SHOW REVIEW: The Used 15 Year Anniversary Tour Night 2 In Love and Death by Talia Faber.
On May 31st in Santa Ana, CA I got the opportunity to witness In Love and Death being played in full for the first time ever and it was nothing short of nostalgic. In Love and Death is the sophomore release from a band that every emo/alternative kid knows called The Used. Released on Sept 24, 2004, In Love and Death has been around for 12 years, while the band as a whole have been active for 15 years. So in recognition of 15 years they are currently touring and playing only their first two albums from front to back, the first album being their self titled and the second album In Love And Death. The band spends two nights in each city on the tour, on night one they play their renowned self titled album in full, and on night two they play their beloved, In Love and Death record. This tour is a dream come true for many traditional fans of the band because some of us have been waiting to hear some old songs live. This kind of tour doesn’t happen very often for many bands; and many fans of similar bands are still waiting for this kind of tour to happen. With that being said, I’d like to thank The Used on behalf of every fan who has/is attending this tour.
The crowd that night was full of older millennials,and a great way of pleasing the crowd before the band started their show was playing nothing but 90’s pop music like The Spice Girls and The Backstreet Boys for everyone to sing along to. As happy as the crowd was they went crazy as soon as they heard “Life’s greatest questions…”, the intro for “Take It Away”, and everyone started screaming with excitement. Singer, Bert McCraken was constantly thanking everyone that night for this opportunity, he said that without all of the fans the band wouldn’t be here today. When everyone started cheering he started to control the crowd, when he swayed his arms down the crowd came to a hush, and when they swayed his arms up the crowd went into a roar. Bert explained how the record is about love and death, hence the title, he also said some of the songs are about sex, and things that have happened during sex. “Cut Up Angels” being one of those songs, he then jokingly said he’d have sex with everyone in the crowd because of how much he loved everyone there.
One of the most heartfelt moments that night was when Bert explained how difficult it is to sing “Hard To Say”. He explained that the song is about someone very special that he lost, this beautiful, yet tragic song is about how he lost his pregnant ex-girlfriend to drug overdose. He proceed to sing it almost crying. Although, he received help from everyone in that room singing along, so that definitely made him smile a bit. After the song he proudly said he’s been sober for a while now and he explained how he lived half of his life having a drug problem. He seems like a totally different person now and seems so much happier than when I saw him in 2012.
I remember when I first heard The Used, I was 9 years old and just starting 4th grade. My sister at that time was in high school, she was in 11th grade and had her own car and everything. She would pick me up from school sometimes and she’d have this CD she made full of different songs from different bands playing. I clearly remember one of those songs being “Lunacy Fringe”, and once I heard it I fell in love. That was the first song I ever heard from them and to this day I still love it. Bert explained that the literal meaning of this song is about going crazy. He literally meant literally, seeing as how he said that word is tossed around so lightly nowadays. Finally getting the chance to hear this song live was amazing, I nearly cried from the memories it gave me. The Used did an unexpected little twist on the song though, making it almost a medley, they incorporated Sublime’s famous “Smoke Two Joints” and Eric Clapton’s “I Shot The Sheriff”.
The band ended their playthrough with “I’m a Fake”, Bert told the crowd to handle the intro expecting everyone to know it and we successfully delivered. Now if you were really an emo kid back in the day, and still are then this should be something you know word for word (or close to that). “Small simple safe price. Rise the wake and carry me with all of my regrets… LOVE IS NOT LIKE ANYTHING, ESPECIALLY A F***ING KNIFE!” Definitely one of the most dramatic song intros I know. Alas, they finished their set, but it wasn’t time to go. We wanted one more song and we got it, “Pretty Handsome Awkward”. I didn’t know what to expect as an encore for the night since they had played the whole album, and when they came on stage Bert said it was going to be a heavy one and he split the floor into two. He said, “when this song starts I want you all to go at each other like wild animals, if someone falls you pick them up and beat the s**t out of them.” Needless to say, it was a wild way to end the show. The Used managed to sell out both shows in Los Angeles and Santa Ana, but they added another stop in Santa Ana on June 4th and 5th, but only tickets for the 5th remain. These are the last shows on this very successful tour. If you made it to one of the shows then you got to witness pure magic happen with an awesome stage set up to add to it. Don’t miss your last chance to relive your childhood with the band. Once more, thank you to The Used for these amazing opportunities.
The Used recently gained ex Saosin guitarist, Justin Shekoski with the departure of Quinn Allman in 2015. Shekoski was announced as the official guitarist for the band back at Taste Of Chaos Festival on October 3, 2015. The band now consists of singer Bert McCraken, guitarist Justin Shekoski, bassist Jeph Howard, and Dan Whitesides on the drums. With Shekoski now in the mix, I cannot wait to hear what is to be made.
1. Take It Away
2. I Caught Fire
3. Let It Bleed
4. All That I've Got
5. Cut Up Angels
7. Yesterday's Feelings
8. Light With a Sharpened Edge
9. Sound Effects and Over Dramatics
10. Hard To Say
11. Lunacy Fringe / Smoke Two Joints / I Shot The Sheriff
12. I'm a Fake
13. Pretty Handsome Awkward
Photo gallery: http://www.bahmagz.com/2016/06/the-used-15-year-anniversary-tour-night_2.html