Written By | Jilian McLendon
Just over 600 people and I spent an intimate Valentine’s Day happily moshing and singing our hearts out with The Used in the A-T-L. So anticipated was this tour they sold out Terminal West within days of posting ticket availability. In fact, most of the people I spoke to prior to the show noted how they knew tickets would sell fast and almost all of them opted for the pre-sale option to make sure they got one in time. When tickets sold out of local venues out of state, some made their purchase for the Atlanta show- hoping to snag a spot and just to make sure they didn’t miss the opportunity to see their favorite band- no matter how far they needed to travel to make it; that’s dedication at it’s finest.
The Used brought along the heavy metal, Seattle-based quintet Dragged Under to open which was absolutely amazing. The group consists of three members from the former band Rest, Repose- post break-up including Anthony “Tony” Cappocchini (lead vocals), Ryan “Fluff” Bruce (lead guitar), and Josh Wildhorn (rhythm guitar) with the addition of Kaylen Anderson (drums), and Hans Joseph (bass). The newly formed band (2019) just released their first studio album The World Is In Your Way (2020) last month which has received so much positive feedback from fans and critics alike.
They are an energetic bunch, have charisma, and really engage with the crowd. One lucky lady stage left got a pretty long kiss during a song from bassist Hans Joseph! It was quite unexpected (and I’m sure made her night!) Not only did they show up with awesome songs from their album like “Chelsea”, “Instability”, and “Here For War” but we got a cover of “State Of The Union” by Rise Against. To me, Dragged Under is a mix of influences like Of Mice And Men, Chuck-era Sum 41, and Woven War- maybe a little NIN. If this is a new band for you and you can get down with those bands listed, I highly recommend! (Also- sidebar- who knew that Tony could sing/scream like that?! I was totally shocked!)
It’s a fact that everyone at Terminal West was Bert McCracken’s (lead vocals) Valentine this year. Because he asked all of us to be! Nearly two decades in, the front runner still has all the spunk and fervor of the 2000’s emo scene which never gets old! The guys still know how to put on a punk show! Joey Bradford (guitar), Dan Whitesides (drums), and Jeff Howard (bass) have incredible chemistry and command attention when performing. The Used has a wide breadth of discography, but I was pleasantly surprised the set list contained a lot of harder material as well as teasers like “Blow Me” from their not-yet-released-album Heartwork (2020) due to come out in April.
They brought in a ton of content out from their album In Love and Death (2004) with songs like “Take It Away”, “I’m A Fake”, “Listening”, “The Taste of Ink”, and “All That I’ve Got”. I was so happy to hear “Pretty Handsome Awkward” Lies For The Liars (2007), “A Box Full of Sharp Objects” The Used (2002), and of course “Cry” from Imaginary Enemies (2014)! They made the show interactive with Valentine’s festivities (and on theme of their album Heartwork) by offering special effects 3D glasses that made the lights into heart shapes- which was unique. Little accents like red roses on mic stands gave subtle touches to an otherwise hardcore adventure.
Bert kept us so engaged the entire night whether he was hanging from the light trusses, jumping in the crowd, spitting a ton of water on us, or telling jokes -we were full of performances of some kind non-stop throughout our time with them! This Atlanta show was even deemed in the “top 100 shows ever!” and “smarter than [the people in] Chicago.” due to our political savvy and our perception of wittiness. I’m sure we were all thrilled with the commendations. It truly was an epic way to spend Valentine’s Day. 10/10 would recommend to a friend.
Photos By | Jilian McLendon