Ten years ago, Brand New’s third studio album, The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me, solidified the bands preeminence in emo-punk lore. Now, Brand New is back: Touring again with Devil and God, their shows promise performances of the third album in full, along with some older classics and work from their most recent EP, “3 Demos, Reworked.”
Whether you’ve caught Brand New in concert over their 16-year run or not, throw on your best emo getup and catch them at the SJSU Event Center in San Jose on October 31 with cult classics Modern Baseball and The Front Bottoms. It’s unlikely that Brand New fans will have another chance to hear all of the songs on Devil and God performed live, and possible that all opportunities to see Brand New in concert are drawing to a close. Rumors that the band will split up in 2018 have been flying for years, in some cases stoked by the band itself.
The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me marked a decisive split in the band’s sound, moving from songs which favored weepy break-up lyrics inspired by The Smiths to bombastic emo-punk, featuring excessive guitar riffs and eager pedal-usage. Subsequent releases, such as Daisy and “3 Demos,” built on Devil and God’s aesthetic. It was the third album that cemented Brand New’s place as an emo mystery: The album was preceded by a controversial group of song leaks, and followed by a bizarre lyrical mystery that has spanned nearly a decade: When Brand New released Devil and God, messages were enclosed instructing fans to send a dollar to the band in order to receive the album’s lyric book. Ultimately, fans waited nine years for the missing lyric books, which were finally delivered last spring. With them came coded messages — which some fans believe signal Brand New’s planned disbanding. Yet the nine-year wait hasn’t seemed to deter Brand New’s fan base. On the contrary, new theories regarding the band’s history and future seem to pop up on a monthly basis.
It’s remarkable that Brand New, like so many emo bands of the early 2000s, has found a new audience in recent years. Whether driven by secondhand nostalgia, desire for emotional release, or love for the Hot Topics of yore, fans seem to be flocking to new releases by old emo bands in droves. But what is perhaps more remarkable is the way that Brand New seems to have kept its original fan base intact, despite years of inactivity between releases.
Along with Brand New’s performance of their seminal album, fans can expect energetic performances by Modern Baseball and The Front Bottoms, whose shows bring droves of die-hard fans. It’s sure to be a night of mystique and gleefully boyish angst — truly the emo-punk party of your emotionally-inadequate Halloween dreams.
Brand New, The Front Bottoms, Modern Baseball
San Jose State Event Center
October 31, 2016
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