Album Review :
Concert Review: Brand New, Colour Revolt

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Artists: Brand New, Colour Revolt
Venue: ATS Auditorium (Dickinson College), Carlisle, PA
Date: March 29, 2008
Review by: Eric Pettersson

“When you go on tour for so long, sometimes you just get kind of sick of it. And it’s funny how few bands we really like touring with, how few bands we actually like as friends and want to keep in touch with. Colour Revolt were the first band that we actually enjoyed hanging out with, so they’re very dear to us and we love the chance to play shows with them. Actually, the first time we met them, we were opening for one of their shows, and we were all really nervous during sound check because here was Colour Revolt, this band we loved, just sitting there… the only ones out in the crowd while we were playing, and I just remember thinking, ‘Oh, I hope these kids like us.’” –Jesse Lacey

Now, several years later, Brand New have risen to headlining status, while Colour Revolt have stayed behind to become the opener. Which is all really cool for Brand New, to be sure, but it’s also sad for Colour Revolt because they deserve it just as much.

On the occasion of this night, these two bands came together to play a spot date at a college in central Pennsylvania between tours. (Afterwards, Colour Revolt drove all the way home to Oxford, Mississippi because they had classes on Monday. But don’t worry, they graduate in May, just in time to go on tour!) Colour Revolt began the night with a fair mix of old and new songs. The new album, Plunder, Beg, and Curse comes out April 1, so they were promoting that, although they said they’ve been selling it at shows for about a month because they hate the waiting game and the marketing trick of “release dates” doesn’t really work to bring in more sales anymore. I walked in as the old single, “Mattresses Underwater” was playing, although from outside I also heard part of the new single, “Naked and Red.” Vocalist Jesse Coppenbarger’s voice sounded great as always, and the indie-flavored rock and roll energy coming from stage was strong, although, sadly, the majority of the crowd was simply waiting patiently for Brand New. However, after that incredible set (and BN’s praise of their band), Colour Revolt must have won over a few more fans.

Luckily for me, this auditorium had the open floor, surrounded by stadium seating to be used for large-scale school events of some sort. Between songs, Brand New commented, “Thanks for letting us play here at your school in this nice big room. We had the chance to explore it before all of you got here… we really liked the seats and how they swivel. We also liked how the room can be easily sectioned off into three or four distinct groups. Then we noticed there’s this triangle in the middle of the floor that rises a little bit, and we thought about how we should incorporate it into the show somehow, but we couldn’t come up with anything.” As someone who is not a hardcore Brand New fan and wanted to relax and enjoy the music, I knew to go for the upper seating, because the floor was packed with lots of jumping, bouncing, yelling, fist-pumping, and other such shenanigans that are necessary for a rocker to feel like a rockstar. But despite all this, Brand New’s performance was one of the most humble looking ones I’ve ever seen. Some singers know they are rock stars. Others try too hard to become one. But Jesse Lacey seems like he just wants to play music, which is admirable. The lighting was dark throughout as they played a selection of songs mostly from The Devil and God Are Raging inside Me and Deja Entendu, beginning with “Untitled.” A lot of people tell me Brand New are horrible live, but this being my second time seeing them, I really have to disagree with that. Especially as the set came to a close with “Degausser” and “You Won’t Know,” the performance got a little sloppy, but that was from the sheer intensity pouring out of those guys. They had too much energy to still be able to perfectly control all of their movements, and the vocals were so powerful and full of feeling that the louder notes ended up coming out more like screams. It was quite an impressive thing to see, and the feel of those songs could never be recaptured on a record. So I say they were actually better live than on the album, but I guess that’s only true for people who prefer the rawness of rock to polished pop. After an absurdly long pause, Brand New (sadly) came back out for an encore. “Sometimes when you’re in a band, you write songs that you don’t like. But that doesn’t stop anyone else from liking them. And that’s something that I’ve come to grips with,” said Jesse right before playing “Mix Tape.” After two more songs from Your Favorite Weapon, the night officially ended, and I drove home listening to the greatness of Colour Revolt’s new album.