The Used

support Yourcodenameis:Milo
author PP date 22/01/05 venue Rock City, Nottingham, UK

Okay, it's official. Bert McCracken is a nutcase. There's no doubt about it. Or could you imagine any other frontman praising the security at first by dedicating random applauses to them, and two songs later literally jump around on the stage, pointing and screaming at the security with something towards "YOU FUCKING PIECES OF SHIT! I AM GOING TO KILL YOUR WIVES, I AM GOING TO MURDER YOUR CHILDREN AND CUT THEM INTO PIECES!". You could see from his face that he meant it too! Wow. And if you took a close look at Bert's face in between the songs (and sometimes even during the songs) and saw that face of his with the grin - I don't think I have ever seen anything as scary as that before. Or insane for that matter.

The support band, Yourcodenameis:Milo surprised me in many ways. I had read several reviews of them in different magazines and some news sites. Most of these praised them quite high. Basically, Yourcodenameis:Milo is an upcoming British band with three guitars (!!). They play great emo with some post-hardcore influence. They sound like Muse's vocalist Matthew with The Strokes' guitarists and bassist playing Yourcodenameis:Milo songs by Franz Ferdinand and The Hives.

Really weird combination indeed! I think this might have been the first time I haven't seen any loser hand-signs or any fuck off signs in a gig during my stay in England. They got the crowd rocking hard specially during their song "Problems". Watch out, because this band will be big this year with their upcoming album release in a month or two! Remember where you read it first!

The Used

Now to the headlining act. This was one of the best gigs I have ever seen in my entire life and I've seen plenty of gigs. Bert McCracken and company completely had the venue in their control. Around 2,000 people had packed into the sold-out Rock City, and all of them were like family with Bert. The gig begun, as expected, with "Take It Away". The crowd literally exploded into moshing, jumping around and screaming to the catchy lyrics. Nearly everyone knew all the lyrics, so the venue was a one hell of a loud "Take It Away". By next song, the slightly harded and more powerful "Listening", the crowd was literally like an ocean full of waves. Half of the crowd was high up in air while the other half was down, and vice versa. An incredible amount of energy and power was present at the crowd. Everyone was in an ecstatic state of mind, enjoying the emocore band and Bert's insane vocal talent.

Unlike Papa Roach's frontman Coby Dick, Bert McCracken knew how to handle the crowd without sounding fake. He praised the crowd with naming them into his family and thanking all of the hardcore The Used fans out there. He said he could feel all of the "energy present at Rock City tonight. I'm so damn glad I am in Nottingham tonight!". And from his evil-looking grinning face you could deduct that without a doubt he meant that deep down in his soul. So once we got to the slightly slower and softer songs like "All I've Got" Bert simply asked the crowd "How many of you guys came in here tonight with your best friend? [crowd: YAAAAAAAAAAHHH] I want you to find him or her and during this song give them hugs and thank them for being there for you!". An amazingly touching addition from the else so crazy frontman.

Rock City's walls are filled with warnings that crowd surfers will be ejected without a warning and they will not receive a refund for the concert. So up until "On My Own" nearly nobody had gone crowd surfing in the fears of getting ejected. But then Bert had the grand idea of saying to the crowd: "This song is a crowd surfing song. I want every single one of you out there crowd surfing. I want to see dozens of bodies floating above the crowd! Lets give the security some work, they aren't looking too busy at the moment!" and there it was. Literally half of the crowd (including the writer!) went crowd surfing. The security was helpless against the masses of people and eventually just had to accept it.

Overall it was among the best gigs I have seen. The Used were energetic as hell, making use of the small stage completely. They were clearly enjoying it 100%. The songs were quite equally played from both of their albums. The only negative things I can possibly think of were that it was perhaps a little short - only nine songs until the encores! I was also slightly disappointed of not seeing "A Box Full Of Sharp Objects" and "Soundeffects And Overdramatics" as these are among the best songs by The Used. To my surprise, "Maybe Memories" wasn't the finishing song as I had expected, but instead it was the second last song. Also, during the last part of "Maybe Memories" where Bert's supposed to scream a whole verse from the top of his lungs, he couldn't quite do it. But I'll excuse that on the amount of screaming he presented in songs like "I'm A Fake" and "Listening". The Used are still on tour right now with stops in Denmark and others. If you happen to live anywhere near a stop, go see them. Else I will arrange for the assassination of you!

9

Setlist:

  • 1. Take It Away
  • 2. Listening
  • 3. Pieces Mended
  • 4. I Caught Fire (In Your Eyes)
  • 5. The Taste Of Ink
  • 6. All I've Got
  • 7. Blue And Yellow
  • 8. On My Own
  • 9. I'm A Fake
  • -- Encore --
  • 10. Maybe Memories
  • 11. Bulimic

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