Brand New and Nada Smurf Fans pack out the Aragon and here’s why

Brand New

Brand New has had a strong following throughout their career.  To hear the news that they are looking to disband has made fans eager to see them live as much as possible. Everyone kept thinking they were done in 2016, but then Jesse Lacey has stated that they aren’t disbanding. Then you hear news that they are done in 2018. At this point its anyone’s guess and they are going to sell out every show in the process.

Bringing on Nada Surf to the tour was a great choice. A band also from the east coast who has been around since the early 90’s. They never got their due recognition back when they began and have just popped up here and there throughout the years.  Extremely underrated and solid live! The one song that is most familiar is their breakout hit “Popular”. Most in the audience gazed upon their set not knowing who they were, but definitely were impressed in the end.  Hopefully they can make it back to Chicago soon in a headlining capacity.  I would be eager to see them play a full set and see what direction they go with their song selection.

Brand New had one of the most eager groups of fans at the Aragon out of all the shows I have covered/attended there. This was also one of the most over sold shows that I have been to. They have a fanbase that is extremely hungry for their music and the knowledge about this band is on the level of religion. Walking around the venue and speaking to fans leading up to the set definitely surprised the hell out of me as to what I learned.  I love this band, but I did not think the fandom and knowledge of them was at the level of bands like the Beatles, Grateful Dead, Tool, etc.

Once Jesse and company took the stage, the venue filled with a deafening roar. From my vantage point, you could see Jesse was most certainly pleased. The set up of the stage had me confused because they are a 4 piece band and they had 2 drum kits. 6 men on stage in all and it definitely worked in their favor. There set went from a slow melodic drive to heavy hitters and back throughout the show. I was not expecting some of the songs that fans know and love to be played at a sped up tempo. “Sic Transit Gloria… Glory Fades” was played much faster than I had hoped. I wanted to soak in every single note and word, but felt rushed through it.

The set was definitely lopsided with songs from their new album, Science Fiction. It wasn’t a bad thing by any means since as it is a solid addition to their catalog with a slew of great tracks. Kicking off the night with “Lit Me Up”, it set the tempo that was going to be an emotional journey. We were all gifted with songs like “You Won’t Know”, “Degausser”, “Jesus”, “Sowing Season”, and “Soco Amaretto Lime”.

Overall this show meant so much to fans since they are unable to say for certain if they will get to see Brand New again live. Hopefully we all do.  This band is still more than relevant in the music scene. The diehard fanbase alone gives them opportunity to sell out mid size venues. If they do end the band within the next couple of years, they are doing a disservice to both fans and the music world. Their music is moving and poignant. More accessible then one would think at first listen. They are one of the most relateable bands that I have come across in the past 20 years for me and so many others.

Brand New… don’t let the Glory Fade.

Photo’s after the setlists.

Nada Surf Setlist:

  1. Believe You’re Mine > 2. Cold To See Clear > 3. Killian’s Red > 4. Inside of Love > 5. Friend Hospital > 6. Popular > 7. Hyperspace > 8. See These Bones > 9. Always Love

Brand New Setlist:

  1. Lit Me Up > 2. Gasoline > 3. Out of Mana > 4. You Won’t Know > 5. 137 > 6. Can’t Get It Out > 7. Sic Transit Gloria… Glory Fades > 8. I Will Play My Game Beneath the Spin Light > 9. You Stole > 10. At The Bottom > 11. In the Water > 12. Same Logic/Teeth > 13. 451 > 14. Degausser > 15. Jesus > 16. Sowing Season (extended outro) > ENCORE: 17. Soco Amaretto Lime (Jesse solo)

 

Brett Bergen

Brett Bergen

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