Brand New @ Mahwah 4/3

Mahwah, New Jersey, is a small town of about twenty-thousand inhabitants, bordering Rockland County, New York. Nestled snugly in mountainous Mahwah, getting to Ramapo College took longer than expected, and I unfortunately missed Philadelphia’s mewithoutYou.

Playing in the school’s recreation building, Brand New opened with three The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me cuts before dipping into three from Deja Entendu and then finally two off of their debut, Your Favorite Weapon. The second college show I’ve seen the band perform in 2009, it’s nice to see old favorites such as “The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows” and “Mixtape” back in the setlist.

A show with a small standing area (made bigger thanks to some bold students removing the folding chairs, passing them out of the “pit” into the back of the room), the crowd remained fairly docile until “The Shower Scene”–arguably one of the band’s best live songs–finally got things going midway through the set.

A new song followed “Degausser”, possibly hinting that the band will continue with a sound similar to The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me. The penultimate “Sic Transit Gloria…Glory Fades” sounded exceptionally strong, and even with a few ignorant crowd surfers interrupting frontman Jesse Lacey’s solo performance of “Play Crack the Sky”, the show ended on a strong note. Interestingly, “Millstone” and “Welcome to Bangkok”–Brand New staples that utilize dual drumming–were absent. The full setlist:

Brand New frontman Jesse Lacey

Brand New frontman Jesse Lacey

You Won’t Know
Sowing Season
Okay I Believe You, But My Tommy Gun Don’t
The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows
Jaws Theme Swimming
No Seatbelt Song
The Shower Scene
(new song)
Sic Transit Gloria…Glory Fades
Play Crack the Sky

Though brief, the band’s performance was strong, with highlights including Deja Entendu‘s “Jaws Theme Swimming” and “Okay I Believe You, But My Tommy Gun Don’t”. The band’s new album is currently being mixed and should be released some time in 2009; catch Brand New on any tour you can before that comes out if you intend on hearing some old songs, because they’ll likely be out of rotation for quite some time once their new album hits stores.


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