March 22, 2007

Once in a Lifetime?

Last night, I saw my favorite band perform my favorite album of all time, in full. And in order.

I had seen Brand New five times prior, and had heard all of those songs live (some five times each), but never in "album form." It's an interesting sensation. They started off with four songs from Your Favorite Weapon, their 2001 debut that features more of a pop-punk feel. After that, they hit all eleven tracks of Deja Entendu, the aforementioned favorite album of the all time (evar). After that, they still had time for seven tracks from their new album, The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me.

As much as I love Deja, I'm really hoping that this is their way of "retiring" the emphasis on old material. I'd really prefer to hear the newer stuff live, since that's the stuff I've been obsessing over for the last few months. In particular, I was saddened to not hear "The Archer's Bows are Broken" and "Not the Sun," though they thankfully played "Millstone" (which had not been on previous set lists).

Anyway, great show; at 22 tracks, it was significantly longer than any previous performance I had seen of theirs, and it will likely be the last time I hear such a personally well-regarded album played in full. On top of that, Jesse came out and did "Cotton Crush" with Kevin Devine, which is pretty much a Brand New track, but not quite. There were several group jams among the three performers (Manchester Orchestra manned the initial opening slot), and Jesse was a part of each one.

After the show, the kids waited around for almost ten minutes, hoping for an encore. I'd never seen anything like it. The band members appeared on the upper balcony, bowing and thanking everyone. I had to wonder if it was a first for them, as well.

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