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Cecil Yang (and 1 other) Jun 19, 2023

Aching back, mysterious superficial scrapes, new bruises - now those are signs of a good show. I had joked to my friends earlier that I was either going to wake up with a terrible backache or surprisingly limber and flexible. I woke up on Wednesday morning with a strange and remarkable combination of both. But of course, this was what I signed up for when my friends told me they had an extra ticket to the long sold-out The Used/Pierce the Veil show.

Tuesday afternoon saw a long line of emos of various ages marching to Pier 17. The sun shone on a queue of people in various black shirts, admittedly, most of them were wearing Pierce the Veil shirts. The merch lines were also long, except for the ones in front of The Used booth. When informed that the merch lines for both booths were exactly the same and you could buy Pierce the Veil merch at literally any line, nobody moved. Such is the devotion of the Pierce the Veil fan.

Those of us keeping up with prior Creative Control shows knew the crowd was considerably more excited for Pierce the Veil than any other band. There were reports of fans standing at the very front, still as statues as bands that did not rhyme with Vierce the Peil played. Some fans even left as The Used took the stage at concerts where they closed. I hoped that this concert would be different, as I very much enjoy The Used in all their unorthodox glory.

My hopes were fulfilled.

The opener DON BROCO immediately filled the rooftop with infectious energy. They pronounced that their job was to work the crowd up in preparation for the main acts, and as openers they did it well. High points of their set were during their song "Bruce Willis". "YIPPEE-KI-YAY, MOTHERFUCKER," the crowd yelled along in response to a man dressed like a camp counselor and with the energy of Bruce Willis in Die Hard himself. Rob Damiani, the lead singer, bid the crowd to start a mosh pit a couple of times, but the crowd was having trouble making room for it. It was still early.

After a break in which the stage slowly became more and more covered in beautiful pink roses, the crowd was ready for The Used – and The Used was ready for them. Bert McCracken came on stage in a brightly colored striped shirt, sunglasses, and a Lightning McQueen from Cars (2006) backpack. In a break between songs, the crowd started chanting "LIGHTNING MCQUEEN!" "What the fuck are you guys saying?" Bert responded. During crowd favorites like "The Bird and the Worm", many people began to crowd-surf. The audience moved like a sea, waves from one area of the pit made their way, crashing, to the other side. Before their song, "Fuck You", Bert asked the audience to chant the title at him, and when the song was over, to boo instead of applaud. At the end of the song, the crowd had gotten so worked up that they stood as if in a haze before coming to their senses, remembering their promise from earlier and booing with all their might. One of The Used's biggest hits from their first eponymous album was met with enthusiastic glee as everyone scrambled to start crowd-surfing. People shouted back to Bert, "I PROMISE I WILL TAKE YOU THERE," and it was like everyone had gotten younger or perhaps everyone was the same age, the same heart, that bled and beat for The Used. Finally, the crowd started moshing properly when they started playing "A Box Full of Sharp Objects". Rob Damiani joined Bert on stage for the song and its seamless transition into "Smells Like Teen Spirit". After a set filled with expletives that cannot be written in a respectable review (and a promise from Bert to have gay sex with each and every member of Pierce the Veil – happy pride month), there was only one song left. Pits opened throughout the crowd, spinning and moving to "Pretty Handsome Awkward". There would be no reports of unenthusiastic crowd members after this show.

The much anticipated Pierce the Veil came on next, and the tired crowd immediately perked up like they had had caffeine injected directly into their veins. Playing songs from their newest album The Jaws of Life, their lead single "Pass the Nirvana" was a steamroller of a song, thudding through the speakers and diffusing through the crowd. The rolling guitar riff filled the entire roof in an almost hypnotic manner. Before "Emergency Contact", Vic Fuentes asked the crowd if anyone was there with their emergency contact. The next song was "Hold On Till May", which had Vic beckoning a devoted fan onstage. Ashley had gone to twenty Pierce the Veil shows thus far and Vic recognized her. He hugged her and sang the song to her, bringing her close to tears of joy. In the end, he gave her his white guitar. The last two songs lit a fire in the audience. "Caraphernelia", a beloved classic brought on a wave of frenzied dancing. Pierce the Veil closed with their most popular song, "King for a Day." Fans who had been flagging on the sidelines perked up for the final song and made their way back into the crowd. Everyone knew every word.

The final band bid their adieus and I would wake the next day in the most dastardly physical state known to man. Totally, 100% fucking worth it.

Keep up with Don Broco

The Used

Pierce The Veil