So this past weekend I had the pleasure of seeing one of the best live performances in recent memory. Nassau Coliseum was lucky enough to be one of the stops on Brand New's tour in support of their new album, Daisy. All of you who are fans of Daisy should stop touching yourselves, Brand New was not the reason I was excited (more on that in a bit). What really got me hot and bothered about this show was the overall lineup.
Round 1: Kevin Divine and His God Damn Band- 30 minutes.
I totally missed his set except for the last song, and unfortunately I'm not super familiar with his material so I can't even tell you what the last song was. What I did see was a collection of enthusiastic musicians doing what they do best: having fun entertaining an audience. If there were any fuck ups in the song, they weren't noticeable. If the rest of their set had half as much energy as the closer, then it was awesome. Well done, sir.
Round 2: Manchester Orchestra- 30 minutes.
One thing I need to mention is how crazy-good the stage crew was. From roadies with the bands to the Coliseum staff, there was maybe a 10 minute wait tops in between performances, and that was awesome because the guy on my left kept trying to talk to me after each band and it was super awkwardtown. Anyway, Manchester Orchestra is another band on the bill I didn't really know too well. I had heard their latest single, and thought it was pretty cool. Remembering back to high school, my friend Armen spoke very highly of the band after each time he saw them play. "Armen, I'm trusting you on this one" I said out loud to the wind as I entered the stadium. Boy was he right! Killer performance, and tunes good enough to make them worth checking out (which I did). If you get a chance to see these guys, do it. Even if you're not into their music, you'll have a good time.
Round 3: Thrice- 45 minutes.
I was dying I was so excited for Thrice. Literally. Their latest album, Beggars, is one of my favorite new releases. I was really into them during my early years of high school while screamo was still the cool thing to do, but put them on the shelf when Vheissu was released (I have since then reconciled with the album and really dig it). But hearing Beggars got me back into them. I'm not the best at remembering set lists (gonna try to write them down from now on), so if you went to the show and I fuck up the song order, give me a break. They opened with All the World is Mad off of Beggars, and then played a song from Vheissu. After that song I turned to my friend Toni and told her that I doubted they would play Silhouette but in the event that they did, she would have to drive my car home because I would have passed out from shitting so many bricks. Sure enough, not five seconds after I finished my sentence I heard an explosive pound on the drums followed by those familiar chugging chords. Nice. They topped off with Artist in the Ambulance, another new song, one song from Alchemy Index, and then closed with the titular track off Beggars. Thrice was everything I hoped they would be and more. Five stars!
Round 4: Glassjaw- 45 minutes.
Glassjaw gave me an erection so hard it exploded. This band is almost as old as I am and way more badass than I can ever even dream to be. Daryl Palumbo has only gotten better as a front man over the years; the control he has over his voice is unreal. Every single member of of Glassjaw gave 100% to this performance. My highlight of the night was Pink Roses. Already an amazing song, seeing it played right in front of me was mind blowing. Whoever did sound at the concert hit his mark with Glassjaw. Every instrument was clear but not so much that it took away from the overall sound. Considering this legendary four-piece is one of the most influential bands still performing, it was nothing short of divine (ha) intervention that I got to see them live. If you ever, Ever, EVER get a chance to see them perform jump on it like a fat kid on cake.
Round 5: Brand New- 1 hour+
They opened with some intro thing and then played a song from Daisy. I wasn't too pleased. I was hesitant. I didn't want to get my hopes up lest they be smashed in front of my face. They played mostly songs from Daisy and Devil & God. Everything they played sounded great, I just wish they played better songs. The three songs from Deja Entendu they played (Okay I Believe You but My Tommy Gun Don't, Sic Transit Gloria, and Play Crack the Sky) were awesome, I have to say. It's always interesting to see how a band applies their growth and maturity to their older songs. The real highlight of their set was definitely their closer, Seventy Times Seven. Even though it's not my favorite off that album (Your Favorite Weapon), and it's one of Brand New's more overplayed songs, the whole band seemed into it and hearing one of their classic tunes really got the crowd going. The energy was high, they played the song flawlessly, and everybody was happy. Except for me. I was mostly pleased.
Overall I had a great time, all of the bands played well. Brand New was not as bad as I feared, but they weren't quite as good as I believe they could have been. Maybe they have legitimate reasons for making the album they did and coming up with the setlist they did. Or maybe Jesse Lacey just needs to put on some big boy pants and realize Deja Entendu was Brand New at their best. Eh, who knows.