Brand New are too cool for me.

Whether you love a band or haven’t heard them before it’s usually pretty easy to sit back and enjoy yourself when you go to see a live show. I’ve never been to a show where the singer sounded terrible (maybe missed a few notes here and there, sure, but not cats in the alley type stuff) and I’ve never been to a show where the music sounded really bad – and I’m even including all the times I went to see Mark and the multitude of local bands that they played with. Sure, there have been moments when it hasn’t really been my thing, or when I thought the band was just obnoxious (All Time Low) but it wasn’t enough to really take me out of the experience.

That wasn’t the case this last Wednesday night. The sound was really good, the music was well played – but the show was TERRIBLE. And you know why? There was no energy. There has only been ONE time prior to this where I absolutely didn’t have a good time. That was for the same reason and it was Built to Spill. I loved their music but they came onstage and stood there. Even Mogwai, a band who doesn’t normally sing, managed to put on an amazing show and fill the room with energy.

This last show was torturous. It was Brand New (if you hadn’t guessed that from the title) and they were headlining with mewithoutyou and Thrice. Now, mewithoutyou was just completely not my bag – they were hairy and weird and looked like they were on something. One thing I learned at this show – I like my music to be music. I don’t want it to be art. I don’t want to have to try too hard to understand it. I want to go have a good time and escape from everything and bob my head. I don’t want you to sing to the back of the stage, and I don’t want you to play the accordion and look like your tripping. Musically I think some of their stuff could be good but I just couldn’t deal with the “performance”.

Again, Thrice was good.Their music didn’t bother me at all. If anything, they at least had the energy for a minute. Their set, though, was TOO LONG. If I wanted to see Thrice I would go to a Thrice show. I wanted to see Brand New and I wasn’t expecting a double-bill. I think I’ve been spoiled going to shows where there are 4 or 5 bands on the bill – if I don’t like something I don’t have to endure it for too long.

Finally, Brand New came on stage and I was ready to go. So was the rest of the crowd. The energy in the room for the first couple of songs was great. But then everything started to look the same, the lead singer didn’t move, the guitarists looked like they were glued to the floor – and I thought they were gearing up to play the whole new album. That’s when the bottom fell out.

Just for context, let me say that I do not like the new album as much as their first album.  Your Favourite Weapon was great – every song.  The newest album was a complete departure from any of that.  When I first listened to it, a song would start and it would sound for an instance like it was gearing up to finally kick in but then it just never did.

So, back at the show we’ve gone through a handful of new songs by now.  Then the acoustic guitars came out for the obligatory band break.  Then they stayed out.  By then, I realized that he had just played about 4 acoustic songs.  The crowd was dead – just standing there.  I could hear the conversations at the bar more than I could hear him singing.  Someone started to yell from the back of the room, “Play something loud!”  It was ridiculous.  The band came back on stage and it looked like they were going to start playing again – but then HE PUT THE DAMN ACOUSTIC BACK ON!

That’s when we left. It was an hour into their set and he was on stage mumbling the whole time we were leaving and you couldn’t understand a word he said. This is a band who has sold out every show they’ve played at HOB here in Cleveland. This was the second night of two sold out shows. My guess? Fifty percent of the people in that room will never go to see Brand New again. I’m one of them. I left pissed off. I felt like I had been trapped into listening to their latest experiment. They had their own agenda that evening – and it was not to play a show for their fans. They were playing at us and that made it even worse.

And by the time we left, we hadn’t heard a single thing from YFW. So, depending on which version of Brand New you like you may want to avoid them like the plague.


About Mama's a Mess

Who am I and what am I doing here? Well, at the end of the day I'm a mother and a wife, a lover of classic monster movies and comic books, of music, TV and movies. I'm a sucker for pop culture. I'm a fangirl. I'm an artist. As my husband always puts it, "Baby, you're a mess!" I have a penchant for creating and collecting. I feed my brain with a mix of anything from hot rods and pin-ups to handmade and natural. I like to dig in the dirt and grow things but sometimes picture myself doing it like Donna Reed. I will always, always choose to wear a dress first. I am head over heels in love with my husband and have a fantastically crazy life with him. Follow all our adventures and musings on our blog at Twitter: @mamasamess Pinterest & Polyvore: mamasamess
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5 Responses to Brand New are too cool for me.

  1. life4music says:

    Hey I was surfing and came across your blog. Yeah it’s really disappointing when a band such as Brand New is terrible live. I saw them just before they released their new album and thought that since Deja Entendu was a great album that they would at least put on a show, but was disappointed. Its sad when great musicians can’t put on a show and sound as good as their music is.

  2. JW says:

    I think what you need to understand is that Brand New is not the type of band that is going to come out and play every song off of Your Favorite Weapon just because they know that it will get people jumping around. I personally think TDAGARIM is an amazing album and I’m sure there were just as many people (if not a whole hell of a lot more) that really enjoyed the bands show that night in cleveland, including the songs Jesse does alone and acoustic. If you want a band that is going to come out and play their predictable lame hits just to be safe then I suggest going to shows like Fall Out Boy, Boys Like Girls and all the other TRL bands out there. If you want fireworks and people jumping around on stage then check out NSYNC. Basically, if Brand New never released another album besides YFW i think you’d be pretty justified in saying they suck cause they didnt play it at their show, but where have you been? They’ve relased two amazing albums since then and naturally they are going to play more of that material. Brand New creates inspiring music and I respect their unwillingness to compromise and play seventy times seven night after night just because it was your favorite song in high school and you havent followed the bands progression. Brand New has tons of respect for their fans and its people like you that trash them online or the asshole in the back of the bar screaming “play something loud” that don’t deserve the great music they give us. I did however agree with one thing in your post. Brand New is too cool for you.

  3. kissthelibrarian says:

    Yep – I actually expected more of these. I do think Brand New plays good music outside of YFW. I didn’t like it as much, but it wasn’t the worst thing I’ve ever heard and I still have the other two albums on my iPOD. (Actually, Quiet Things That No One Ever Know is my favorite Brand New song.) Knowing now how they play live, It just isn’t anything that I myself would need to see. Unfortunately, I have been to one of the shows you recommend for “people like me” and was just as disappointed because it was predictable and I hated it for the same reason – the band seemed like they were just going through the motions. I don’t want fireworks and fanfare – I just want a band who looks like they’re actually enjoying themselves.

  4. LOL says:

    Bands grow, bands progress. They changed throughout their albums, don’t cry about how your not gonna be jumping around to 70 x 7 and just enjoy the music.

  5. kissthelibrarian says:

    Why does everyone insist that someone who doesn’t like the evolved version of Brand New must have been waiting for seventy times seven? If I wanted to here anything from YFW it probably would have been Soco Amaretto Lime or Jude Law. oh well….

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