The resurgence of good music has a foothold in Dallas.
The Used rapidly sold out Gas Monkey Bar and Grill for the Tuesday night show, so the emo gods blessed us with the threat of inclement weather and the two-band lineup moved from the outdoor Bar n’ Grill to the much larger (and indoor) Gas Monkey Live; thus, allowing more emo kids to relive their early-aught glory days.
Dragged Under, from Seattle, Washington, opened the show around 8:00 pm to an already packed house. The moment frontman Anthony “Tony” Cappochi hit the stage, he was an energy filled ball of aggression that seemingly had no limits. They are a bit heavier than their counterparts, but were well-received by the crowd. The house continued to fill and movement became inevitable with the first pits of the night opening up. “Here for War” caught my ear the most and got the biggest reaction from the audience during their set. I was captivated by the band’s high energy and solid musicianship for their entire 35 minute set.
The Used took the stage under a veil of darkness at about 9:00 pm. The lights came up with Bert McCracken reciting the intro to “I’m a Fake.” The crowd surged forward with anticipation, “Love is not like anything, especially a fucking knife!” The lights hit and bodies started to slam into each other. This tour was for all the old school fans and it certainly showed from the setlist, touching on nothing but the first half of their discography. Getting to hear 800+ people scream “It’s four o’clock in the fucking morning!“, the same line I’ve been screaming for almost twenty years, sent chills down my spine. As a die hard fan, I can say the whole band sounded great and every member brought his A-game.
McCracken took several opportunities to talk to the fans throughout the hour and half long set, at one point bringing a young fan on stage and letting him partake in the festivities for the new song “Blow Me.” McCracken stated that there is a resurgence of good music coming about and he was incredibly happy to be a part of it. He looked very healthy and seemed to delightedly soak up every moment of the evening. At multiple intervals during the set, he mentioned the importance of positivity in our minds and our day-to-day lives. Before the start of “Maybe Memories,” he had the crowd split into what seemed to be a wall of death, but was spun into a “Wall of Love.” The set was “ended” with “Pretty Handsome Awkward,” but after a short break we got an encore of “Paradise Lost, A poem by John Milton” and “Box Full of Sharp Objects.” I had the highest of expectations coming into this evening and every single one was met.
– Brently Kirksey