This was night one of two sold out shows at the Electric Factory in Philadelphia. It was also Thrice's last night on the tour (Glassjaw joined the following night). I knew it was going to be a great show at a great venue, and I was not disappointed.
Crime In Stereo was the opening band. I'd heard good things about them, so I was interested to see them. While they had a lot of energy, none of it translated to the crowd - everyone stood stock still while they played. Their singer had a great raw voice, but he just couldn't get the crowd into it. Maybe the crowd was just saving themselves for the headliners. They did note that they were from Long Island, which is probably why they were on the tour. Unfortunately, it's not the first time I've been less than impressed with Brand New's opening act - I actually fell asleep during Colour Revolt's set a few years ago. CIS' set list was:
XXXX (The First Thousand Years Of Solitude)
But You Are Vast
Almost Ghostless/Above The Gathering Oceans
I was very excited for Thrice since I've never seen them before (gasp!) and I have been listening to them for a long time. They came barreling out of the gate and hardly stopped at all. Dustin Kensrue sounded great, and their set was efficient, for lack of a better term. This band clearly knows what they're doing. I was a little disappointed that they didn't play "The Artist In The Ambulance," but I wouldn't want to play one song every night of my life either.
Of Dust and Nations
All The World Is Mad
Helter Skelter (Beatles cover)
A Song For Milly Michaelson
After pushing the break between sets as far as they could, Brand New finally came on stage. It was every bit as good as it always is. Jesse Lacey's voice sounds more raw every time I see them - I'm not sure if it's for effect, or if his voice is just that torn up. They used almost exclusively their own lighting setup - white spotlights from the ceiling, the tops of their amps, and on the floor behind them, plus warmer yellow lights behind them on the side. It created a welcoming but eerie feel. About halfway through the set during "Vices," a projection screen kicked in and began showing disjointed black and white images. I'm not sure if they meant it to begin during that song, or whether that was a technical malfunction. Can anyone comment on that? However, I did this it funny that they used Lyndon Johnson's 1964 "Daisy" campaign ad during the song of the same name. They also appeared to be filming for a live DVD or something - there was one guy running around with a video camera and another with a handcranked camera.
Welcome To Bangkok
You Won't Know
Okay I Believe You, But My Tommy Gun Don't
Sic Transit Gloria
Jude Law And A Semester Abroad
Seventy Times 7
Bought A Bride
At The Bottom
Play Crack The Sky
I think they did a great job of pulling from all their albums, especially Your Favorite Weapon. The crowd of course FREAKED OUT when we were presented with "Jude Law And A Semester Abroad" and "Seventy Times 7" back to back. I thought it interesting that they opened with "Welcome to Bangkok" since they had taken to closing with it. And while they did have a second drummer on stage with them, notably missing was the group jams with a dozen or more people. That is not to say that the show suffered because of it, but it was just different. There was still force and passion behind the songs - very much so. I felt that all the songs across all their albums flowed well with each other, despite the older songs being so different from the new songs. Brand New has learned not only to work a crowd, but how to have them eating out of the palm of their hand. As for me, Brand New shows are always a bit of an emotional experience - sometimes for just remembering what a song used to mean to me, and sometimes just for the sheer force of the music. Because of that, I will never miss a tour, even if I have to go to Philadelphia to catch it.