Wednesday, September 28, 2016
the Used @ The Masquerade
Chances are you grew up on Slipknot and while I was old enough to know better their 2002 album was pretty damn good. These guys are more of my wife's thing than mine, but she goes to plenty of shows with me that she prolly could care less about, so I endured the suffocating heat of the soon to be closing Masquerade. Openers New Language we a typical band from L.A. lots of show constantly talking about the fact they are on tour , but no real substance when it comes to the songs with laughable lyrics. As their set progressed every song was a little worse than the one before it until it became hard to bear. By the time the Used took the stage after making the crowd re-live the late 90s with a mix of pop music blaring over the p.a . the place was pretty packed. In some ways this does not surprise me since the city prefers to keep one foot in the past musically. Myspace would have been proud of this show back in 2003.
The Used are still good at what they did. This was the first of a two part series . This was the first night and they were playing their self titled 2002 album front to back. The album is one of the few that have stood the test of time and the songs were endearing. The band played their instruments well with their bass player being their surprise ace n the hole as he was the only one who went above and beyond on this instrument and seems to have perfected his crafted over the years where the guitar player and drummer, clocked in played the songs and did their job. The main problem was vocalist Bert McCracken. While possessing an odd child like charm on stage that makes you wonder what medical marijuana is really doing to people, he answered the question what happens when you take the screaming out of screamo? You have a pop punk band. After having surgery to remove polyps on his vocal chord, he has made statements varying from the surgery took out half of his range to his voice has never been stronger. The real answer is never figured out how to scream from his diaphragm and is too stoned to want to teach the old dog new tricks. Which I Do not mind not screaming if you decided your are done with and and to focus more on actual singing. However if you go on tour to preform an album in it's entirety and you can't do it vocally then why bother?
His voice was hit or miss the bass player took over most of the screamed parts , though they were more yelled than actually screamed. Bert let the crowd sing most of the higher sections or screamed section and got by on his charisma alone. The crowd was too caught up in being blasted back 14 years to really mind or notice. The set had some strong moments with some of the more melodic gems shining the brightest, though the song " A Box Full of Sharp Objects" also translated well even with out the screams. They seemed to be enjoying what they are doing and the crowd did too, I can check this off my list, but would not go seem them again.