Brand New’s Crowd Goes Off

Brand New’s Crowd Goes Off

I knew basically nothing about this proggy Long Island emo band, since they come from the Taking Back Sunday era, just after I drifted away from the genre. But my colleague Ian Cohen convinced me that they’re a huge deal within their circle, that punks treat every rumbling of new music the way certain of us treat whatever Tool or Radiohead does. Maybe a new Brand New album will turn out to be a masterpiece of the form, but their set didn’t convert me. Their ringing-quiet-guitars-to-roaring-overdrive dynamics were strong, but frontman Jesse Lacey either sounds too much like Gavin Rossdale or too much like Isaac Brock, depending on the moment. I liked them, didn’t love them. I did, however, love their crowd, which packed a huge tent out and wailed along with every wounded, strangulated word. The entire weekend, I didn’t see anyone else use guitar-driven music to whip a crowd into anything like that level of frenzy. It was a sight.

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