Brand New gets intimate with small venue summer tour
A long-time staple on the music scene, with three albums under its belt and one due to be released this fall, Brand New is a band that does whatever it wants to do. Coming out of a string of college shows and time spent recording their fourth album, the Long Island-based band played a series of small club shows in July. Limited to nine dates, demand for tickets was incredible. All shows sold out within a day, most within seconds.
In Philadelphia, Brand New played at North Star Bar which, with a 200 person capacity, is a tenth of the size of the Electric Factory, the standard Philadelphia stop for the band. Fans clamored for the opportunity to see their favorite band in an intimate venue. The show was scalper heaven; some fans, unable to secure tickets in time, shelled out hundreds of dollars for one ticket into a show. (Of course, the unfortunate secret is that, at least in the case of Williamsburg, the venue let those scouting for tickets into the venue for $40, only $5 more than regular sale tickets, after the opening bands. Ouch.)
Brand New’s show at Brooklyn’s Music Hall of Williamsburg, only a few short train rides away from Long Island, was the closest the tour had to a home show. Williamsburg, a part of Brooklyn known for being a sort of lethargic hipster central, faced a bit of an anomaly in its parts: the L train was packed, energy was high, and the line for the show wrapped around the block.
The VIP section was full to bursting, even family members weren’t going to miss this show. When a band like Brand New plays in tiny venues, things get done a little bit differently.
Since the 2006 release of Brand New’s third album, “The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me,” their sets have drifted from their first two releases. It became a rarity to see older songs being played.
Chants for the especially elusive “Seventy Times 7” became standard fare, but, to fans’ disappointment, their cries went unheard. After years of disregarding requests for older songs from fans, Brand New seems to have finally turned over a new leaf.
In Williamsburg, the band tore through a surprisingly balanced 20-song set. It was composed mainly of songs from 2003’s “Deja Entendu,”and surprisingly there were just as many songs from 2001’s “Your Favorite Weapon” as from their newest album, as well as three new songs from the band’s upcoming release.
For once, the band seemed to be in good spirits, cracking jokes and enjoying directed catcalls. After driving the crowd into a frenzy, the band cooled down the show with “Play Crack the Sky” leading into “Soco Amaretto Lime.” The crowd, often singing louder than the band’s vocals, carried the show to its culmination.
Look for Brand New’s new album, “Daisy,” out September 22 on Interscope Records. The initially announced title, the mythology-inspired “and one head can never die,” was quickly changed to the much more simple “Daisy.”
Perhaps you missed Brand New on this tour, but it wasn’t your last opportunity to see them this year.
In addition to their upcoming full U.S. tour, Brand New will play a homecoming show at Nassau Coliseum on November 28 with special guests Thrice, Glassjaw, Manchester Orchestra, Kevin Devine and Crime in Stereo.
Bonnie Falconer can be reached at email@example.com