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Brand New, The Palace Theatre, 31-01-08

February 1, 2008

Brand New have been one of my favourite bands since I was fifteen and the last two times they toured here I had been unable to go, so to finally see them last night was pretty damn great. And it was a pretty awesome show.

I had heard bad things about The Palace Theatre (formally known as The Metro) but while waiting in line I heard there had been some recent renovations there and having never been there before I can’t tell you whether they have helped a great deal but I thought it was a pretty good venue, especially if you are short (like the seemingly endless number of probably under age teenage girls that were there) because there are good viewing angles all round. And there are multiple levels. I had a fairly annoying time trying to get to Stupid Melbourne which involved me catching a train, forgetting my concert ticket, catching a train, running home, trying to catch another train and failing. But I eventually got there and I’m glad I got there a bit later anyway because I had to wait until about 10.15 for anything exciting to happen.

Jesse (the lead vocalist of Brand New) did a short acoustic set before the full band came on. It was quite good and was cool to see him do a cover version of Neutral Milk Hotel’s ‘Oh, Comely’, one of my favourite songs ever. He played a set of mostly covers and also a couple Brand New tracks which the entire crowd sang along too, it was definitely a neat idea having him open for the band and I quite enjoyed.

The full band opened with ‘Welcome to Bangkok’, one of the two instrumental tracks from their latest album and it was a fantastic opener which really showcased their forthcoming energy. I never really thought that Brand New could pull off instrumental songs as Jesse’s lyrics are such a huge part of their songs but they really showed themselves to be skilled players throughout the night changing up their songs and adding some jams to a few of them. They made a lot of noise but now that it is a six person band (for the most part) it was sort of expected. Vincent, their lead guitarist, kept the energy levels high for the whole show and really seemed to bring the whole band together. The rest of band seemed to fluctuate between really high and average throughout the night but Vincent never turned himself down and really kept the show together and the energy levels up.

Jesse didn’t say much but after a while he seemed more comfortable and it felt like he really got into it. He also told a funny story about their roadie breaking his foot trying to impress the ‘bjorkestra’. I think they played pretty much every song from their newest album and one or two from their first. They played a few songs from Deja Entendu but for a couple they got rid of part of the band, the new part, and played the songs as a four piece, which was nice but I liked the added noise that six members bring. The extended version of ‘I believe you but…’ was fucking awesome and to see them play ‘Jaws Swimming theme’ live was great and something I had been waiting a long time for.
Their newer songs worked a lot better in a live setting then I was expecting due to dense production on the bands recordings. The six piece was really able to bring them together and do justice to them and Jesse vocals were great. The guitar throughout the show was really nice though and having three(!) guitarists is cool and brings the added noise.

The encore was a bit lame, they played another instrumental track but when using a recorder dealy to overlap the guitar sounds it sounded like Vincent stuffed it up a bit so the song seemed to be a bit out of time. The song was nice when the full band got behind it (having two drummers rules!) but they really should have played a well known song for the encore as afterwards the crowd was a little bit wtf? It was a pretty fantastic show though despite the lacklustre encore and there was such energy on the stage and in the crowd, I can’t wait what to see these guys do next. Also I took some photos which I have been meaning to do at every gig but I always forget my camera, the best ones (least shit ones I might say) are the ones you’ve just been looking at.

James, I think you totally got this band wrong.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. James permalink
    February 1, 2008 2:18 pm

    Heh, yeah even I’d agree that I was pretty wrong about them. As the days go by since I saw them, I keep getting fonder of them, and thinking I was way too harsh in my criticisms. I think it would’ve helped a lot if I was downstairs at Enmore (except for The Shins, I’ve never enjoyed it upstairs as much), and it was probably mostly my fault for only knowing one album, which wasn’t even their newest one.

    I really did LOVE every song they did off Deja Entendu, and I loved quite a few of the others, too.

    The encore really threw me off, though. I was expecting ‘The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows’ or something, as was the rest of the crowd… (Which, as you say, was filled with teenage girls). I was left wanting more. Which I guess is both a good and a bad thing. Good in that I didn’t want them to go away there and then, but bad because, well, I didn’t hear all I wanted to hear.

    Glad you enjoyed it!

  2. Nick permalink
    February 2, 2008 1:40 am

    Oh yeah, I was going to go upstairs at the Palace but it was easy enough to get a good spot down the front on the floor so pfft. They also played Me Vs. Maradona Vs. Elvis.
    I would love to see them again and watch a completely different set list.

  3. James permalink
    February 2, 2008 2:16 am

    At Enmore, upstairs is all seating, so I had been given a predetermined seat. Depends what you book. Downstairs is usually all standing, although they occasionally put seats down there for things like The Chaser and Cat Power.
    Dammit, that was the song I wanted to see most! Gah.
    It sounds like they played a number of different songs for you, actually. Oh well… I’d still see them again. That’s really the thing – it wasn’t that I disliked them, I just felt I missed out on a lot.

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