The energy in Webster Hall for As Tall As Lions’ final reunion show on Wednesday, December 30, was palpable. Fans buzzed with excitement, squished together in the venue waiting to get a first glimpse of the boys they haven’t seen play together in five years. In the last couple of years, bands like The Starting Line, The Used, Motion City Soundtrack, and many others from my high school heydays are making their reunion rounds across New York. Nothing had me as excited as this one, though.
I had a few opportunities to see As Tall As Lions in the past, but they all fell through for various reasons. Then they split up, and I was left listening to their enticing falsetto and lulling rifts through my headphones during my morning commute, hoping for a chance to see them live. As soon as I saw their Facebook post announcing reunion shows in California and New York, I bought tickets immediately. It was probably the best way I could have ended 2015.
The second they took the stage, people erupted into smiles and cheers, and the positive vibes didn’t end until well after they took a bow and walked off. Performing for almost two hours straight, the show was a blur of reminiscence from a band that didn’t appear to change much after five years of not playing together. Frontman Dan Nigro and bassist Julio Tavarez complimented one another’s musical styles as well as their senses of humor—watching them perform alongside one another was akin to watching good friends just doing what they loved.
As Tall As Lions played through their entire self-titled album, touching on favorites like “Stab City,” “Milk and Honey,”and, “Maybe I’m Just Tired.” When Dan took out his acoustic guitar to play “I’m Kicking Myself,” the only sound other than his entrancing vocals and his fingers dancing over the chords was the echo of everyone in Webster Hall singing along. And when they played their wildly popular single “Love, Love, Love,” a sea of smiling faces met you in every direction you looked.
After playing through their 2006 full-length, they made sure to touch on a few of their other popular singles, including “Break Blossoms,” which is the point where I officially lost my voice. They also played “Acrobat” from album Lafcadio as well as the opening track from their last album, You Can’t Take it With You, “Circles.”
The night was a whirlwind of nostalgia, Dan’s sweet falsetto vocals, a spunky brass section, and more than a few goofy faces from Julio as he jammed out on bass. The Long Island boys posted earlier this week on their Facebook page about the shows and brought up the questions on everyone’s minds: What exactly does the future hold for ATAL? Right now it seems like it is relatively uncertain, but I’ve got my fingers (and toes) crossed for new releases and more performances.