At 9:15 p.m. on July 30, 2015 Brand New took the stage at the Meadowbrook Music Festival in Rochester Hills. The band was greeted with the thunderous eruption from the crowd, and a barely audible “we are Brand New” echoed over the microphone. Brand New opened the setlist with their latest single “Mene (We Don’t Feel Anything)” the entire setlist was 18 songs, the bulk of the setlist came off the album, “The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me”. Brand New also played a track off their 2006 leaked collection of demos, “Fight Off Your Demons”, and that was a bit of a surprise for the audience.
To see Brand New is to see the power and raw energy of the band, the rage and empathy you feel from listening to the album is amplified. Jesse Lacey’s voice is cathartic and melancholy, and listening to them live is like being pulled into a tidal wave of emotion and slowly drowning in the passion, and when it’s over the water that is the music still fills your lungs. Not only did Brand New give an excellent performance, but the crowd was responsive to every song. The audience sang, danced, and screamed along all night, and by the time the show was over the air was permeated with the smell of beer, weed, and cigarettes.
The concert was held at an outdoor venue, and I was seated in the pavilion, not too far from the stage. When the sun set, the only light came from the stage, creating an aura around the band. It was the perfect venue for Brand New, and there were faces as far as the eye could see. Lacey made a joke in an address to the audience saying, “I don’t know how many people you are, but you look like a lot of people.” Lacey further compared the collection of people to “that scene in ‘300’”, meaning Brand New were the Greeks, and the people were the Persians. To be a part of the congregation of a Brand New concert is almost a holy experience, and if you ever get the chance to see Brand New go to see them you will not be disappointed. (Konstantina Buhalis)