The Used + We Are The Ocean + Hexes @ Birmingham Academy 2 – 22nd September 2009

The Used (bert5)

Hexes start off the night in the cozy academy 2 venue, the British four piece kick it off with an overall explosive sound which is heavily influenced by bands like the Gallows and Alexisonfire. Hexes have very little stage presence and struggle to get the crowd moving. Their set is quickly over and the sound production throughout was simply amateur.

we are the ocean(guitar)we are the ocean(vocal)

With a short change over We Are The Ocean burst onto the stage and quickly thump out three hard hitting songs. Dan Brown, vocalist of the five piece, hurdles himself into the centre of the venue making sure everyone in the circle pit moves. He gets the party started by screaming his words into peoples’ faces, eventually finding himself singing from on top of a bar on the right of the room; he has everyone’s attention now. We Are The Ocean leave the crowd warmed up waiting for The Used.

The Used (bert2)

Finally The Used take to the stage. Hundreds of screaming fans look on as the band start the show with the mighty new single ‘Blood on my hands’ rolling straight into their second track ‘Empty with you’, both tracks from the bands’ new album ‘Artwork’.
The house lights go down and the crowd fall silent as the intro to ‘Take it away’ plays out. The shotgun blast goes off, the lights are up and all focused on BertMcCracken as he spits water over the crowd. People pile over the barriers making the stewards work hard for their money!

A few tracks in and they slow it down a little, breaking into the track ‘I caught fire’. With the audience singing along to every word the Academy 2 was very atmospheric, a guaranteed hair on the back of your neck tingling experience.

The Used (quinn)

The Used seemed happy to be touring, all apart from a moment complaining about being too cold, Burt then announces that it’s going to be the last show in the venue (old o2 academy), enthusiastically asking the fans to “burn the place to the ground!”. His words fire up the crowd and judging by their reaction they aim to do him proud.

The Used (jepha2)The Used (bert6)

Towards the last quarter of the bands’ set Bert is pulling girls onstage, joking with the crowd and clearly making a night of it.
They continue with ‘Buried myself alive’ which twists into ‘All that I’ve got’ and then back into ‘Buried myself alive’, astonishing fans. The Used finish with ‘Pretty handsome awkward’, and quickly walk offstage. Once again the crowd pipes up stomping and chanting for more. After a short break two of the band return much to the pleasure of screaming fans who already have their lighters lit for ‘On my own’. Sure enough it sounds beautiful performed with only Bert and Quinn Allman (guitar) onstage. Remaining members’ Jeff and Dan head back out and finish the show with the brilliant ‘Box full of sharp objects’, the fans scream and go insane. The Used promise to return to the UK soon, all I can say is… I hope so!

Review & Photos – Adam Emery

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