Brand New / Senses Fail / Crime in Stereo - live in New York City (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Brand New / Senses Fail / Crime in Stereo

live in New York City (2003)

live show

BrandNew...a June Friday night...New York City...three days after Deja Entendu's release. 'Nuff said.

Well, not completely.

The sold-out crowd at Irving Plaza was first treated to five-piece Goodnight Bad Man's opening set. Formerly a better band name -- a.k.a. Drawn from Endings -- the Long Island (like 75% of the show) natives played a blend of hard rock and emo, also happening to announce it was their first show ever. The best parts of their set were the sick instrumentals, trippy psychadelics that still rocked and were helped by the keyboardist.

Someone needs to congratulate Vinnie from the MovieLife for being the source of the first human clone, because someone got ahold of his DNA and used it to create who is now the lead singer of Crime in Stereo. Vinnie's vocals, looks, movements, you name it, this guy had it. Besides just the singer's similarities, the band did sound like the MovieLife themselves but with a much harder edge, and some pretty rippin' solos. Please note I said a much harder edge, in both sound and motions. They're actually stuck with the hardcore label but I felt that there was another bridge of sound to cross before they really earned the namesake (although I think they're fine where they are). They shocked me a bit but not compelling enough to buy their sampler. But look for these guys in the future, they announced their split with Kill Your Idols to be released soon.

Senses Fail came on stage to the delight of many. Their popularity there a bit overwhelming, I probably just forgot this is a Drive-Thru band, because almost everyone in the audience were pumping their fists for all of the set the emo quintet from Jersey produced. I have to say though, they scream a lot more live than on their EP...but it's horrible. I thought my twelve-year-old sister was on stage being furiously stabbed in the throat, but no, it was just the penetrating screeching by the owls known as Senses Fail onstage. Don't get me wrong, I think this is a pretty good band, and overall they have the thing where if you like them a lot, you'll love seeing them live. But those pointless screams were not working for me. I can understand the vocal energy wanting to bust loose but...ow. Let's keep in that mechanical energy, as they did in numbers such as "1 8 7" (the closer), "Steven" (the opener), and "Dreaming a Reality" (something from in between).

"Tautou," to an underwhelming shock presented BrandNew onstage and ready to help usher some girls into their first period. Okay, and some guys like me.

As the song faded out, they dived right into a batch of songs off Your Favorite Weapon -- sort of surprising considering it was a CD release show -- the first of which was, "Jude Law and a Semester Abroad" and also included "Sudden Death in Carolina" and "Magazines." On conclusion of that chapter of the night, the background banner dropped to reveal Deja Entendu's album cover and a subsequent little segment we like to call, "songs from the new album." A nice acoustic little jangle helped bring in "I Will Play My Game Beneath the Spin Light." And, it goes without saying, but you can't help but feel ironically overwhelmed as Jesse Lacey sings the words "watch me as I cut myself wide open on this stage/yes, I am paid to spill my guts...I would kill for the Atlantic/but I am paid to make girls panic while I sing." Bitter irony is always lost on the masses.

The following comparison and/or lack of knowledge goes to show, but I'm not a big fan of their split with Safety in Numbers, and the Weezer-esque "Moshi Moshi" that they played that I wasn't too familiar with (or "Am I Wrong"?), I think that joke will be lost on people. Anyway...

I should probably mention "Failure by Design" now resides at the old folks' home (it was retired). of?... Who the fuck knows anymore, their status is always in question, so let's just say he played guitar on a certain band's Tell All Your Friends 2002 album, and he stopped by to lend his six-stringed talents for one of BrandNew's new songs.

The tight crowd swayed like an ocean for every note that sounded, every chord that struck. The two more uptempo songs from DE, the aptly titled "Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows" and "Guernica" helped keep energy aflight while BrandNew smartly mixed in doses of "Soco Amaretto Lime" and "Jaws Theme Swimming" to calm us down at times...the first of which was to sedate us before we hit the inevitable time between fake goodbyes and the encore.

BrandNew came back out, swore that this was it this time, and they meant it. They played two last songs, the final farewell being "Seventy Times 7" with that "evil" breakdown that everyone knows and loves, with Jesse's headlight and megaphone hand-in-hand requesting that we forget our seatbelt and put our heads through the windshield.

The band played out their "new direction" buzz fairly well while still deriving their set mostly from their first album, a cool hybrid that kept all their fans in check and put new ones in line for a future only time can decipher.