boasts a capacity of 1,150 for its concert hall. I would call that a conservative estimate for Brand New (frontman Jesse Lacey pictured right) and Thrice as I politely pushed through the throng of mostly teenage girls clogging the stairways leading to the pit. All the "Excuse Me's" I could muster made no difference when I bumped a girl's flip-flopped foot and received a flat, condescending "Ow" in reply. Here's a novel idea -- don't wear flip-flops to rock concerts and don't stop in the middle of a stairway to watch a band. Unless you'll permit the rest of us to pee on you instead of pushing through to the facilities.
Following a false start, Thrice (pictured right, all photos by Mike Wilson) hit the stage around eight and overcame some early technical problems to deliver a ten-song set of competent, mostly mid-tempo post-rock with intermittent lite-hardcore breakdowns. Guitarist Teppei Teranishi's backup vocals created some pleasant harmonies with frontman Dustin Kensrue's otherwise bland leads. Thrice didn't perform as if very excited, and aside from a pinch of hardcore fans singing every word they elicited little more than head-bobbing from the crowd. It took a cover of "Helter Skelter" -- a song that pre-dates the birth of every bandmember and most of the audience -- to finally evoke some movement. "Silhouette" off their major label debut, The Artist In The Ambulance, received the best fan reaction, and enough people caught onto the "We are beggars, all" chant from their new LP's title-track as Thrice finally forged a connection before ending their set. I heard more than a few Thrice supporters object the lack of 'hits.'
Thankfully, Brand New (pictured below) left little room for similar complaints. (Setlists for both bands after the jump!)
Jesse tried to slow things down with numbers like "Degausser" and a mostly solo-electric "Limousine" from Devil And God... His attempts at pathos fell pretty flat, though -- not due to any failed execution, but because the audience screamed every goddamn word. Emo boys and girls shouting lyrics in each others' faces is just not romantic.
Jesse asked the crowd if anyone was following them around the state given the strange tour schedule -- the Tampa show sandwiched between two Orlando dates -- and promised a little something different for the night. A four-song stretch early on showcased Brand New's early poppier material. Two songs each from the band's first two albums followed -- including fan favorites "Sic Transit Gloria... Glory Fades" and "Jude Law And A Semester Abroad," each marked by the evening's largest, most turbulent pits and loudest sing-alongs. Brand New jumped between the newer, more melodic and complex material and the older, pedantic pop-punk with ease, and managed to deftly showcase their evolution over the past decade.
All The World Is Mad
Of Dust And Nations
A Song For Milly Michaelson
Talking Through Glass
Helter Skelter [Beatles cover]
Bang Bang [tease] / Beggars
Welcome To Bangkok [instrumental]
You Won't Know
Okay I Believe You, But My Tommy Gun Don't
Sic Transit Gloria... Glory Fades
Jude Law And A Semester Abroad
Seventy Times 7
Limousine (MS Rebridge)
Sowing Season (Yeah)
The Archers Bows Have Broken
Bought A Bride
At The Bottom
Play Crack The Sky