So Brand New must’ve thought they were really clever last night, playing their whole set chronologically. They started strong with a lot of energy, playing the few tolerable songs on Your Favorite Weapon which fans absolutely love singing along to. The energy was high and the sold-out crowd was packed so tightly that kids were soaked with sweat before the band even started. Once the music kicked in, crowd surfers were being picked out by the dozens. The band was warming up, people were getting stoked, and I couldn’t wait to hear the new material.
After a handful of their early tunes, Brand New played “Tautou,” track one of their notorious 2003 release Deja Entendu. That’s when it became clear: they were playing their songs in order, and suddenly the evening became utterly predictable and, honestly, a little boring.
Not only did I know exactly what was coming next every time a song ended, but their “interesting” approach also meant the band didn’t touch any of the brand new (ha, get it) material from The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me until over an hour into the set. It was sort of ridiculous. By the time the band had played the majority of their Deja hits, it was almost 11 o’ clock. They started the show around 9:30. I was tired of standing and hearing only songs I’ve been hearing for the past four years.
At the end of Deja’s last song, “Play Crack the Sky,” the lights went out, the band left the stage for a few minutes, and the crowd tried to catch their breath (while a good number of people headed for the door). When the boys returned to the stage, they were shirtless. It was odd. But they finally got to the new stuff. They played just a few songs from The Devil and God (“Archers” and “You Won’t Know” were thankfully on that list) and then they disappeared. The dazed crowd of kids cried for an encore, but Brand New did not oblige (which is fine, especially since they played an hour and a half already).
The crowd (consisting mostly of teenagers, not surprisingly) were stoked regardless. During the entire show they sang along to every word (even when the band squeezed a cover of Modest Mouse’s “Trailer Trash” into the middle of the song “The Boy Who Block His Own Shot”), and they especially loved it when the overly aggressive security guards sprayed the mosh pit with water guns the entire night… the room was so humid that the ceilings and walls were dripping. Ew.
It was an okay show though, you know, if you’re into that sort of thing. But honestly, the best part of the night was this dude:
He wouldn’t tell me his name, and when I asked him his age he said he was five, but he tried to start a fight with me during Brand New’s set after some other dude accidentally knocked me into him. He even shoved me! Not like, “We’re at a show, people run into other people, but don’t let it happen again” sorta shove, but like a full on, blatant “let’s rumble” push. Ha! Don’t you know you shouldn’t push girls, brah? He was an angry and funny little boy. Just like Janeane Garafolo at the Showbox was earlier that night. But I liked her a whole lot more than I liked this dude. She’s at least smart, angry, and funny. And also not a boy.