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Brand New / Thrice / mewithoutYou: live in New Yorklive in New York (2007)
Universal Music Group
Reviewer Rating: 4
Contributed by: InaGreendaseBrian
(others by this writer | submit your own)
Hammerstein Ballroom is a very large venue. It can fit approximately 2500 patrons, actually. When watching bands perform at these type of venues from a seated mezzanine section, it can reduce your enjoyability quite considerably. Luckily, this was a compromise I took on -- albeit begrudgingly -- due.
Hammerstein Ballroom is a very large venue. It can fit approximately 2500 patrons, actually. When watching bands perform at these type of venues from a seated mezzanine section, it can reduce your enjoyability quite considerably. Luckily, this was a compromise I took on -- albeit begrudgingly -- due to the rather affectionate nature I held for the entire lineup playing.
Set list (7:21-8:18):
The band added lots of interesting flourishes to all their songs. Whether it was fucking around with "Bangkok" or adding different tones to Your Favourite Weapon-era tracks, it added a much-needed differential to the live show. Of note was an absolutely flawless performance of "Play Crack the Sky" -- Lacey seriously nailed it. Meanwhile, he even obliged their pickier fans with "The No Seatbelt Song" and "The Shower Scene"; the former was entirely more fractured and haunting than I've ever heard it played, and when the full band kicked in during the bridge it made for an absolutely agonizing end to the song -- it sounded like a suicide note. "Sic Transit Gloria"'s intro was practically unrecognizable, but fans managed to recognize that bassline buried underneath it and went wild. "Degausser" featured hilariously unintelligible screaming during its chorus and pre-chorus, but it didn't totally ruin the song.
Lacey even offered up a completely solo cover of Built to Spill's "Car," but I'm not entirely sure he even mentioned who it was by. Unsurprisingly, it seemed no one in the crowd recognized it, including myself. Granted, it was rather hard to hear Lacey's in-between-song muttering, as he was constantly held inaudible by rabid screaming.
The encore itself was original and more than a pleasant surprise. An opening guitar riff reminiscent of "Jesus" was played for quite a while until the entire band came in for a long instrumental outro with a huge, awesome climax. Certain moments on The Devil and God seriously lead me to believe Brand New would like to replace Godspeed You! Black Emperor someday, and this impressive display didn't sway my opinion. In fact, that opening guitar loop was played over the PA after the show, proving that this song may in fact already be recorded. Could an instrumental EP be on the way? Doubtful, but the band could certainly produce a solid effort of such.
Overall, all bands met my expectations, with Brand New even surpassing them just a bit. The ultimate set would've included one or two demos from the leaked Fight Off Your Demons set, but merely having my cake was enough. This show would probably be a 9 had I been on the floor and a 10 if I could actually see what was going on through 20/80 vision. Hence, an 8.
Set list (8:51-10:24):
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