The Used Hit SoCal With Low-Pro, High-Energy Set

IRVINE, California — When I mentioned to my friends that I was going to see The Used, more than half the responses were, “Oh, they’re still a band?”

Yeah, so, The Used have dropped off the mainstream radar a bit. Their most recent release is an iTunes-only EP, Shallow Believer. I’m kind of in love with the song “Sun Comes Up” from that disc, but they didn’t play it. Oh well. They did play “Sick Hearts,” though, and that was pretty solid. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

I watched Straylight Run open, and they were just about as exciting as I remember them being before—which means, um, not at all. They opened with “Existentialism on Prom Night,” the only song I happen to know, but it just didn’t get me pumped. Straylight Run are quality LJ-ing music, nothing I can devote my full attention to. At the urging of Brianfax, I took video footage of them playing “Hands in the Sky (Big Shot).”

After Straylight, I wandered back up to the photo pit to wait. There were cardboard cutouts of various presidential wannabes (and Dubya, and a few soliders) being assembled. I didn’t really get their purpose, other than Bert McCracken imitating a girl voice and playing with the Hillary one (watch that video here). Is there political subtext in the lyrics that I just never picked up on?

I took a picture of the set list before they started. It was sort of a Used “greatest hits” show.

McCracken opened the show by taking a swig of water (or was it beer?) and spraying it all over the front row. That move must’ve taken practice, because the picture I took looks just like it was raining — kind of gross and awesome at the same time.

After the photogs were ushered away from the front of the stage, Bert shouted, “Who wants to dance?!” and then pulled up a bunch of girls onstage. He pulled up one girl onto his little light box and basically made out with her. She looked slightly horrified.

Think about it — of all the lead singers in all the rock bands in the same genre, is there anyone you’d be MORE aversive about making out with than him? I’m just sayin’.

As if you couldn’t tell by the photos I took, I was favoring Quinn Allman just a tad. Oh, and? He smiled at me. Definitely, unquestionably, ME — my heart nearly stopped beating. /end fangirlness.

They played my absolute favorite Used song (“Taste of Ink“), brought openers Street Drum Corps out for a song, and also brought out drummer Dan Whiteside‘s father, Bill Whiteside, to play guitar on one song. Cute.


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And don’t miss Buzznet’s recent interview with The Used:

Bert on drinking and beating up security guards:

[Click the picture to view the video]The Used mock Paramore:
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Bert belts out a cover of Linkin Park‘s “Bleed It Out”

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