Taking Back Sunday and The Used Marquee Theatre 3/18/14
A 20-something screamo fan's dream lineup became a reality Tuesday night at the Marquee Theatre as Taking Back Sunday and The Used had fans packed into the Tempe concert hall. Both bands have seen their fair share of mainstream success in the past and were heavy-hitters in their angst-ridden scene. And though the tastes of the Warped Tour circuit have changed since both bands' respective heydays, they still have devoted and fervent fan-bases.
The Used kicked off what essentially was an hourlong greatest hits set with its latest single, "Cry." The track showcased the band trying to break the mold of their previous efforts and was the only new material played from the forthcoming Imaginary Enemy record.
The change vocally also may be attributed to lead singer Bert McCracken's 2007 vocal-cord surgery, which previously forced guitarist Quinn Allman to do the majority of the screaming at recent gigs. Besides all the rock star theatrics, The Used also added to the atmosphere of the show by decking out the stage with two walls of televisions on each side.
"Take It Away" followed and had the kids jumping as Allman and bassist Jepha Howard hid in the shadows and let a slimmed down McCraken storm the stage. The Used's best work to date, "The Bird and the Worm," followed. Other highlights from the 12-song set included "The Taste of Ink," "All That I've Got," and "Buried Myself Alive."
McCracken split the crowd down the middle before "Pretty Handsome Awkward" and told the crowd, "I want you to smoke all the marijuana you have, and I want you to wait for it, and when we explode, I want you to ride each other like fucking wild animals," before launching into the song.
Afterwards, McCracken busted out the intro of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" (noting beforehand that "this is the greatest fucking song ever written") and then played "A Box of Sharp Objects" and ended with a portion of Rage Against the Machine's "Killing in the Name Of."
Like The Used, Taking Back Sunday opened its set with a new track, "Flicker, Fade," as they celebrated the release of their new record Happiness Is. It was clear that they couldn't match the energy of The Used and the lack of production didn't help things either as the band played with an empty stage other than their instruments.
Singer Adam Lazzara did his best dance moves during "Error: Operator." The most exciting part of the bands set, however, was when a fan proposed to his girlfriend before "What's It Feel Like to Be a Ghost." Luckily, his girlfriend accepted and earned a sea of cheers from the crowd.
Although Taking Back Sunday should have probably played before The Used, the crowd enjoyed TBS staples like "Liar (It Takes One To Know One)", "Your So Last Summer" and "Cute Without the 'E' (Cut From the Team)" before the band ended with "MakeDamnSure."
Last Night: The Used and Taking Back Sunday at The Marquee Theatre.
The Crowd: Chicks for days.
Personal Bias: I've seen the good, the bad, and ugly of The Used since the band's first record and really enjoy its first three records.
Overheard: "I finally saw The Used and I can die now. I don't even want to go back in the venue to see Taking Back Sunday."
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