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The Used’s two-night stand this past weekend at Boston’s House of Blues was the pinnacle of a band relishing in a chaotic career that has spanned nearly two decades. For their 15 Year Anniversary Tour, the band is dedicating two consecutive nights in each city to perform their first two albums in their entirety. While similar in nature, each night varies explicitly in execution. Friday night, in which their self-titled debut record took center stage, induced the adrenaline pumping fervor that made them so popular in the first place.
Instead of each song serving as mere individual highlights or the most serene moments of their set, they all flowed together seamlessly to make for a fuller experience. Every track from “Maybe Memories” to their closing song “Choke Me” was a full fledged sing along. If night one was the firestarter, then night two was the comedown. In Love and Death, in all of its aggressive glory, was definitely the more refined album of the two. Lyrically, it displayed the band’s dive into deeper and more dangerous territory. The self-realization of “All That I’ve Got” was harrowing; the spoken word introduction on “I’m a Fake” was as transparent as frontman Bert McCracken got.
Although the singer was instructing concert-goers to form an unrelenting wall of death and release all of their inhibitions, this is the most relaxed and open he’s ever been. Between songs, McCracken was reflective on his past and grateful for his future. He talked about his battles with drug addiction, depression, and even suicide. McCracken, who looks his best since the band’s 2001 inception, ultimately described music as his failsafe and constantly thanked everyone in attendance for allowing The Used to flourish the way they have for the last 15 years. Although his words could have come off as trite or self-indulgent, it was clear that The Used remain indebted to the fans who have supported their career from the very start–a fact that was never once lost on us.