For the past year or so, I kept saying to myself, “I wish The Used would go on tour; I would finally be able to cross them off my ‘concert bucket list’”. Sure enough, out of nowhere, the rock band announced a fall headlining tour, along with the release date of their new album, The Canyon. When I decided I was going to see them at Aragon Ballroom in Chicago, I honestly had no idea what to expect. After all, I didn’t know anyone who had seen them perform live before, and I had never really bothered to look up any footage on YouTube. Nonetheless, I did have high expectations; and let me just say, those expectations were met.
Their setlist could not have gotten off to a better start. The opening song “Take It Away” immediately brought back memories to the very beginning of their 2004 release, In Love and Death. It was a perfect way to let the crowd know that they are at a The Used concert, and that they are about to experience one of the best concerts of their lives.
The energy from both the crowd and band was absolutely incredible, especially with lead vocalist Bert McCracken moving and jumping around the stage for practically every song. However, it wasn’t until the band played “Listening”, when the moshing really began. Sure, Bert may have asked for a circle pit, but instead, the crowd gave him much more than that.
The band played plenty of songs from their first three albums, including classics like “The Bird and The Worm”, “All That I’ve Got”, “Sound Effects and Overdramatics”, and “Pretty Handsome Awkward”. Bert also mentioned that he and bass player Jeph Howard have been playing the iconic “The Taste of Ink” together for over fifteen years. In addition to the fan-favorites, the set list included a few songs from their latest release, such as their new single “Over and Over Again” and “The Nexus”, as well as “Rise Up Lights”—a song that I thought resembled certain elements of their older material. One thing that really stood out to me was when Bert performed the spoken part in the beginning of “I’m A Fake”. As far as I knew, a lot of bands would just play an audio recording in the background (if they included it at all). Not only was this extremely unique to me, but it definitely added to the overall experience, especially since many people were quoting the words as well.
The band ended the night with another song that made the audience feel like they were going back in time— “Maybe Memories”, also known as the first track from their debut self-titled album that was released in 2002. In essence, it couldn’t have been a better way to have the show come to a close and I do not doubt that the night was one of the best concerts one would have been to in the year of 2017.