Friday December 9 is one of two Brisbane dates that find Utah based rockers The Used at the end of their 15 year anniversary tour across Australia. Clocking in 12 shows in just under 3 weeks, showcasing their first two albums Selftitled and In Love and Death.
They’re here to treat Australian fans to something very special. For two shows spanning over two nights per city, the boys will be playing through both albums, one each night. And tonight, we are here to see their 2004 hit album In Love and Death.
Corpus, a Post Hardcore two piece from Sydney are here to open our night. It’s always fun to see a band in this genre pull off a great set with just two people leading the stage. Emotional and energetic, heavy and melodic, a great way to warm up the crowd for a big night to come.
It’s also worthy to note that Bert McCracken later made it clear during the main performance of the night that Corpus are his favourite Australian band.
And then on a complete spin, Melbourne band Storm the Sky comprise of five. Armed with projections either side of the drum kit placing images to the music that add an extra visual to the show. Keys and samples line the stage. Melodically ambient sounds, guitarists with pedals boards the would make my bank account cry. A violin bow even makes an appearance as the lead guitarist cranks the delay and reverb, shaking the room with it’s haunting sounds.
The crowd has jam packed the room now and the lights dim. An extended version of the iconic intro to the album plays over the speakers. The shotgun clicks back, Bert spits his water up into the air and game on. The energy from the band from the moment they are on stage is incredible. As Bert mentions during the show, one of the best parts about putting on these anniversary shows is that they get to play songs that they never get to play. Which must bring such a great energy to the band on stage and it’s made apparent.
Guitarist Quinn Allman is on a hiatus from the band for the duration of the tour and the unforeseen future. Saosin veteran guitarist Justin Shekoski fills Allmans shoes. And perfectly might I add. He seems incredibly comfortable on stage with the rest of the band. And plays all of Allmans songs with absolute precision.
The album was written and recorded in some of the Berts most intense years. But since the albums release, McCracken has laid off the drugs and alcohol and seems healthier than ever. Showing this by having loads of fun with the crowd, stopping to make everyone in the crowd hug the person to their right and even hopping down himself to hug one of the photographers. Friendly bantering and crude jokes fill the gaps of each song making for a laugh out loud night. It’s by far one of the most fun shows I’ve been to in some time. And it’s just great to see a band like this still having so much fun on stage after all these years.
As they head into their final song on the album, Bert calls for Keiron, singer of opening act Corpus to help out on stage. The final track I’m a Fake is notably an anthem for old school The Used fans. The track opening begins with Bert reciting a poem of his own that he wrote when he was younger. “I really hope you don’t f*** up my favourite poem” he says to the crowd moments before he begins the first line. “Let us pray Brisbane….Small, simple, safe price….” He speaks the first line, but stops right there and allows the crowd to carry out the next 30 seconds of spoken word by themselves. The crowd is loud and they sound about as passionate as one could possibly get. It is quite something to watch and hear being an old fan myself and hearing this crowd in such a way, 12 years after the songs release.
Encoring the set with the hit single Pretty Handsome Awkward from the album Lies for Liars, the night comes to an end, and for one night, myself and room full of other fans filled Eatons Hill Hotel and were able feel like we were back in the early 2000’s one more time. As Bert stated on stage (while telling everyone to shove their phones you know where) “I hope you all make fun memories tonight for the rest of your lives.” And I think each and every person in that room did just that.
My only regret? Not going to the following nights show. Bugger.