It’s always a treat to hear new material from artists you grew up listening to. This is just the case for The Used fans.
The Utah-based rockers just put out a new record, The Canyon, their first (of fresh content) since 2014. To celebrate, The Used set off on a fall tour with its first stop at The Masonic in San Francisco last Friday. And while spirits were high from The Canyon’s release, The Used put on a show that not only celebrated its new album, but also its fanbase. The band frequently broke the wall between artist and audience to provide a space where fans could fully immerse themselves in the music.
They opened with “Take It Away,” a fast-paced and erratic screamer that had the crowd instantly rocking out. Following was “The Bird and the Worm,” whose sinister tones were accentuated by crimson lights.
Frontman Bert McCracken showed off some gnarly onstage moves, from high kicks and jumps to taking total command of the floor. Guitarist Justin Shekoski, bassist Jeph Howard, and drummer Dan Whitesides also rocked the stage by playing off each other’s energy and creating a solid, cohesive soundscape. Reciprocating the high intensity, the audience took to its own floor space and started various circle pits and some crowd surfing.
Things got a bit messy when one ambitious concertgoer put up a fight with security after attempting to stage-dive from the barricade, but was quickly escorted out. McCracken later checked in with the crowd to make sure fans were having their fun, but to also caution that the show should be a good time for everyone. To that, the audience cheered in agreement.
The rest of the set went smoothly from there, featuring mostly songs from the group’s earlier catalog, and just a handful off The Canyon. The Bay Area was lucky enough to be graced with live debuts of “Over and Over Again,” “Rise Up the Lights,” and “For You.” While “Rise Up the Lights” features The Used’s classic electrifying sound, the other two explore newer territories. “Over and Over again” is upbeat in melody and “For You” shows the band’s stripped down, sentimental side. The Used then closed the show with “Maybe Memories.”
The night started with a performance by Glassjaw, a post-hardcore band from New York fronted by Head Automatica’s Daryl Palumbo. Glassjaw set the perfect mood with a selection of gritty, raging songs. Many in the crowd yelled along, including one photographer, whom Palumbo held out his hand to. Glassjaw’s performance featured fan favorites like “Tip Your Bartender” and “Ape Dos Mil.”
Words and photos by Rianna Catajan.