Brand New Rocks The BJC
Punk rock powerhouse Brand New arrived at the BJC as the last stop to end the United States leg of its Fight off Your Demons Tour. It was preceded by indie rock bands The Front Bottoms and Modern Baseball. Unlike other concerts where people trickle in after the openers, the crowd was present and high-energy for both openers. The younger openers factored into the large crowd, as both young and old audience members were present.
Formed in 2000, Brand New has millions of social media followers and a heavy fanbase. Its popular songs like “Jesus Christ” and “Sowing Season (yeah)” show off lead singer Jesse Lacey’s unique blend of quiet, melodic vocals followed by intense guitar riffs, insane percussion, and impressively pitched yelling.
The show opened with Modern Baseball, and within minutes, the audience was cheering and singing along. Security even had to contain a few crowd-surfers, which is often held off until the headliners. Since it was the last day of touring, Modern Baseball gave it everything it had, and the audience responded accordingly — there was a wave of disappointment when its half hour set was up.
The crowd then waited anxiously for The Front Bottoms to come on, and the band brought a unique and well-revered set to the excited crowd. It played its set with furniture all around, friends onstage eating chinese food, and even flickering lamps next to all band members.
As the Front Bottoms exited the stage, the energy and excitement for Brand New to come on reverberated throughout the entire BJC. Brand New made its entrance on a completely black stage with the first few chords of “Mix Tape.” Not only did the crowd erupt into cheers, but they were screaming every word. There was not a soul present who wasn’t bobbing their head, dancing, crowd-surfing, or in a mosh-pit.
The special effects were unnecessary since Brand New’s musical abilities already captivated everyone, but the projectors that distorted the band member faces and colorful lights combined had an extremely trippy effect that made this more than a musical experience. Brand New played a mix of both old and new songs, ranging from 2003’s “Okay I believe you, but my Tommy Gun Don’t” to 2006’s “Degausser” (with a very casual monster mash remix element inserted into this song) to 2011’s “Mix Tape.”
Brand New put on an electric show that appealed to both old and new fans alike. The band rarely spoke and focused entirely on nearly two hours of straight music. Combined with the incredible lights and effects, it had an amazing final show of the US part of its tour. One thing’s for sure, although they aren’t a “Brand New” band, Brand New is timeless in its talent.
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The Penn State Thespians are bringing “Young Frankenstein” to Schwab Auditorium for a spooky and comical set of shows.
CATA Buses are pretty lame. Let’s kick them up a notch.
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