On a pleasant Tuesday night in Nottingham, alt-rock legends The Used descended upon Rock City for the second date in the UK leg of ‘The Canyon’ tour.
Half LA, half UK rockers Lowlives certainly did a great job warming up the crowd, which was already fairly busy by the time they came on. It’s safe to say the majority of people in the audience aren’t familiar with the quartet yet responded admirably, nodding their heads along to the beat. The band played hard and fast, with buckets of energy, headbanging and swinging their guitars about, delivering a strong set of heavy rockers laden with soaring choruses, managing to get the audience to singalong, forming a connection with the crowd.
Special mention to drummer, Luke “Jocko” Johnson, for hammering the kit like a blond Keith Moon, keeping everything tight at the back as the three guitarists relentlessly plugged through the brutal no-nonsense set. They’re a solid choice for a support act and these relative newcomers have the wealth of experience in previous bands to stay the length in the industry. (4/5)
When The Used hit the stage, they deliver a show that is full of nostalgia and fun, nurturing an upbeat party atmosphere amongst the crowd. Opening up with ‘Take It Away’, they blast through a well-constructed set of classics mostly from their first three albums, with a couple of select extras from later albums such as ‘Cry’ and ‘Empty With You’.
Throughout Bert McCracken commands the crowd from routine clapping and joining fans in the crowd to even getting two people up from the crowd to do some ‘interpretive dancing’ on the stage. Although his cocky rock star attitude is still intact, he’s also humble and gracious to those who continue to support the band. When one overly enthusiastic fan persistently called for ‘Over And Over Again’ (from last year’s record – ‘The Canyon’), McCracken explains why the band weren’t playing any songs from the album. “A couple of day’s ago, it was two years since a very close friend of mine died. I wrote an album for him. It’s my way of processing, give me time, and I promise someday we will play those songs again,” he tells the understanding crowd.
There were many memorable moments throughout the evening, including drummer Dan Whitesides having to replace his snare after he “played so hard it broke”. While when someone objected to Bert’s Shakespeare soliloquies in-between songs by yelling out “no one likes Shakespeare”, Bert mockingly mimicked him then said he was going to recite Shakespeare before every song after that. He managed about five more, which was pretty impressive the amount he has stored to memory.
‘Buried Myself Alive’ was dedicated to those suffering from depression, and the set ended on fan favourite ‘Pretty Handsome Awkward’ ahead of a brief departure before the inevitable encore. Finishing the night on ‘Boxful Of Sharp Objects’ mixed with a rendition of Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’, it topped off a memorable evening, showing that despite being a band for eighteen years now, they’re still on top form. It may have happened later than planned, but The Used proved they’re able to deliver a tight, exciting and fun show. (5/5)