The Used play like New; MCR love Vampires
Katie Bennett
contributor
April 14, 2003
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Rock Music Reviews

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (RMR) - The vampires and the all-around freaks came out for the Used's headlining show at the Emerson Theater on Valentine's Day of 2003.

The first group to perform was a local five-piece band named D.O.H. The performing style of this band is punk rock, with tons of movement on stage and the typical instrumentation you would expect for a punk band; Complete with two electric guitars, an electric bass guitar, a full drum set and a lead singer.

The dynamics of D.O.H.'s entire set was unnecessarily loud, and the guitars tended to drown out the lead vocals. Their elementary school lyrics did not help matters, either.

The second band to perform was an extremely interesting band from New Jersey called My Chemical Romance. The timbre of the lead singer rested in his ability to belt out high-pitched vocals and then turn around and melodically lull the audience. The unique aspect of My Chemical Romance's performing style was the no-holds-bar attitude held by the lead guitarist and lead singer.

This band tends to focus on elaborate guitar solos to express their true musicianship form. The main guitar usually provides the melody while the second guitar and bass provide the supporting harmony. The tempo of the band's songs was continually quick-paced throughout their set. My Chemical Romance seems to be a "thematic" band, focusing on a love for vampires and bats with songs like "Vampires Will Never Hurt You," and lead singer Gerard Way asking the crowd "are you afraid of vampires?"

The third band to perform was Long Island-based The Movielife. Another band complete with the typical punk rock instrumentation, The Movielife was in a league of their own when it came to performance style. Lead singer Vinnie Caruana bounces all over the stage singing songs about snotty girls and pathetic guys.

Following the guidelines made by the older punk bands of the 1970s like the Ramones and the Sex Pistols, The Movielife has fast tempo songs with even quicker lyrics. Whether it was catchy lyrics like "'Cause she's just a hand grenade/ so pull out the pin and throw it back," or Caruana's infectious energy, it was impossible to keep your head from bobbing.

The final band, the headliner, to perform was the new-on-the-scene The Used. Do not let this band of Mormons from Utah fool you; they mean business when they perform live. As a tribute to the Valentines holiday, lead singer Bert McCracken had a large heart painted on his forehead. Beginning the set with "Maybe Memories," The Used pumped the crowd into frenzy. The group's timbre rests in McCracken's amazing vocal range of pitches and styles.

For the song "Blue and Yellow," he uses his voice in a melodic and romantic way, while completely contrasting on the song "A Box Full of Sharp Objects" by screaming almost violently. The Used is a band that can be an example of music's ever-changing face. While they cite bands like the Ramones as role models, the Used blends thrasher punk, hardcore and emo styles together for an infectious blend that can be called emocore.

McCracken was a large source of entertainment, urging the crowd to count down to him doing a back flip and jumping off a towering stack of speakers onto the crowd. Ending with the very energetic "Say Days Ago," The Used were able to prove why they were the headliners of this particular tour.

[RMR]