University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah
Sept. 21, 2012
At the University of Utah’s annual RedFest they managed to somehow get the incomparable and to some, legendary, Brand New to grace the stage. Brand New is an East Coast band from New York and primarily plays East Coast shows and tours. The last West Coast show the band played was this time last year in California.
Once I found out that Brand New was playing this obscure show, I immediately bought a ticket. I don’t always plan on driving 6 hours to see a band play but I could not and would not give up this opportunity to see a band that has been a part of my life since 7th grade. I thought I would never get an opportunity to see this band on the West Coast and knew that this was going to be a special show.
On the Facebook event page for the show I found out I was not the only person driving miles for this show. People were driving from Colorado, Nebraska and California. These people were just as dedicated as I was to see this amazing band live.
As soon as I got through the gates I could feel the excitement buzzing around the stage. I got right up to the front and waited through the great opener, Fictionist, a local band from Utah. As soon as the opener was off the stage, everyone rushed to the front to get ready for the equally amazing Manchester Orchestra. As excited as I was for Brand New, I couldn’t get over my excitement for Manchester Orchestra as well. Although this band hasn’t been in my life as long, they are still incredible and I was beyond ready to have the lead singer, Andy Hull in front of me singing their infectious tunes.
Once Manchester Orchestra started, I looked around me and really got to see how huge this crowd had become. The hills that surrounded the stage like an arena were packed. It was the biggest outdoor show I had ever been to. It’s safe to say, I was impressed.
Manchester Orchestra put on an incredible show. They started with “Pride” which got the crowd moving, jumping are ready for the rest of the set. In between every song, Andy Hull and the boys never stopped playing their instruments. They went from one song to the next without missing a beat. That aspect of the show made it very different and unique. The crowd during Manchester Orchestra was insane, which surprised me. I have been in a ton of crowds but this show was in the top 5 craziest crowds I have been in. I watched a girl with a broken ankle get taken out of the crowd on a stretcher, Utah knows how to get crazy.
After being able to handle only 3 or 4 songs, I left the crowd. From there I watched the bands perform from the hill which was the best thing that I could have done. Being able to see Hull scream into that microphone and Jesse Lacey from Brand New squirm across the stage was perfect.
After some delays because of the University of Utah’s advertising and what not, Brand New finally took the stage. As soon as Lacey, Brian Lane, Vincent Accardi, Derrick Sherman and Garrett Tierney all took the stage the crowd went crazy. It felt like the whole crowd was one. Everyone knew every lyric to every song and went insane.
Lacey’s vocals and lyrics have always been inspiring to me. Hearing him sing his words live in front of me was an incredible feeling. Brand New played all of their signature fan favorites which was exactly what I expected. They played songs from every album they have recorded which rarely happens at other shows. Usually bands play songs from their newest records but Brand New knows what their fans like and played for those die hard fans that travel miles to see them. They played with all of their heart, shredding their guitars, smashing their drums and singing with everything they had. Despite Lacey’s leg giving out on him in the middle of the set and getting hit in the head with a glowstick, Lacey managed to laugh it off and the band as a whole performed with perfection.
The last song of the night was “You Won’t Know” which apparently wasn’t the last song they had planned to end with. Because of some unknown rule (I am speculating curfew) the concert was cut short and ended at exactly 10 p.m. Definitely a bummer for everyone in the crowd, showed by the huge roar of “boos” as soon as Lacey announced what was going on.
Overall, Brand New and Manchester Orchestra put on perfect shows for deserving fans. They were everything I had expected and looked forward to and even more. They were gracious to their fans and it really felt like they wanted to be in front of everyone, playing with everything they had.
If you ever get the chance to see either Brand New or Manchester Orchestra live, don’t skip the opportunity. Both bands are fantastic and well worth paying money to see.
Setlist- Millstone, The Archer’s Bows are Broken, Sowing Season (Yeah), At the Bottom, You Stole, Tatou, Sic Transit Gloria…Glory Fades, Okay I Believe You But My Tommy Gun Doesn’t, The Boy Who Blocked His Own Shot, I Will Play my Game Beneath the Spin Light, Jude Law and a Semester Abroad, Seventy Times 7, Jesus Christ, Sink, Gasoline, Degausser, You Won’t Know.