JAM Magazine Concert Reviews

July 22, 2016
Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie
Grand Prairie, TX USA
Review by Andrea D. Morin
Photos by Andrea D. Morin

Brand New - Brand New, Modest Mouse

Dynamic Duo Joint Headlining Tour Popped The Cherry At Verizon Theatre

Friday nights co-headlining tour with Modest Mouse and Brand New brought out the emo fans of all ages as the crowd endured the blazing heat to see Verizon Theatre's first outdoor show at their new amphitheater called The Field surrounded by beer tents, water stations and food trucks.

Isaac Brock kicked off the Modest Mouse set with "Spitting Venom," "What People Are Made Of," and "Black Cadillacs," but the crowd went wild on the first chord of "Dashboard," from their album, We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank. This eight-piece band exudes with talent with a powerful lead singing in Isaac Brock to, fellow founder Jeremiah Green on drums, Lisa Molinaro on violin and keys, Tom Peloso on trumpet, upright bass and keys, and the rest each bringing their own energy and passion. The assortment of instruments that these member of Modest Mouse plays on stage with their guitars, banjos, keys, ukuleles, strings, brass, percussion, are amazing to see live as it truly brings their albums to life. "Lampshades on Fire" was a huge crowd favorite from their latest album released last year, Strangers to Ourselves.

The constantly changing set list with each show on the tour showcases a tremendous variety in their catalog, but leaving out mega hits like "Float On" and "Ocean Breaths Salty" combined with not having an encore, left fans unfulfilled and generated mixed reviews. Leaving out the songs that people love which introduced so many more people to their music was like a punishment to the fans that paid good money to hear their favorites performed live. Their "full length" set was a little short at just over an hour with only 13 songs.

The fan base didn't overlap entirely as a large amount of people left after Modest Mouse's set. It was obvious that the majority of the people came to see Brand New as a large amount of people rushed the stage and from the amount of screams as Jesse Lacey took the stage for his powerful solo performance of "Soco Amaretto Lime." The single spotlight on a completely dark stage was breathtaking and got everybody in the mood and ignited and he encouraged everybody to sing-along with, "You're just jealous cause we're young and in love." The flowers all over the mic stands and sets were perfect for this emo crowd.

The crowd erupted jumping up and down when the first word of the chorus to "Okay I Believe You, But My Tommy Gun Don't" blasted through the speakers. Mega hits like "The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows," "Jesus" and "Luca" were the fan favorites while the crowed belted out lyrics that were amplified throughout the outdoor venue. The new single, "I Am A Nightmare" was well received but still no hints as to when we can expect a new full length album or EP. Fans were a disappointed at the missing "Play Crack the Sky" from the setlist.

Brand New played almost two hours, an overall stellar performance with Jesse Lacey really connecting to his audience. The elaborate set design light show was beautiful and pretty shocking as this band exudes simplicity. Jesse's vocals were strong and powerful combined with his honest lyrics and high energy performance. Vincent Accardi's guitar riffs and energy complimented Jesse well. Brand New clearly stole the show and fans left energized with a whole new emotional view on life!

The merch tent was full of Brand New vinyl's, but I wonder how many people in this crowd has the means to even play them. They will look great in a frame on the wall as a collector's item. Some of the fan comments on Twitter and Instagram said that "Watching Vinnie play was a religious experience," "My high school self is so happy right now," and "One of the best nights of my life."

People watching at emo shows are always entertaining as the crowd wears their heart on their sleeves. People crying, dudes hugging, swaying and singing every word while telling each other how much they love the band, the music and the experience of just being there together is always the best. I have had the pleasure of seeing both bands in the early 2000s when they were playing much smaller venues. It's wonderful to see how much they've grown as artists and performers, playing much larger venues, and attracting the die hard loyals and new fans alike. We want more!