Pop Punk Defenders, Man Overboard, Return for 10 Year Anniversary

BY MAYA GEORGI

Back in 2016, Man Overboard announced their hiatus. After leaving such a prominent mark on the pop punk scene, the news was a huge blow for devoted fans and defenders of pop punk. But after two years of being gone, Man Overboard came back for a brief moment.

The band announced their short, three-show tour in August which later extended to five shows with three more dates added in New Jersey. From November 28th to December 2nd, "the band from New Jersey" toured around the East Coast to celebrate their 10 year anniversary of becoming a band.

Though Man Overboard played at two separate venues in Jersey, their real performance home is Philly. On December 1st, Man Overboard made its second to last stop on their tour and came home to perform at the Theater of Living Arts. Before a revitalizing performance, though, lead singers, Nik Bruzzese and Zac Eisenstein, fielded questions as a part of the Q&A portion of ticket upgrade packages. As per usual with the band, the two were unapologetic, humorous, and truly thankful for the people that not only came out to Philly on a rainy night, but who also purchased the upgrade.

During the Q&A, Bruzzese and Eisenstein filled fans in on the events that took place during their hiatus with Bruzzese explaining, "We're real people now." Bruzzese also informed fans that his three-year-old daughter, born during the hiatus, would be in attendance for her first Man Overboard show. The guys revealed their favorite songs to play live ("Montrose" for Nik, and "Al Sharpton" for Zac) and commented on the rebranding of their guns and hearts logo. Recently, Man Overboard changed the famous logo to two roses crossing over a heart instead of two guns. "There's a lot of gun violence in this country and we don't fuck with it," Eisenstein explained. The two performed a few acoustic songs, but nothing compared to what was to come.

From the first strike of a chord, it was clear that Man Overboard was back and better than ever; a hiatus had nothing on them. They opened with angsty favorite, "Atlas" from their sophomore album with undeniable excitement. Bruzzese also walked out with his little girl in his arms in an adorable nod to one of his greatest accomplishments in the two years away from music.

The guys played all the crowd favorites like "Love Your Friends, Die Laughing," "Montrose," and "Dead End Dreams," with all the fervor of their prime, maybe even more. Towards the latter end of their set, Man Overboard ignited the crowd's nostalgia with old songs like "World Favorite" and "Fantasy Girl," which haven't always made the setlist cut. It was clear that the guys were giving it everything they had; they barely stopped between songs to fit their lengthy setlist in the allotted venue time. Though they were sweating profusely, the band did it for the fans that were equally enthusiastic.

The crowd was thrilled to welcome them home to Philly by crowd surfing and moshing constantly. Some fans travelled from as far as California just to see Man Overboard once again. During a brief break between songs, a group of fans yelled out the Eagles chant in reference to the team's Super Bowl win. For "Love Your Friends, Die Laughing," Bruzzese and Eisenstein could hardly be heard over the sounds of the crowd singing along for the entirety of the song. All the chaos culminated to the last, most popular song, "Rare" in which fans seemed to continuously fling their bodies over the crowd to get closer to Man Overboard, maybe as thanks for their favorite band blessing the TLA stage once more.

"We were always appreciative, but we had some time away. I can tell you 100%, I appreciate every single one of you as individuals for taking your night and doing this with it. That's a pretty good deal for me, and for all of [the band]… so thank you," Zac told fans.

Lead Image Credit: Man Overboard / Instagram