Live Review: The Used, Landscapes and Decade – KOKO, London – 19/02/2015

Drawing a sold-out crowd in from the Camden downpour, the KOKO opened its doors to Decade, Landscapes and The Used for a night to remember. Albeit an unusual setting for a rock show, its blood-red walls and decadent balconies were to witness the three stages of revolution – nonchalance, rage and, ultimately, action.


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Decade emerge first, embracing the somewhat nonchalant crowd with cheeky grins and quippy stage banter to wring some energy from the sodden audience. Opener ‘Brainfreeze’ showcases their persistent vitality since their formation 6 years ago, while ‘British Weather’ brought a relevant reflection on the evening to raise more heads than it seems the band expected. The eye-opening optimism and smiles from frontman Alex Sears despite introducing the track ‘I Don’t Care’ ”because I don’t fucking care” shows they couldn’t be more ecstatic to be opening the show to a packed venue. (3.5/5)


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With electric anger and ruining riffs, Landscapes were an unexpected support but brought a breathtakingly welcome shift toward melodic hardcore – at least for me anyway. It’s a shame the appreciation in the room was lacking, as the majority of the audience weren’t expecting such a heavy support. However, the static crowd left vocalist Shaun Milton unphased, screaming ‘D.R.E.A.M’ with as much fervour as on record. Playing all but two tracks from 2013’s ‘Life Gone Wrong’, Landscapes hopefully broadened many minds for good. (3.5/5)


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The Used rarely reach UK shores, and even scarcer for headline tours such as this. As deduced by a show of hands conducted by frontman Bert McCracken, an overwhelming number of attendees had never seen The Used before, which would explain the sold-out venue. From shaming a fan into recording the crowd from the stage to ensuring everyone had ”a lot of juice”, the band’s crowd connection was electric as ever. Despite the absence of lead guitarist Quinn Allman, replaced by Saosin’s Justin Shekoski, each song plays true to track, with a set list comprising the hits ‘Taste Of Ink’ and ‘All That I’ve Got’ leaving nobody disappointed.

The surprise, however, lay in the rarely-outed ’Artwork’ tracks ‘Best Of Me’ and ‘Blood On My Hands’, owed to the advantage of a headline tour’s set length. ‘Revolution’, as always, comes accompanied with a rousing speech from Bert reminding that ”what they told you growing up was a lie”. Their ceaselessly energetic performance surges through every layer of the venue to culminate in a 2-song encore featuring a balcony rendition of ‘On My Own’, demonstrating their indomitable ability to drastically alter an atmosphere in a heartbeat. Closing on a mashup of ‘Box Full Of Sharp Objects’ with Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’, there was no doubt the crowd left with hearts full and minds dangerously open. (5/5)

4/5

Words by Ali Cooper (AliZombie_) | Photos by Carrie-Anne Pollard and taken at Rock City, Nottingham on 07/02/2015.

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