Brand New, Glassjaw and Thrice @ Wembley Arena 23/01/10


24 jan. 2010, 23h45m

Sat 23 Jan – Brand New, Thrice, Glassjaw

A line up like Brand New, Glassjaw and Thrice is one barely seen on this side of the Atlantic. For years I've complained that the US gets all the best tours, so it was about time we saw something worth travelling to London for.

Thrice were missing Teppei but not noticeably so; after seeing them headline in Leeds a few days before, I was expecting nothing less than what they gave - a decent set. It was a shame that from where I was, they weren't as appreciated as they should have been. Dustin Kensrue was on top form and Thrice clearly rose to the challenge of an arena show. There was a noticeable lack of Deadbolt but a highlight in the closing song, the title track from their new album, Beggars.

Right on time were Glassjaw, who seemed to be equally under appreciated. By this point, I was beginning to wonder whether everybody around me had come for the same show I had. Being familar with the band but not with their song titles leaves me without comment on their setlist and while Daryl Palumbo's energetic performance was entertaining, it left me with the feeling that it would have been better suited to an Academy.

As for Brand New, the headliners, the band everybody went to see - some all the way from Scotland - I was disappointed. After hearing other opinions about their performance, I feel as though I watched a completely different show, but personally, I was left with the feeling that I'd just watched a band disappear into their own arseholes before my very eyes.

Jesse Lacey screamed his way through the first half of the set, which included Degausser followed by You Won't Know and Okay, I believe you but my tommy gun don't. The ad-lib screaming and wailing just didn't cut it for me; these songs are sung, so why they were screeched around the arena is beyond me. They seemed to hit their stride in the second half, with The Archers Bows Have Broken and the classic fan-favourite, Seventy Times Seven and the setlist was an excellent mix of all their studio albums. Vices was a highlight for me - finally, a song that was meant to be screamed out.

If they cut the pretentiousness from their style, Brand New would probably come across better. Wembley Arena is long way from Academy 2 shows and the release of Deja Entendu, and they've earned the right to play there, but when you overlook their cult status, is the substance really there anymore?


  • blackdovex

    I personally think you were a bit harsh in this, but obviously we're two different people with two different minds. I competely agree that Thrice and Glassjaw were on better form than Brand New, with no doubt - and that's coming from someone who knew neither band before the show. I agree also with Jesse and his over-the-top screaming. That's the only thing that lets them down live, I believe. Musically they sound right on track, but Jesse's vocals do wander a bit when live. I don't agree with them disappearing "into their own arseholes" one bit, I still think they're one of the least pretentious bands out now. And answering your question, yes, the substance is still there. Period.

    25 jan. 2010, 0h21m
  • neverbeenhugged

    you totally miss the point. I strongly disagree.

    25 jan. 2010, 1h43m
  • Serny

    Personally I thought Jesse sounded pretty much pitch perfect and especially after watching some other live performances online he sometimes disappoints - but last night I thought Brand New were on form. The screaming/alterations to their songs just added to the live performance rather than just sounding as though they were just regurgitating the studio albums. Also, from someone that has never listened to Thrice before, I thought they sounded pretty fucking awesome.

    25 jan. 2010, 3h08m
  • beautifullycomplete

    If I totally missed the point, it begs the question, what exactly WAS the point?

    25 jan. 2010, 8h50m
  • martyn8484

    I see your point regarding Jesse's vocals. Not great when he screamed and it worked much better when he sang - which he should have done throughout!

    25 jan. 2010, 12h16m
  • Nathan113

    I love how you criticise Brand New's lack of substance yet have 800 plays on the likes of Ting Tings and Dashboard. But of course you missed the point completely! Calling Brand New up themselves is a ridiculous thing to say, time and time again Jesse comments on how he doesn't think Brand New themselves are good and that he doesn't understand why people love them so much. They weren't 'screeched' either and he sung the majority of the songs anyway, I'd rather a band add something different to their live show then mimic their record.

    25 jan. 2010, 18h37m
  • beautifullycomplete

    Oh? You're criticising my review based on my taste in music? Well, I've loved Brand New since Failure By Design and YFW. I've met the guys. I've spent money on their music, gigs and merch. I was, in fact, your age when I first saw them with Straylight Run and Moneen. I'm guessing you weren't there. I too would rather bands added something to their live show, something more than regurgitated CD albums. However, I didn't think Jesse's additions on this particular occasion 'added' to their performance - I think they detracted from it. He's a good vocalist, so why not use his voice to its full capacity instead of screaming lyrics that aren't usually screamed? It was a shame, that's all. I say that as a FAN, not as someone who just happened to travel all the way from Leeds to London to see a band just for the sake of it. I think you missed the point - the point being, that it could have been better, not that it was a complete write-off. I've also seen Dashboard Confessional numerous times, for your information, who I've never seen put on a bad show.

    25 jan. 2010, 20h42m
  • Nathan113

    Not at all, I criticized one comment based on substance and I don't care for how good Dashboard are the point remains, they have little substance compared to Brand New. And you ignored the stuck up/pretentious point completely instead just going on about how many years you've been listening to Brand New for. Besides what does that matter anyway that I didn't go to that gig, we were talking about Wembely. Plus he didn't scream, listen to Vices and listen to Degausser (I think that was the one you're refferring to) at Wembely, totally different vocal styles and I don't think I ever said anything about your review suggesting it was a complete write off either.

