LIVE REVIEW: Brand New @ The Paramount

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When Brand New announced, out of nowhere, that they would be playing all of their discography at four shows–two on the west coast and a two on the east–fans flipped out exactly how you would expect them to. The internet exploded, the tickets sold out in minutes, and most everyone was half furious, half depressed that they couldn’t get tickets (or buy $200+ scalped ones on Stubhub).

Long Island gave birth to the game-changer band in 2000, and Brand New hasn’t given up on their fans since then. Unfortunately, a good number of the fans gave up on the band at last night’s show.

Let’s get one thing clear: it was never announced that the albums would be played in chronological order.

Dressed in hoodies like they haven’t aged at all, Brand New stepped on stage in low lighting and watched as the first chord of “Sowing Season” stunned a crowd expecting Your Favorite WeaponThe Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me is for screaming pent-up anger; being in a room full of fans who did just that was frightening. The crowd took over the background vocal parts, singing the “whoas” of “Millstone” louder than the lyrics and the echoes of “your rope” in “You Won’t Know” — so loudly that my fear of being too loud was laughable when I couldn’t distinguish my own voice from those around me.

Jesse Lacey was mildly moody throughout the evening, but only became more so as the set progressed. Yeah, his neck veins are going to jump out when he screams “Jesus Christ,” but flipping his red hoodie back up for “Welcome to Bangkok” was like the unspoken middle finger fans expected. It’s the type of uncensored anger the album bleeds through and through.

The first stage banter spoken was a quiet, “Hi, we’re Brand New. We’re from right up the road,” from Lacey four songs in, followed by a nervous explanation after Devil and God about playing two albums in full and B-sides.

“Fork and Knife” saw guitarist Vincent Accardi (who was absolutely shredding the entire night and threw his guitar in the air during “You Won’t Know”) take over the keyboard while Lacey held his arm bashfully (later putting his hands on his hips and squinting at his performance, saying “I always feel like I’m supposed to be doing Mariah Carey runs through that and I can’t do that.”) followed by an emotional performance of “Brothers.”

After chants from part of the crowd for DejaBrand New paced the stage while the opening “On Life’s Highway” clip of “Vices” played. Despite Accardi stage diving into the crowd, guitar and all, on the first note, half the room couldn’t be more displeased that Daisy was the second album to be played.

Out of four very different, charismatic albums, it’s no secret that Daisy gets the most hate. I don’t understand how fans could be disappointed though when Brand New gave incredibly strong performances of “Bought a Bride,” “Gasoline,” and “You Stole” (not to mention a vicious version of “Sink”) — and that they scored tickets to the show in the first place. Last night’s albums are ones written for the live setting. They’re too raw and unfiltered to be heard anywhere other than when surrounded by hundreds of people in the same frenzy as you, led by the patron saint of temper and indignation himself. The few bitter fans remaining were offered an encore of a feedback-filled, instrumental “Untitled.”

For the Long Islanders who’ve grown up with Brand New (and dub themselves as “only the crowd who made you“), try not to talk through the whole show for fans who drove across multiple states to hear full albums from the band they love.

Watch a few videos from the show below:

 

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  • K. Bennett

    I have seen brand new twice now. Once touring for The Devil & God and once for Daisy. Never disappointed. Always on point and amazing. They could play nothing but Daisy and I would be stoked to get to see them again.