“…the audience calm, and cling to every word, eventually taking over singing the song like a drunken choir, and seemingly putting Lacey off his lyrics. But who cares, the mans a legend.”
As the first chords of ‘Welcome to Bangkok’ ring out, myself, and I would imagine most of the crowd, are suddenly 14 again. Taken back to that place in time we first fell for Brand New, reminded of our teen loves and broken hearts, the band being the sound track to those drunken underage parties and our disenchanted younger years. Very few bands from my teen years still appeal to me, but Brand New explain why my love for them is so strong through the course of the show.
Looking around the room as the anticipation builds I find myself as another mismatch in a room full of variety. From 14 year olds in brand new Brand New shirts, to the Wiccan odd ball in front off me, to people like myself the post-emo veterans holding on to youth with white knuckles and teary eyes.
The atmosphere was electric as the band stepped on stage and began “Welcome to Bangkok”, ploughing through to ‘The Archers Bows have Broken’, ‘Millstone’, and ‘Sowing Season’ until there was a problem with Derick Shermans guitar we the found Jesse filling the time with talk of his day in Manchester, explaining his great “Luncheon” and the fact that they have spent all day napping, he is a very humble and seemingly shy character (hidden bellow a baggy beanie) and despite the chat only being a filler for an onstage mishap the crowd are transfixed with what he has to say. As Derrick’s guitar comes back to life, Jesse apologises for wearing the same clothes tonight as he has for the last two shows, “I smell good though” he reassures us.
As we get to the fifth song, the crowd are gripped by the throbbing bass line of ‘Vices’ and are whipped up into frenzy. Moving onto ‘Sink’ another bass heavy beast of a song we can see just how great a bassist Garret Tierney really is ripping in to his bass with endless energy.
Rolling on to ‘Sic transit Gloria… Glory Fades’ the band are joined by a riot of vocals from the audience, followed up by ‘Okay I Believe You But My Tommy Gun Don’t’ the whole first verse taken over by the audience, the band seeming stunned by this looking at each other with confussed faces. A nice reminder that the band don’t quite realise just how good they really are.
The bands stage show was perfect, understated lighting and dry ice, nothing fancy just us and them, the way a good rock show should be. Yet another reason to see them live, it’s all about the music.
As ‘Jude Law and a Semester Abroad’ got started the room erupted once more in to a fury, not a body in the place wasn’t dancing. Following up with ‘Seventy Times 7’ only added to the atmosphere. Again taking people back to 2002 with the emo anthem.
Pausing at this point to ask the crowd ‘Play Crack the Sky’ or ‘Soco Amaretto Lime?’ Jesse asks for a clap vote, ‘Soco Amaretto Lime’ being the unanimous winner, the audience calm, and cling to every word, eventually taking over singing the song like a drunken choir, and seemingly putting Lacey off his lyrics. But who cares, the mans a legend.
Working through ‘Limousine’ to ‘Jesus’ we again find the crowd taking over the show to the bands delight. “Jesus Christ that’s a pretty face” bellowing from the moving mass of bodies.
As the show draws to a close we get ‘Degausser’ and finally ‘You Won’t Know’. With a towel over his head Lacey is an ominous presence on stage, considering the haunting Echo and the Bunny Men style to the tune, the tone drops and once again we are all hypnotised by Lacey’s presence. As the bass and drums pick up we are once more consumed with the need to dance, and we do, en masse! The whole room once again and for the last time turbulent and exhaustedly dancing like it is the last night on earth. As the song trails off the rest band quietly leave stage leaving Jesse behind to drop to his knees for the final solo then knock the mic stand over and throw his guitar through the drum kit.
A quick nervous “We will see you next year” and mention of a new album coming up excites the crowd and, with that, Jesse leaves the stage. The house lights suddenly blind us all and we quickly realise there will be no encore, a little disappointing given how good a show it has been. A large knot in my chest had me hoping in vane that they might come back with an acoustic and bring us to climax with ‘I Will play my Game Beneath the Spin Light’ or ‘Boy Who Blocked His Own Shot’. Missing ‘Guernica’ also left a few people disappointed but what will be will be, despite the lack of encore and a missing favourite the crowd leave sweaty and entirely satisfied, already buzzing with talk of next years gig.
Glory Fades… but not for Brand New, I am exited and refreshed, looking forward to what lies ahead for the talented gents from Long Island.
– Nick Matthew