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The Used Concert Review

What can possibly be better than seeing The Used in concert? Seeing The Used in concert twice in a row. To celebrate their 15th anniversary, the band hit the road and is playing two shows in each city. The first night’s set consisted of their debut album,The Used, and the second night’s set was their second album – In Love and Death.The concerts took place on May 6th and 7th at the House of Blues in Boston.

The Used is a Utah-based band formed in 2001. Right after the release of The Used in 2002, the band signed with Reprise and released their next album in 2004. The band has been described as  “emo” and “screamo,” although they have never agreed with such labels. They released Lies for the Liars in 2007, Artwork in 2009 and Vulnerable in 2012 followed by their most recent album, Imaginary Enemy, which came out in 2014.Imaginary Enemy is perhaps the first album by The Used that is politically charged and openly criticizes the US government.

On this tour, The Used is working with the Living the Dream Foundation, where a portion of the money from purchased VIP packages will go towards those who have terminal diseases.

The first night was purely magical. There was something extremely satisfying about the first set that corresponded to the album’s order. It was like putting on a record, buthearing it live. They played their all-time hits, “Taste of Ink,” “A box Full of Sharp Objects” and other songs that fans love, but never get to hear live. Towards the endthey played an acoustic version of “On my Own” to give the fans some rest from moshing and crowd surfing and right after that they killed everyone with the last two songs they played – “Pieces Mended” and “Choke Me” – that are so energetic, everyone was on their feet.

Because the second album has a history to it, or maybe because so many people relate to it and consider it personal, the second night turned out to be so intimate, despite the House of Blues being filled with many more people. The Used were recording In Love and Death when – tragically – Bert McCracken’s pregnant girlfriend and his dog died within one month. Some songs on this record reflect those events. For example, their song “All That I’ve Got,” which sounds very melodic and catchy, has lyrics that tell the listener about the struggles McCracken has been through. During the show, Bert did not forget to mention that he has been sober for four yearswhile showing off his recovery coin.

The audience that night was wild: they danced, they moshed, they crowd surfed and they chanted every word to every song. What was beautiful about the set was that it showed a mixture of aggressive classics like, “Listening,” “Sound Effects Overdramatics,” as well as some very calm and poetic pieces. There was one in particular, “Hard to Say,” that had everyone crying; even the most hardcore-looking people were nearly weeping. The chorus reveals that the song is about missing someone who is gone; “It’s hard to say that I was wrong / It’s hard to say I miss you / Since you’ve been gone it’s not the same / It’s hard to say I held my tongue / It’s hard to say if only / Since you’ve been gone it’s not the same.” Although the song is personal to Bert, many people can surely relate.

Another thing that is worth mentioning was the theatre-like scenery, which displayed different styles on both nights and corresponded to the albums’ artwork. It’s typically very rare to see anything but musical instruments and amps on stage at a rock show.

At the end of the concert, Bert thanked everyone for making the band feel like kids again. Without a doubt, everyone in the audience could agree, because hearing the songs from old favorite records that had never been played live before, definitely brought back sIMG_5286ome memories.

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