CONCERT COVERAGE: THE USED w/ EVERY TIME I DIE | Danforth Music Hall

the used show

WORDS BY GUEST WRITER: NICK PEROVIC (Vocals/ Guitar in Lungless)

After being told that my parking job was subpar by some random lady on the street. The box office finally received the guest list with my name on it, allowing me entry into the venue. This was my first time at the Danforth Music Hall in Toronto, and I couldn’t be happier for the show that was about to take place. The Eeries, Marmozets, Every Time I Die and of course…The Used. After grabbing an overpriced beer from the bar, I slowly regretted my decision as I walked into the general admission section of the venue.  The Danforth Music Hall at first glance was a really interesting place, it had almost turquoise-painted walls that a mother would start painting a room with and then get frustrated because it “wasn’t what it looked like on the sample.” That aside, it has a great stage, lighting rig and sound system so after judging a book by its cover, I patiently waited for the first band to start.

The first band to hit the stage was The Eeries from Los Angeles, California. I hadn’t heard of this band or checked them out prior to the show, so I got to hear them with the freshest of ears. They walked out onto the stage and at first glance they semi-resembled the fictional band Stillwater from the movie Almost Famous. However, once they started they sounded nothing like the fictional band I had already associated them with.  They have a very 90’s alternative rock sound with vocals resembling Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins or Raine Maida of Our Lady Peace.  With infectious songs that would easily get stuck in your head, it was clear that this band was very well versed in writing catchy songs. Sadly, this band may have stuck out a little too much on the bill for the audience that they were playing for. The crowd didn’t seem like they were very into it, with many people standing with their arms crossed with the “I’m just here for the headliner” look on their faces. However, it’s undeniable that this band is really good at what they do. Once they started playing their last song, which was easily the most energetic song in the set, they finally got a bit of energy out of the crowd. With Vocalist/Guitarist Isaiah Silva stage diving into the crowd while playing guitar. It was clear that people were starting to enjoy this band; unfortunately they may have let out all their energy a little too late to really resonate with the crowd. They waved goodbye and headed off into the abyss that is known as backstage.

The next band to play was a band that I have been excited to see for a while, Marmozets from Bingley, West Yorkshire, England. I’ve watched their in-studio sessions with Audiotree Live and listened to their debut album The Weird and Wonderful Marmozets quite a bit, so I was really excited to see how they would hold up live. I’m happy to say they more then own up to their recordings. With great riffs, impeccable drumming and amazing vocals, It’s easy to say that this band contended with the bands that were yet to come. The best way I can describe this band is if an Indie band and a Post-Hardcore band met up and said “Hey…lets steal each others ideas and make something cool.” Vocalist Becca Macintyre is definitely one of the highlights of this band. She’s proof that there is a place for female vocalists in heavier music. Her style covers everything from crazy screaming to beautiful clean singing, she has it all and does it all with almost no flaws. Out of all the songs in their set, I would have say the track “Hit The Wave” was definitely the high point of the set in my opinion. The song features huge dynamics, really cool drumming, a massive chorus and a main riff that’ll challenge the likes of most bands you’d call “riff-oriented.” Unfortunately the sound for them was pretty crap so that was probably the only downside to their set. Other then that I would highly recommended checking out this band if you have yet to listen to them, but more importantly, go see them live! You will not be disappointed. I’m as picky as they come when it comes to music so you can take my word for it.

