There’s something about Brand New that exudes intimacy.
Actually, there are a few things. Its song lyrics. Its overall sound. The way it manages to feel like a band you discovered even while it plays sold-out shows.
I’ve loved Brand New for years — it’s one of my favorite bands. But that intimacy made me avoid going to its concerts in the past. It was mostly my fear of losing my personal connection to it by standing in a crowd full of people who knew all the words as well.
When a few months ago I saw the band was playing at the LC Pavilion, though, I decided to go. I showed up Friday to the sold-out show with a lot of high expectations, accompanied by slight anticipation of disappointment.
Brand New didn’t disappoint. In some ways, though, its fans did.
The concert itself was incredible. The lights, the bass and the details — like flowers tied to each of the three main microphones — complemented the sheer talent of the band, which performed incredibly live.
Frontman Jesse Lacey and the rest of Brand New have a way of enveloping you into their music, and the show was no different. The sound itself wrapped around everyone in the audience as a smoke machine created a thick atmosphere around the band members on stage. They sang almost every song I felt passionately about hearing, though of course I would have preferred it if they could have performed every single one of their songs — maybe even twice.
But the crowd. I stayed out of the main floor area — the concert was inside of the LC — intentionally so I could watch the madness without being thrust into it. It was fun to watch that main area erupt with motion during Brand New’s hits and to see so many people crowd-surfing.
Off on the sidelines, meanwhile, the people around me jostled around and spilled their beers while shrieking lyrics. I tried hard to dismiss it as typical passionate-fan concert behavior. I was still disappointed though. I hadn’t imagined the fan base, at least the portion of the fan base that would stay off to the sides, as the type to obsess over taking blurry photos and to get drunk enough to stumble over the safety rails.
Some of the biggest hits with the LC crowd: “Okay I Believe You, But My Tommy Gun Don’t,” “Seventy Times 7,” “Jesus Christ” and “You Won’t Know.” That being said, every song of the approximately 16-song set spurred a flurry of jumping to the beat as some crowd members even threw their shoes at the stage.
Brand New is and will likely always be one of my favorite bands. I definitely want to see a live performance again, too, given how unbelievable the music and overall mood was.
I hope, though, that I’m lucky enough to catch a show at a smaller venue.