Brand Fucking New

This weekend made me realize that I have a lot higher expectations for singers who don’t play instruments than I have with those who do.
I went to see the Crime In Stereo/Glassjaw/Brand New show at the Kool Haus on Sunday evening, and once again (just like with that band at the last Hostage Life show - see review) I found myself hating on the singer from Crime In Stereo because he was not keeping me entertained throughout the set. He had a big voice despite his langliness, but the moves he was trying to pull off were funny to watch, almost as if he was wasted. I’m also pretty sure he was making out with the mic at one point. On top of that I wasn’t sold on his vocals, the yelling/screaming was good, but the lower vocals and especially the high “singing” just made me want to murder my ear drums. What did finally sell me on him though was when he left the stage to showcase the musicians in the band during a musical breakdown, and all I have to say to that my friend is Respect! The drummer was fantastic and the way the band was positioned on stage, not facing the crowd but facing each other towards the middle rather made things really interesting to watch. There couldn’t have been a better band to open this show, when the singer hit the right notes yelling and/or screaming he totally hit it and they ended up sounding at times like new Brand New, just enough that it really got my tits shakin for the rest of the show.
Next came the legendary Glassjaw, for my first time ever, and yet another singer sans instrument. My tough judgment had nothing on Daryl, he was one singer who I would rather see without anything in hand but the mic alone. I couldn’t stop staring at him, even when he would stand with his back to the audience singing he was completely enthralling. Avoiding center stage as much as possible, the set up was remotely the same as the band before and the change in dynamics did wonders to showcase the musicianship of the group entirely rather than soloing out one front man. This seemed to work well for Daryl, and as much as I hate hate hate Twilight and am going to regret making this comparison, he had the sort of Robert Pattinson appeal that all the girls piss their pants over these days. Decked out in tucked in, very unexpected, business casual wear, he had the vocals and the looks that could make any girl or boy’s heart bleed, at times crooning to the audience with a sly smile on his face and at others screaming so hard that you thought he was going to lose his insides on the stage. All the tracks were on point to album quality, and performing songs from Everything You Ever Wanted To Know and Worship And Tribute, they pumped out so many amazing tracks like “Ape Dos Mil”, “Cosmopolitan Bloodloss”, “Two Tabs of Mescaline” and “Eliminator” which made me crap my pants in awe. Despite compromising the 5 piece into a tighter 4 piece with 2 newer members (bass player and drummer) with the 2 remaining original members (Daryl Palumbo and Justin Beck), the band seemed to have a new love for playing despite being on a semi-hiatus for years. Justin rocked both the lead and rhythm rolls and more than once made me question whether he was truly human, or merely a guitar playing robot fiend. It was by far one of the most intimate live shows I have ever been to, especially for a venue as huge as the Kool Haus. It was almost as if they were having a jam session that they allowed the public to view, each one playing so effortlessly and care free. The drummer was on the ball with every cymbal crash, every pause, and needless to say I was blown away by the pure brilliance of their set. They even made a joke about being Agnostic Front, and won my heart over double for it.
If I wasn’t anticipating Brand New so hard I would have been more upset that Glassjaw’s set seemed to end way too soon. I have too admit though I was nearly shitting bricks of anticipation waiting for the love of my high school life to take the stage. And mother fucker we had to wait for what felt like FOREVER. They love making the audience sweat as they take their sweet ass time back stage “getting ready”. As the lights darkened finally the smell of stretched ear cheese filled the venue… or maybe that was just me… the intensity of their performance started the moment they walked on the stage. Starting off with a new song and proving once again that the pure emotional energy portrayed in their later albums comes through triple in their live show. A theatrical rush radiates from their set that is almost incomparable. With not one but two drummers and one of the best guitarists I’ve ever witnessed, fingers moving along the frets like magic, and one of the most interesting bass players to watch, grooving and rocking out and making great use of the stage, never standing in the shadows… and Jesse… oh Jesse. His vocals were dead on live, and the changes he made, mostly in the older songs, to spice things up were perfect; speeding up “Sic Transit Gloria, Glory Fades” and slowing down “Mixtape”, while changing the levels of vocals, switching the singing for screaming in some parts and vice versa, nothing was expected and it made for an epic performance. Too bad they, mostly Jesse, come off like such pompous rock star assholes at all of their shows. I guess it works for them though. Literally every person in the Kool Haus was singing along to every song, especially the few older ones like “Okay I Believe You But My Tommy Gun Don’t”, “Jude Law And A Semester Abroad”, and “Seventy-Times Seven” which were clearly the favourites for most. However, a surprising amount of people were still singing along to the rest of the set which included a wide variety off of (my personal favourite) The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me, and when (my personal favourite) “You Won’t Know” came on I could have died a happy gal. Not overdoing the latest album, Daisy, yet still playing the best tracks like the title track “Daisy”, “You Stole”, and “At The Bottom”, the crowd was a lot more diverse and loving of the band than they were the last time I saw them just after The Devil And God… came out and nobody seemed willing to hear it. The most memorable part of the show for me was when “Limousine” started with just Jesse standing solo on stage with his acoustic guitar, and as the song progressed the drums and guitar rolled quietly in the background and the intensity of the performance threatened to crack each fan watching with their mouths gaped open until it finally dove into heavy emotional bliss. And then my least favourite part of the show happened.. they turned on the projector behind the stage to very disturbing images, including one of this huge fucking spider that made me want to puke up all the beer in my stomach. Gah! After literally an hour and a half of playing with little pause, they ended their set with Jesse alone on stage again singing a slower, broken down, seductive version of “Play Crack The Sky” with the guitarist crooning out background vocals, and the crowd literally went so crazy that Jesse had to shushhh them in order to finish the song.
It was EPIC.

I'm Sarah, I do what I want.
It's Chris James Bitch!