Now this next part of the review will most likely be very biased, why? Because the next band to play was Every Time I Die from Buffalo, New York and they’re my favourite heavy band ever. One thing that made this set different then the many other shows I’ve seen them play in the past is that they now have a new drummer. Recently Ryan “Legs” Leger parted ways with the band so that he would have more time to spend with his family. Without hesitation, the band announced that Daniel Davison, formerly of Norma Jean and Underoath, would be filling the spot as the band’s new drummer. Which got me very excited, because even though it’s sad to see Legs go, Davison is an amazing drummer and definitely an amazing fit for the band considering his playing style and the band’s music.  The band came out to an EDM style intro, which is a bit unusual for them, and then busted right into a crowd favourite, “No Son of Mine.” Every time I’ve seen them play this song, which has been every time I’ve seen them, the crowd always loses their minds with energy. This time was no exception. Every Time I Die has a knack for making crowds react with crazy amounts of energy. They could open for Neil Diamond and still make the crowd go nuts…okay, maybe not but I’d love to think so. They played amazingly as always and the crowd was really eating it up, playing many different fan favourites such as the early classics “Floater” and “Ebloarama,” as well as songs off their most recent full-length album From Parts Unknown. One of the really cool things I got to see them do for the first time is play their cover of “Tourette’s” by Nirvana, which is available on their brand new 7 inch “Salem.” Sadly their set was only half an hour, but holy hell did they use that half an hour well. It was close to the end of their set when they started playing the song “Moor,” which has to be one of their most interesting songs. With an intro that features only piano and creepy singing by Keith Buckley. The song then bursts into one of the heaviest things they’ve every released, and my god did the crowd ever react. I thought this was going to be the end of the set, and that would have been a great way to end it. However, they surprised me by pulling out the old gem “Imitation Is the Sincerest Form of Battery” off their fourth full-length album The Big Dirty as their final song. THAT was the perfect way to end their set in my opinion. Once again another amazing show by the band, and I must say Davison was really impressive considering he had only joined the band a few months prior. He may have lost his iconic moustache, but he hasn’t lost his impeccable drumming abilities. For a band that’s been playing live and making albums for over 17 years, it’s amazing to see how energetic and fresh the band still is, time doesn’t effect Every Time I Die.

After “fan girling” a little too hard at the set I had just watched, it was almost time for the final band of the night to take the stage. The [fucking] Used, as vocalist Bert McCracken would say.  I haven’t seen The Used play since 2009 when they opened for Three Days Grace at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. That was a really awkward show for them. The crowd just didn’t seem to get it, probably because all the bros and dads didn’t understand how to feel or act when listening to The Used, and asking for a wall of death at a Three Days Grace show is like asking for Chicken McNuggets at Burger King…but moving on, I was excited to see them in their own environment with their own fans. Their stage setup was piled high of old TV’s with images of faces that are on the cover of their most recent album Imaginary Enemy, and the TV’s were filled with coloured lights that would go off when needed. I have a nerdy interest in cool stage setups, so I was really intrigued. Once the show started they came out to the old classic “Maybe Memories.” However, what really got me going was when they threw in a snippet of the song “New Noise” by Refused during the song. I quickly noticed that longtime guitarist Quinn Allman wasn’t on stage with them, however after some Google searches while writing this review, I quickly learned he went on a year long hiatus back in February of this year. I then found out that Saosin guitarist Justin Shekoski was filling in for them, being a Sasoin fan that really thrilled the younger me. The Used played a wide variety of songs from all of their albums, and the audience loved it. With the exception of when they played some of their new songs, some of the audience was not into it as much as some of the others. However, once they returned to the classics everyone was on the same page once again. There were some points where vocalist Bert McCracken got a little quote on quote “preachy”, covering topics such as politics and overall how to live life better as a human. I fully understand artists trying to use some of their time on stage to talk about their views, but it’ll always split a crowd. However once they got back to the music, once again everyone was singing their hearts out and enjoying themselves. There was a huge nostalgia vibe in the room during their set, as McCracken said during the show “we want you to feel like a child again” and people did just that. Once their set came to a close, they pulled out some more covers during their encore. Such as Rage Against the Machines’ “Killing in the Name of” and “Bulls on Parade” as well as Nirvana’s “Smells like Teen Spirit” which McCracken introduced as “the greatest song ever written.” Overall a really enjoyable show and I would love to seem them again. I would say this night was a successful one, even after waiting a little too long in the drive-thru at McDonalds to get a quarter pounder combo on the way home. Despite the gut rot that followed, the show prior was great.

Thank you to The Heavy Press for letting me review this show, I hope it was up to your standards, but it probably wasn’t…

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