Photography by: Jerome Joyce
Words by: Tyson Clarke
It’s finally starting to feel like summer throughout the city streets of Toronto which means one thing, it’s almost time for summer concert season. On May 8th 2018, The Used gave us a taste of that, bringing their 2018 Spring Tour to Toronto’s Phoenix Concert Theatre. The show was supported by California based Post-hardcore trio The Fever 333, and Ohio based rockers Red Sun Rising.
By the time the Utah based emo legends graced the stage the floor of the sold out theatre was completely full as close to 1500 fans eagerly awaited their arrival. The Used were greeted with a thunderous response as the band emerged and began to play the opening riff of “Maybe Memories” off of their debut self-titled album. Before flying into crowd favourites “The Worm and the Bird”, and “Take it Away”.
“How are you feeling tonight Toronto? I’m so fucking excited, it’s been a long time since we’ve been back in Canada. They finally let us back” said singer, Bert McCracken before going into “Listening” from their album In Love and Death. Bert was not shy to express the amount of gratitude towards the fans that the band had for sticking with them for so long. “Oh my god, I’m having so much fucking fun with you guys”, and “I just wanted to say that after 18 years it still feels fucking fabulous to be here with you” were among the main praises he gave to the crowd throughout their 80 minute set.
Although the band just released their seventh studio album back in fall of 2017 entitled The Canyon, there was a shortage of songs performed from the record. The only song played from it was “Rise up Lights” with the rest of the show focusing on the countless number of hits from the rest of their catalogue. “We’re gonna play so many old songs. We want to play one song from every album, and we have like 452 albums. It’s going to be a long show, so grab a beer and an adult smoke” said Bert before going into “I Come Alive”
Near the end of the set, the band pulled out the big crowd pleasers “All That I Got”, “The Taste of Ink” and “Buried Myself Alive”. “I gotta say, this has been the funnest show of the tour so far” Bert says before ending off the main set with “Pretty Handsome Awkward” from their 2007 release, Lies for the Liars. After about a minute or two, the band returned to the stage to officially close the night off with a mash up of their hit “A Box of Sharp Objects” and Nirvana’s “Smells like Teen Spirit”.
The Used are one of the biggest names in the emo scene, and this show for a lot of people was a throwback to when they were in elementary or high school and a celebration of simpler times. The crowd ranged from 19-60 year olds who were all jumping, moshing, high fiving, smiling and singing their hearts out and that’s a testament influential this band’s music is to the scene.
Early in the show Bert got everyone to put their arm around the person next to them, whether they knew each other or not, which was one of the most memorable and important moments of the night. Everyone has their differences, but for that one night we’re brought together with one common interest and that is the love of music.
To anyone who is a fan of emo, or hard rock music and has not seen The Used live, it’s something you’re going to want to do the next time they’re in your town.
The Used Setlist:
The Worm and the Bird
Take it Away
I Caught Fire
I Come Alive
Rise up Lights
Blood on My Hands
All That I Got
The Taste of Ink
Buried Myself Alive
Pretty Handsome Awkward
A Box Full of Sharp Objects/Smells like Teen Spirit (Nirvana cover)