If I have talked to you in the hours and day following my second Brand New show of this week, you know that it has been beyond incredibly difficult for me to describe this weekend so bear with me.
I took a train to Southampton on Friday afternoon to watch Brand New at Southampton Guildhall for the first time I’ve seen Brand New live since November 2009. It’s safe to say that I was looking forward to seeing them again. I met some people that were on the way to the show and I ended up hanging with a couple of really cool people to watch the show.
The opening bands were pretty good. The Xcerts and I Am the Avalanche put on a couple of good sets. Out of no fault of their own, it was pretty clear that the majority of the crowd just wanted Brand New to play, after having not been on tour for a very long time in the States let alone in the UK. I had talked to a few people who had not been able to see Brand new for over 6 years. The loyalty that Brand New fans have is absolutely incredible.
Brand New put on a fantastic set. The list included almost every song off of The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me, the classics from Your Favorite Weapon, a couple off of Deja Entendu and a couple off of Daisy. It was a great set and I made sure to record its entirety so that you lovely people in America can enjoy Brand New. Below is Soco Amaretto Lime and if you click it you can go to my YouTube Channel and watch the rest of the show.
But what I really want to talk about is the show Brand New put on at The Roundhouse in Camden last night. I am at a general loss for words when it comes to describing how incredible this show was. To start off with, I could tell that this show was going to be a little bit different than others. What I didn’t know, was to what extent it would be different. Because the show yesterday was one of two in London, Brand New changed up the set list and varied the songs that were played from the night before. I could have not asked for a better set list for this show. Opening with Tautou instead of Welcome to Bangkok immediately set my night off right. The first several songs were ones that I had seen on Friday which were all performed perfectly. In the middle of the set is where the change occurred.
After Sic Transit Gloria, Okay I Believe You But My Tommy Gun Don’t, and Guernica was the group of songs I was not expecting to be played at all. Deja Entendu is my favourite record OF ALL TIME so I was really hoping for some songs off of it.
They then played Flying at Tree Level! It was pretty entertaining at the beginning because they were all on different pages as to how the song started because it’s not a song that has been recorded on any of the records. Following the first time I have heard Flying at Tree Level live were several of my favourite Brand New songs. The first group was the best mix off of Your Favorite Weapon: Mix Tape, Jude Law and a Semester Abroad, Seventy Times 7.
I had posted a status earlier in the day saying, “Jesse play Play Crack the Sky pleaseeeeeeee” because even though it had been posted on some of the set lists for the shows for that week he hadn’t played it since opening with it during the first couple of shows. I am so thrilled that Jesse decided to play it. And then what could be better than Play Crack the Sky live? The Boy Who Blocked His Own Shot right after! Jesse improvised the end of TBWBHOS with some lyrics from a Modest Mouse song that sounded as if they fit perfectly with it in the first place. “And I shout that you’re all fake, and you should have seen the look on your face. And I guess that’s what it takes when comparing your belly aches. And it’s been a long time, which agrees with this watch of mine. And I know that I miss and I’m sorry if I dissed you.”
The show could have ended right then and there and I would have been the happiest girl alive, but it just kept getting better.
A beautiful performance of Jesus Christ was next. I am pretty sure that song is too perfect to ever be performed poorly. They then played Bought a Bride which was AWESOME live. Degausser is a fan favourite and is always amazing to see played. I think that out of all Brand New songs, the majority of fans love this song the most. Everyone sings along so loud and it is an incredible experience. Last night, Jesse was so involved in his performance that it was incredibly powerful. The emotions were overflowing as Degausser progressed and it was sure to follow into the final song.
The intro to You Won’t Know lasted around 3 minutes itself. The band was continuously playing instrumentals as Jesse screamed “Hey” at random intervals into his microphone. His eyes were closed and he was swaying with his guitar. The only description I could come up with is that it was as if Jesse Lacey was a cage and his music was fighting its way out of him. The music was flowing out of every inch of his body as the entire crowd was screaming along with him. His microphone fell in half and was facing downward after some guitar riffs toward the end of the song, so Jesse fell to his knees and continued from there. He then grabbed his mic and started rubbing it across his guitar strings to make crazy noises, picked up with guitar and put it on top of his head, and then started tapping it on top of his head. The song was about 10 seconds from ending and then Jesse threw his guitar at Brian’s drum set. “You think I’ll let you down, well I won’t.” You sure as hell didn’t let any of us down, Jesse.
The lights came on to signal that the show was over and Brand New was still standing on stage. Every member took bows and Jesse kept saying “Thank you” for the next minute or so. I believe that they knew that show was as incredible as we thought it was. I have never been to a show that has left me speechless. I am still having difficulty comprehending the intensity of that show. It is a special event when you can tell that a band is putting their entire being into a performance versus just playing a show for you. This is what happened last night at The Roundhouse.
Thank you, Brand New, for giving me the greatest show of my life.