Though Daisy was released just two months ago, tickets to Brand New’s fall tour went on sale early in the summer; both nights at Philadelphia’s Electric Factory sold out quickly. Long Island-mates Crime in Stereo opened much of the tour, with a few different bands as direct support. The second night, November 15, featured Glassjaw; the first night featured Thrice.
Crime in Stereo kicked off the evening set with a new song, but the mix was muddy and the vocals weren’t clear enough to make out most of the track. The band drew heavily from 2007’s Crime in Stereo is Dead on Bridge Nine Records, though the crowd seemed indifferent to the band’s performance. Drummer Scotty Giffin was powerful and clear during the band’s brief set, but vocals from Kristian Hallbert and guitarist Alex Dunne were unfortunately too bass-heavy and poorly mixed to appreciate or enjoy. The full set:
XXXX (The First Thousand Years of Solitude)
…But You Are Vast
Almost Ghostless/Above The Gathering Oceans
California quartet Thrice opened with Vheissu‘s “Of Dust and Nations” and played a burly set of ten songs, heavily leaning on their excellent 2009 effort, Beggars. “Silhouette”, the oldest cut of the evening, was punishing, with frontman Dustin Kensrue’s brutal scream as strong as ever. Newer songs “All the World is Mad” and “The Weight” received excellent live treatment, and “Helter Skelter” was a welcomed surprise.
Shifting from lead guitar to keys, Teppei Teranishi provided the foundation to an excellent performance of “Doublespeak” before the band leaped into a new interpretation of The Alchemy Index‘s “A Song for Milly Michaelson”. A spine-tingling performance of the 2009 title track, “Beggars”, closed the evening with frontman Kensrue pouring his heart into the song’s final moments: “Can you hear what’s been said? Can you see now that everything’s grace after all? If there’s one thing I know in this life: we are beggars all. ”
With such an enormous collection across so many different genres, it’s hard to find the right ten-song setlist as a support act, but Thrice seems to have nailed it. Songs from Beggars were the night’s highlights, the region’s first chance to hear these songs live as Thrice rarely tours the Philadelphia or its surrounding cities. The band’s performance was spectacular, and with a longer set the band could have easily upstaged headliners Brand New. The full setlist:
Of Dust and Nations
All the World is Mad
Helter Skelter (The Beatles cover)
A Song For Milly Michaelson
To a roar of three thousand eager fans, Brand New began with the familiar chords of “Welcome to Bangkok”. Daisy‘s “Sink” was strong, and the back to back performances of “Degausser” and “You Won’t Know” sounded great. “Okay I Believe You, But My Tommy Gun Don’t” was a welcomed return to the band’s sophmore album, Deja Entendu, though the song suffered from frontman Jesse Lacey’s new found over-use of screaming instead of singing the song’s melodious parts.
“Sic Transit Gloria..Glory Fades” was surprisingly strong, as the band usually struggles through the song’s offbeat rhythm and Garrett Tierney’s bumpy bassline. “Jude Law and a Semester Abroad” and “Seventy Times 7” went as songs seven and eight, respectively, with Lacey noting that it may have been the first time the band has played those songs without the crowd shouting to hear them.
A so-so performance of “Limousine” solo acoustic by Lacey preceded an excellent one-two punch of “Vices” and “Gasoline”. For the rest of the night, strange black and white footage played on the wall behind the band. “Sowing Season” was surprisingly strong; the penultimate “At the Bottom” was explosive before the quieting “Play Crack the Sky” finished the evening. The full set:
Welcome to Bangkok
You Won’t Know
Okay I Believe You, But My Tommy Gun Don’t
Sic Transit Gloria..Glory Fades
Jude Law and a Semester Abroad
Seventy Times 7
Bought a Bride
At the Bottom
Play Crack the Sky
Despite the venue’s generally poor sound, Brand New performed extremely well and certainly put on one of their best shows in quite some time, up there with the stunning performance at The College of New Jersey earlier in the year. Guitarists Vincent Accardi and Derrick Sherman were tighter than normal, and drummer Brian Lane (and the guest percussionists that Brand New brings out on various songs) were rock-steady. Though Daisy may not be the band’s finest moment, after hearing seven of the album’s eleven tracks in concert it is clear that the album begs a live interpretation.
Brand New and Thrice touring together isn’t new, and the combination is always welcome, but it would be nice to see Thrice playing a longer set in the near future on an East Coast headlining tour of their own. Catching two of rock’s best acts on the same bill is always a treat, though, and the night’s show was no exception.
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