There is absolutely no doubt about Taking Back Sunday’s rabid, cult-like following. While these last two live releases (this outing along with 2009’s Live from Bamboozle) may have been mere contractual obligations, it is still with merit that their often memorable live shows be documented in some form or another. Live From Bamboozle was a fairly decent showing of what this band is like on a grand live scale, It was however, rather tacky and lacking (being as it was an iTunes exclusive), but Live from Orensanz is a far more complete offering. Recorded over two New York acoustic shows from Angel Orensanz, this album breathes a more atmospheric feel to their music.
Away from the massive crowds of Bamboozle, the intimate setting gives tracks like “A Decade Under the Influence” and “Cute Without the E (Cut From the Team)” a new kind of appeal. It is refreshing to visit these songs stripped down, proving that they’re very much as good unplugged as they are with the volume turned up to eleven. The set list is a fare representation of their career- sticking to mostly recognized songs from all their releases without any real surprises. It is however, the way some of these songs sound that may be the real surprise, most notably their acoustic cut of “My Blue Heaven” which is just terrific. Live from Orensanz is better than Live from Bamboozle, but I’m sure someday a more complete, extensive live offering from them will be on display. Until then, this isn’t a bad way at all to get out of that pesky major label deal. (Warner Bros)