Last night I saw Brand New with Manchester Orchestra and Sybris. It was really a great concert. The sound was stellar. I felt like I could close my eyes and feel at home. Almost everything that happened last night was worth remembering. I won’t try to relive last night, but I will always remember it. Sometimes it will probably seem distant, but maybe in another year I will see Manchester Orchestra or Brand New again and remember.
When I got in line outside of the Uptown Theatre I thought I was hopeless. I was at the end of a fairly long line, and I wanted to at least be able to see Jesse Lacey’s face. Though, when my mom and I got inside the theatre and found floor standing seats I felt a million times better. I wasn’t trying to be too greedy because I know there are bigger fans of Brand New than me, but I was pretty close. Once again my mom pulled me to the side of the stage where the crowd is generally shorter and not so many people fought to get in front of us. I was in the fourth row.
When I looked around, the theatre was set up to look like a little city from the olden days. Think of a theatre fit to present one of Shakespeare’s plays. Picture a theatre with the castles and balconies, the red velvet curtain held up by gold rope, and when you looked at the ceiling it looked like the sky. I swear it’s one of the most beautiful venues I have ever seen.
Sybris came on and I was surprised at how much I liked them. Sybris has a female lead singer. Listening to some of their songs, some of the edgy chords from the guitars my mom pointed out sounded similar to Dead Confederate. But Sybris had a sound very much their own. Think of Alison Mosshart’s vocals for The Dead Weather, but with a raspier tone.
Manchester Orchestra was absolutely fantastic. I cannot believe how many followers they have in Kansas City and how energetic the crowd was. Everyone was screaming the lyrics and pushing back and forth. Two kids behind me where constantly jumping up and down. It made me happy to see how much fun everyone was having. It got annoying when the girl’s ponytail whacked me in the face, but otherwise I loved the vibe. The lead singer seemed so sad. His lyrics seemed like he was saying he had an ache in his heavy heart. I could feel it in his lyrics. People kept shouting, “We love you!” I don’t own any of their albums yet, but after last night I promised myself that when I have the money I will go and buy ALL OF THEM. The acoustics in the theatre were so great, it made everything sound better. (I like my music loud.) Manchester played almost all of their songs from their new record Mean Everything To Nothing. But my favorites were, “Everything to Nothing”, “The River” and “Shake It Out”.
As Manchester Orchestra left the stage, their fans screamed for one more song. No, they didn’t play another song, but the crowd began to push forward. People started shoving and when you are stupid and wear a long sleeved shirt and a hoodie to an indoor venue when you plan on being close to the stage, like me, things get a little hot. “Push forward!” a kid kept yelling. I tried to push back, but nothing was working. I couldn’t keep it up so I told my mom I wanted out. She looked relieved. But when we tried to shoulder our way out, it didn’t work. So instead we got lifted by a bouncer. He told me to turn around so I did. He lifted me up and sat me on the metal railing then he pulled my legs over the railing. It was weird having everyone look at me, but it was for the best in my case I suppose.
We walked back and sat down on the floor. It is much easier to breathe fresh air when you aren’t in an enclosed space. I could smell excessive amounts of beer on some people’s breath and clothes. I could even smell a little pot. And even though these smells are disgusting, in a way they are almost comforting to me. After all, it is a familiar smell of a concert but not necessarily an indoor one. We probably waited around for thirty minutes when the lights went out. Everyone was screaming with excitement and I couldn’t help but let a few girlish screams escape my mouth.
You are probably curious with what song Brand New opened with, and unfortunately I can’t tell you. I can’t tell you this because as much as I love Brand New’s music, I haven’t had the time or money to go out a buy their new record and become acquainted with it. I couldn’t be called a “true” fan, but I know Brand New’s older music quite well. I can sing along with it. It feels like the melancholy soundtrack to my life. — Brand New played a few more tracks from their new record Daisy. I kept hoping Brand New would play a song, any song, from Deja Entendu, when finally they did. I screamed at the top of my lungs when I heard the introduction for “Okay I Believe You, But My Tommy Gun Don’t.” Then after everyone had calmed down for a minute, Brand New launched into “Sic Transit Gloria… Glory Fades.” I was jumping around and I could feel a few people’s eyes on me, but this is my therapy. I was finally somewhere where everyone likes the same music as me and we are all enjoying it.
It made me really happy to see a couple next to me singing along. I knew they were so stoked to be there. This couple was different than the others. They weren’t kissing and feeling each other. They were the couple that knew every word and were singing along together.
Jesse Lacey told us he that he had woken up sicker than he had been in a long time. He said that he might not be able to hit a few notes, and I was almost worried Brand New was going to cut the show short, but thankfully they didn’t. Jesse sounded amazing. His screaming was better live than it was on the recordings. It was much more raw. I could barely see the stage and there was just about no hope I could have gotten one good picture (even with as many exposures and settings as I used). Even though I saw Jesse’s face very seldom, I saw his blue hat and smiled to myself. (I like his hat with flaps better, but any hat will do.)
Brand New had the creepiest set I had ever seen. Sometimes there would be a black and white video playing on a screen behind them. There would be old scenes from movies and pictures. The lighting was either white flashes or an off yellow. Though most of the time the theatre seemed pitch black. When Brand New played “Jaws Theme Swimming” I went insane. I was yelling so loud my voice got lost with all the others. “In car outside, we stalk the idle kind. If you’re leaving just let me know.” We paused our singing and came back in with, “Tobacco and peppermint, dusting the finger prints, a film in her eyes from the glow.” My favorite part of that song is the chorus, “And we learn as we age, we’ve learned nothing, and my body still aches.”
Brand New sang all of my favorite songs. But the best one was most definitely and infinitely “Jesus Christ”. When that song came on I really did close my eyes. Everything about that song is perfection. The lyric, “My bright is too slight to hold back all my dark,” is one of the most brilliant things I have ever heard. The music written for Jesse’s lyrics melts me. — Brand New closed their show with “At The Bottom”.
I promise myself that I will remember that night. I will remember it and eventually experience one of their shows again.