards could get to them. It seemed as if everybody knew every word to every song. Some favorites were “Hit or Miss”, “Better Off Dead,” and “Dressed to Kill”. New Found Glory also did their punk version of “That Thing You Do,” and a tribute to the heroes in New York City.
The entire band put on a very animated performance, especially bassist Ian Grushka with his green spiked hair and silly faces. Bouncing shirtless around the stage, Grushka was a highlight of the show. Guitarist Steve Klein was an extremely energetic presence, and lead singer Jordan Pundik was also a crowd pleaser. He took time in the show to sit down and talk to the audience, Pundik acknowledging the fans sitting in the balcony as well as those on the floor.
When the band came back on stage for their encore, guitarist, Chad Gilbert, was no where to be found. A few minutes later, Gilbert reappeared, on stage, wearing a green wig and a fat suit. He decided to be Grushka for Halloween. The collective energy of the band on stage was phenomenal, and could be felt in the balcony as well at the barricades; there wasn’t a moment when they weren’t jumping around.
The fans at this show were also unique, and everybody was there to have a good time. Even the security guards sensed this and were particularly nice. The band picked up on the atmosphere and played louder and stronger. The show might have been sold out, but the guys definitely aren’t sellouts.