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Brand New in Philadelphia, PA

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Melody Bot, Jul 20, 2016.

  1. Melody Bot

    Your friendly little forum bot. Staff Member

    This article has been imported from for discussion. All of the forum rules still apply.

    Brand New’s co-headlining trek across the country rolled into Philadelphia last weekend at the beautiful local amphitheater, the Mann Center for Performing Arts. The perennial favorites were unquestionably at the top of their game on this night and gave a whirlwind of a performance that consisted in equal measure of fan favorites, rarities, and deep cuts. Check below for a full gallery of the images I took from this show, as well as to read some brief thoughts thinking of the band’s career and legacy.

    It should be noted from the outset that I am not a particularly religious person. That’s not to say that I’m not spiritual, or that I don’t believe in any higher power or universal construct. I certainly do. It’s just that I don’t find any benefit derived from the ceremonial act of gathering and worshiping.

    So, I have said on a number of occasions in the past, and I will say it again: Brand New concerts are the closest thing to a communal religious experience I currently have in my life. There is a sort of emotional bloodletting, a cathartic release, in seeing this band perform that is not unlike receiving Communion.

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    You may, perhaps rightfully, think I’m overselling the point. But think about the last shows you went to. Isn’t the act of singing together a form of mutual worship? Aren’t the lyrics of your favorite songs, songs you looked to for guidance and strength through difficult times, similar to the parables of the New Testament, the guiding principles of the Quran or the Torah? What is it that we are looking for in our favorite songwriters? Are we looking for them to be our own form of shepard? I don’t have all the answers, necessarily, but I think there is quite clearly, in the words of Foxy Shazam, a Church of Rock and Roll that many of us are followers of.

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    It is fitting that much of the Brand New’s merchandise for this tour carry with them such vivid religious imagery. There is the upside down flower cross (Cross of St. Peter), a symbol which has a dual, and warring interpretation, but which often refers to an anti-authoritarian or anti-Christian ethos. In this case, though, I believe it’s referring to St. Peter’s demise and his desire to go out on his own terms. Another shirt refers to the word Abracadabra, a word which has been interpreted differently by different etymologists, philosphers, and linguists, but which to some can be roughly translated as, “what was said has come to pass.” Both pieces of merchandise use significant religious imagery to try to drive home a key point to fans: if this is the end of the run for the band, if this were all to end tomorrow, there would be nothing to feel remorseful over.

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    Brand New has accomplished more than they could have ever hoped to dream of, and they’ve done it on their terms. They’ve created a fanbase so fanatical that it goes behind a simple religious congregation and borders on cult-like obsession. So as Brand New flashed the years 2000-2018 across their backdrop for the second time in the show, I kept thinking about how I would want this band to remembered. Not as the band who deliberately toyed with their fans emotions, or the band who took notoriously long to complete an album, but as band who has crafted a connection to their fanbase so relentless that even Scientologists might be a little freaked out. Now if only God could force them into releasing a fifth album…

    Oh, yeah, and the setlist for this tour was remarkably similar to my Ultimate Setlist I made a few months ago. Patting myself on that back for that one.

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  2. Bartek T.

    D'oh! Prestigious

    Great pics man, the show looks magical!
  3. SEANoftheDEAD


    It's funny you compare their live shows to a religious experience. I was there at the Mann on Saturday too and my friends and I were saying the same thing! For an hour or so the world just completely stopped and all that mattered was Brand New. Such a great show.
  4. Matt Chylak

    I can always be better, so I'll always try. Supporter


    looooove this one
    supernovagirl likes this.
  5. youll be fine

    Trusted Supporter

  6. Craig Ismaili

    @tgscraig Prestigious

    Thank you! That's actually currently my desktop background and one of the two I'm thinking about making into a Fracture

    The other is one of the ones with Jesse on the monitor.
  7. Thursdaysox

    We know it from the silence

    Could have gone without having to think about how disappointing "welcome to the church of rock and roll" was.
  8. Craig Ismaili

    @tgscraig Prestigious

    "I Like It" is so great, though. And there are probably a half a dozen other songs on that album I like.
  9. Thursdaysox

    We know it from the silence

    100% with you on that song, and as a stand alone disc it would probably have been OK, but to follow up Introducing / the self titled with church was criminal. And I like to believe "Gonzo" doesn't even exist.
  10. Craig Ismaili

    @tgscraig Prestigious

    I also pretend Gonzo doesn't exist. So you're not alone there
  11. chewbacca110

    He wrenches on it. He thinks it's his.

    Brand New thread turns into a Foxy Shazam thread? I'm about that.
    Thursdaysox likes this.
  12. Guys Named Todd

    Regular Prestigious

    I was at this show as well. My girlfriend and I kept joking that it felt like a massive worship service. Anyway, it's awesome to have such great photos to remember the night.
  13. supernovagirl

    Poetic and noble land mermaid

    I have referred to their live performances (specifically the one I went to before this tour) for a while now and I'm not a religious, or spiritual, person at all haha. In fact when I got my Brand New tattoo part of it has a double meaning for me in that way.