The Used Leaves Their Mark In CA After Two Sold Out Shows

The Used
April 8, 2015
The Observatory- Orange County, CA

 Fifteen years after The Used formed so they could rebel against traditions in Utah, the emo band proved they still can play a kickass show, as exemplified at Wednesday night’s sold-out show at the Observatory in Santa Ana.
The second of two sold-out shows at the venue also featured the refreshingly female-fronted Marmozets and lively Every Time I Die. The Used’s hour-long set included songs from their past, like Taste of Ink and newer songs, like Cry.
The band, which proved their relevancy years after the emo scene arguably died down a bit, opened with Maybe Memories, complete with an interlude of Refused’s New Noise. Maybe Memories was a treat for die-hard fans as it is a song that is rarely played but shows off the band’s essence and something that made them stick out in the scene to begin with — vocalist Bert McCracken’s raspy screams.
And, despite their 15 years as a band, they proved they still have as much energy as when they started. Bassist Jepha Howard was constantly moving about the 12_theusedstage and drummer Dan Whitesides was also captivating to watch. And Justin Shekoski, formerly of Saosin, was a nice fill-in for guitarist Quinn Allman, who announced a hiatus from the band earlier this year.
It was refreshing to hear McCracken scream once again, following several tours where he would leave the screaming parts up to fans. But, despite all his time being in one of the most popular emo bands, McCracken proved he was still humble and kept in mind what brought everyone to the concert — music.
As a few fans began fighting in the crowd — prompting two of those fans to be kicked out by security — McCracken encouraged fans to love each other.
“Please stop wasting everybody’s time,” he said to the fighting fans. “I challenge everyone to be a child once again. So easily we forget what this music means to us.”
But McCracken still also knows how to command a crowd. Take when he lifted his arms in the air to prompt the crowd to scream louder and louder, then softer and softer as he put his hands back down to his sides. Or, when he brought two women on stage and commanded them to make out during I Caught Fire. The women, who said they were in a relationship, did as they were told, seemingly happily. Or, take what has become a tradition at recent Used shows: a wall of death. As the band chugged through Pretty Handsome Awkward, the crowd split in half then charged at each other once the music got heavy.
McCracken acknowledged their time in the scene and showed his appreciation to the fans who have stuck by the band’s side.
“Thank you for keeping the dream alive for 15 years,” he said.
Review by: Brittany Woolsey 

The Used


Every Time I Die