Last time Brand New came through Denver was on their Fall 2007 tour with Thrice and mewithoutYou. The band was scheduled to perform here last October, but due to illness, the show had been pushed back nearly four months. Needless to say, the anticipation in the air was palpable.
Kicking the evening off was Dusty Rhodes & The River Band. They were an odd choice for a Brand New opener, to say the least. Their brand of 1970s throwback soul rock was met with mostly apathy, and perhaps some mild confusion from the crowd, though their charismatic frontman did manage to make the crowd laugh a few times.
Up next were good friends of the event's headliner, Manchester Orchestra, who were met with a much more warm response from the crowd. The Atlanta indie rock group opened with "Shake It Out," from last year's Mean Everything to Nothing. The bulk of their set consisted of material from that album, including highlights "I've Got Friends," "In My Teeth" and the almost Black Sabbath-esque "Pride." Even with all this great material, the crowd's biggest reaction was saved for "Where Have You Been?", from 2006's I'm Like a Virgin Losing a Child, which featured some extra help on drums from Brand New's Brian Lane and Vincent Accardi. Their stage banter was minimal, and mainly consisted of frontman Andy Hull (who bears a striking resemblance to comedian Zach Galifianakis) praising the Denver Nuggets and band members exchanging a few quotes from Kanye West's "VH1 Storytellers" special ("You could be anywhere in the world right now, but you wouldn't be as happy as you are right now." "OJ Simpson! Amazing!"). The band played extremely tight and served as a great warm-up for the main event.
It is worth noting that the last time Brand New played here, they did not play a single song from 2001's Your Favorite Weapon, so the crowd's reaction when frontman Jesse Lacey came out and started the band's set with "Soco Amaretto Lime" is indescribable. From there the full band took the stage and launched into one of the heaviest tracks of their career, "Sink," from last year's excellent Daisy. The band played a good mix of old and new, and kept the crowd interested the entire duration of their set. Fans of course, were rabid during Deja Entendu singles "Sic Transit Gloria...Glory Fades" and "The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows." After some slower tracks from 2006's The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me, the band ended their set with the 1-2 punch of "Jude Law and a Semester Abroad" and "Seventy Times 7." I hardly ever listen to their first album anymore, but hearing those old songs live was some of the most fun I've ever had at a show. Five thousand people screaming "I HOPE YOU CHOKE AND DIE!" is a beautiful thing.
The band didn't toss out any unnecessary stage banter; they didn't come out for a fake planned encore. They just played, and they were absolutely on fire. While the band skipped a few of my personal favorites ("The No Seatbelt Song," "Jaws Theme Swimming" and "Millstone" come to mind), it was still a fantastic show, and a great experience all around.
- Soco Amaretto Lime (Jesse Lacey Solo)
- Bought a Bride
- Sowing Season
- Sic Transit Gloria...Glory Fades
- The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows
- Okay, I Believe You, But My Tommy Gun Don't
- You Won't Know
- You Stole
- At the Bottom
- Jesus Christ
- Welcome to Bangkok
- Jude Law and a Semester Abroad
- Seventy Times 7