Brand New @ Hollywood Palladium 10/16/09
With there usually being a three year interval between each album release, fans of the post-grunge meets post-hardcore act Brand New have become quite familiar with feeling impatient. So with no surprise, the same impatient wave of anxiety rolled through the Palladium in Hollywood on Friday night as the sold out crowd eagerly waited for the band to reach the stage. The concert hall that was jam-packed with sweaty pre-teens who were most likely seeing Brand New for the first time to returning patrons went chaotic when the six-piece from Long Island emerged through the darkness. The band stood in silence as the glowing neon light from cell phones and flashes from the suppose-to-be-banned cameras illuminated them.
Opening up with the explosive “You Wont Know” from 2006’s masterpiece “The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me,” lead singer Jesse Lacey and company cruised through fan favorites “Degausser,” “Okay I Believe You, But My Tommy Gun Don’t,” and even the chill-inducing “No Seatbelt Song” from 2001’s “You’re Favorite Weapon” during the sets first half.
While the first half was great for those wanting to sing along to every tortured and sentimental lyric that Lacey sang, it was with the later half that the band ditched the pop heavy anthems of 2003’s “Deja Entendu” and focused more on the sonic textures and moody undertones of “Devil and God” and their latest release “Dasiy.”
Various fan favorites (“Jesus,” “Sowing Season,” and “Luca”) still did appear, however, it was the straint and assault between verse and choruses on songs like “Bought a Bride,” “In a Jar,” and “Sink,” that Lacey was vocally able to bring the exhausting and menacing listen of “Daisy” alive. Along with Lacey, the heavy drumming of Brian Lane that sounded like the rhythm of doom on “The Archers Bows Have Broken,” and the lethal combination of Garrett Tierney’s thundering bass lines and Vin Accardi’s slashing riffs on “Vices” and “Gasoline” made it feel like the atmosphere of a hardcore show.
Elsewhere, the dizzy guitar drone similar to My Bloody Valentine on “You Stole,” the Nirvana-eqsue “At the Bottom,” and the intimate rendition of “Play Crack the Sky” were by far the best performed and most inimitable songs of the night.
Ultimately, what makes a Brand New show so great is there ability to improvise, whether it’s speeding up a song (“Sic Transit Gloria… Glory Fades”), adding more instruments (“In a Jar”), or changing vocals to make them more poignant (“No Seatbelt Song”), there is always an unpredictable element that consistently makes them one of the most interesting and elite modern rock acts to see live.