    25 jan. 2010, 21h17m
  • beautifullycomplete

    Everybody will have their own opinion on their favourite bands, you're welcome to yours. I've always had the impression that Jesse can be standoffish (I've met him, and experienced it first hand). Now, that's obviously my own personal opinion and you're welcome to disagree. Just don't insinuate that I'm not qualified to have an opinion. When it comes to Brand New, Jesse Lacey could have farted in that microphone for an hour and a half and his fanboys/girls would still have squealed with delight. Wembley was NOT their best performance - not by a long shot - and that's what my review says. I'm not here to lick backsides, I'm here to write what I thought. I don't need to listen to Vices OR Degausser, I'm perfectly familiar with both, but thank you for your suggestion all the same. Yes, they are completely different vocal styles, which was my point. Jesse screamed them both the same on Saturday night, when Degausser should have been sung for the most part.

    25 jan. 2010, 21h56m
  • Nathan113

    Neither are my favourite bands, it's just quite obvious that Dashboard have a lot less going for them creatively than Brand New, take A Mark, A Mission... and Places That We've come... both pretty much identical in style, in comparison to Brand New where every album has been quite a lot different in style. Again where did I insinuate that you're not qualified to have an opinion? Besides, standoffish has nothing to do with pretention or stuck up his own arse, which was your original point, it could just simply mean he likes privacy or is shy. A one off meeting doesn't count. I'm not a fan boy or hear to lick their arses! I've not gone on about the fact that "I've listened to Brand New since YFW" or whatever you said.... And I'm not licking their arses, I just think you keep making poor points and then not backing them up, you wrote a review, expect criticism, I'll expect to get hit back at my points and not resort to calling you a fan girl. I'm sorry but read what I write before commenting back, I said listen to Degausser and Vices at WEMBLEY. They were not sung in the same styles, I don't even want to argue that, yes Degausser was different but it wasn't screaming like Vices at all, it just didn't happen.

    25 jan. 2010, 22h21m
  • beautifullycomplete

    Jesse Lacey comes across as pretentious to me. That's my opinion. Why shouldn't a one-off meeting count? It adds to the opinion; I haven't based it solely on that. Besides, a one-off meeting sounds like it's more to go off than you have. To be honest, if my points are poor, yours are poorer. My initial post never compared Degausser and Vices. Actually, Degausser and Vices weren't compared until you compared them. I didn't like the first half of the set particularly, because of the vocals. That's my personal opinion, again, and that's not a 'poor point', it's an opinion. I didn't like it. My friend, she loved it, but she's telling me to relisten to anything. Then again, she's an adult. Around about 2:30. This is the problem I had with SOME of the first half of the set - screaming/shouting/off key vocals where it wasn't necessary. That entire verse blew, again, in my opinion. The guy can sing, why waste an opportunity like Wembley and do that? Other people liked it, and good for them, but I didn't. If producing a video and pointing out a part I didn't like isn't backing up an argument, I don't know what is. That odd vocal style that I didn't like? It did happen, and there it is, so enjoy it (as you clearly did on the evening).

    25 jan. 2010, 22h36m
  • mikeyboy182

    interesting review, i enjoyed the screaming mainly because for me, the music overpowered jesse's vocals and I was singing to the top of my voice! It's just another new direction for Brand New, this is the Daisy era now, which means more screaming, even during older songs.

    25 jan. 2010, 22h38m
  • Yazthespaz

    I enjoyed his vocals at the gig and I think brand new played well. I think if you prefer a more clean finished vocals from back to there earlier days you wouldn't of enjoyed the gig so much. I think this band is getting better by each album. Critising their performance/vocals as its not to your taste is ridiculous. If you don't like screaming vocals go to a pop concert not a brand new gig x

    26 jan. 2010, 10h39m
  • martyn8484

    Personally I think people are not seeing "beautifully's" point. She is simply suggesting that Jesse screamed vocals that didn't need screaming. I found he screamed on parts of songs that were melodic, soft and gentle. It didn't make sense. If you're in the middle of a heavy riff go ahead and scream but I don't think he did himself justice. One minute the vocals were ropey, the next - superb. As a Thrice fan I would take their performance as the best example of using your vocals well. Dustin screamed when he needed to scream and he screamed when he didn't too - but it worked for him - he did it in the right places and I just don't think Jesse had that balance. To also suggest that if you don't like screaming go to a pop concert (YAZTHESPAZ) is bullshit. She didn't say she didn't like the screaming (full stop) but that she felt he screamed in places where he didn't need too. I loved the show - I thought Brand New were great but I don't think they took their biggest show ever in the UK by the scruff of the neck and gave it everything they hadl!

    26 jan. 2010, 12h04m
  • beautifullycomplete

    LOLOL Martyn is right, it's not that I don't like screaming at a gig (I saw Thrice earlier in the week; they were excellent) it is simply that I don't like hearing songs massacred when they're done live. Thrice were absolutely spot on with their performance.

    26 jan. 2010, 12h18m
  • Yazthespaz

    'he screamed in places where he didn't need too'....bah did we go to the same gig?! Like I said before the critism I don't think is based on the performance but your personal taste. Its been my favourite brand new gig to date. x

    26 jan. 2010, 13h40m
  • martyn8484

    Yaz (really like your music taste btw) they were great - I do agree! It was my first time seeing them so I guess I don't have any means of comparison but; I've been a fan for a few years. I do see both sides and sometimes the screaming did work (in places he doesn't normally scream) I just think beautifully complete has been given a bit too much of a hard time for her opinion

    26 jan. 2010, 14h01m
  • beautifullycomplete

    All reviews are a combination of performance and personal taste - I can't write a review about what you heard, I can only write a review of what I heard. If you don't like my review, take the time to write your own!

    26 jan. 2010, 21h16m
  • Russell66

    I like your review, personally (I live in the US, but I know exactly what you're talking about in terms of their performance). I understand that a lot of their fans like those kinds of things, but I like the brand new that's on the record, not on the stage.

    16 fév. 2010, 5h37m
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