This Brand New article was written by Rachel Scott, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Zoe Anderson
If at some point in the last decade you remember agonising over the perfect lyric to display in your MSN screenname, you were probably present at Brand New’s UK tour this month. Following an intimate run in June where tickets were near impossible to get a hold of, the New York emo heroes spent September touring some of the country’s most stunning theatres, including Edinburgh’s Usher Hall.
After a well-received support slot courtesy of Basement, a flurry of roadies swarmed the stage to equip the band’s microphone stands with bright floral arrangements not unlike those swung around by Morrissey in his heyday. Brand New attract the same kind of feverish devotion as The Smiths, evidenced by the amount of merchandise shifted and the abundance of fan tattoos adorning the limbs of the crowd. The band surprised by taking to the stage and playing their most beloved album, 2003’s ‘Deja Entendu’, in its entirety, a plan that most other bands would choose to announce in advance to boost ticket sales. It was hard to determine which songs could be named the fan favourites considering the level of excitement frontman Jesse Lacey garnered just by tuning up his guitar, but ‘Sic Transit Gloria… Glory Fades’ and ‘The Boy Who Blocked His Own Shot’ seemed to go down particularly well. The audience have swapped their 2003 uniform of girl’s jeans and floppy emo fringes for trendy beards and flannel shirts yet they remained as determined as ever to drown out the vocalist by screaming emotive lines like “die young and save yourself” back at the stage.
Surrounded only by two simple bouquets of lights and a screen which mostly just projected video of the performance, Brand New aren’t the most spectacular band to watch, preferring to let their music do all the talking. Jesse Lacey, standing still in a sweater and a baseball cap, lacks the charisma of peers like Taking Back Sunday’s Adam Lazzara or Daryl Palumbo of Glassjaw but neither of those groups are showing in venues of this size and splendour, so evidently this minimalist approach isn’t hurting ticket sales. At times Lacey performs solo, as he does during the poignant ‘Play Crack The Sky’ which closes the main. Other times the band performs with two drummers and fill the hall with this sound.
Following a quick break, the foursome return to the stage to play selections from 2006’s ‘The Devil & God Are Raging Inside Me’, including a beautiful performance of ‘Jesus’ where the lights project spots all around the room and still don’t overshadow the music. They then play a quick run-through of ‘Mene’, the only new song to have come from the band in six years which stands out as half as long and twice as thrilling as the rest of their set. Despite a lack of material from their last album ‘Daisy’ and the noticeably absent classic ‘Soco Amaretto Lime’ from the set, Brand New didn’t disappoint their die-hard Scottish fanbase and hopefully it won’t be too long before they resurface with an album’s worth of new music for them to lap up.