The Used + Landscapes @ o2 Academy 2, 15th February 2015

The Used + Landscapes @ o2 Academy 2, 15th February 2015The Used + Landscapes @ o2 Academy 2, 15th February 2015The Used + Landscapes @ o2 Academy 2, 15th February 2015The Used + Landscapes @ o2 Academy 2, 15th February 2015The Used + Landscapes @ o2 Academy 2, 15th February 2015The Used + Landscapes @ o2 Academy 2, 15th February 2015The Used + Landscapes @ o2 Academy 2, 15th February 2015The Used + Landscapes @ o2 Academy 2, 15th February 2015

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Sunday might be a day of rest for some people, but Sunday night is still ripe for a great rock show – especially one as tempting as a band with the stature of The Used playing a room as small as the Academy 2.

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Tasked with warming up the sold out room was Somerset fivepiece Landscapes, who certainly don’t hold back, with plenty of on stage energy for their 30 minutes of melodic hardcore. Frontman Shaun Milton leads from the front, constantly prowling from side to side, and even venturing into the crowd on more than occasion, unleashing his vocals with venom. They certainly don’t lack confidence, the only downer is that tonight’s crowd doesn’t really get into it. As a result, the set feels a bit flat – it’s as if most of the room is just wishing the clock to run faster to hasten The Used’s arrival. It’s a shame really; although the prospect of seeing Landscapes in front of ‘their’ crowd is definitely tempting.

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And so to The Used and their first run of UK headline shows in three years to round the weekend off in style, which they promptly go about doing. Kicking in with ‘Cry’ from last year’s ‘Imaginary Enemy’ the room sparks to life and loudly belts out the chorus – much to the delight of vocalist Bert McCracken.

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They keep the energy levels set to full blast by dropping straight into the stellar ‘Take It Away’, a song that still sounds as fresh and as exhilarating as it did on its release back in 2004. From the moment it kicked in, it was settled; this was going to be a top night.

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The rest of the set flew by as, quite simply, The Used triumphed and showed what a fantastic and captivating live band they are. Even the loss of guitarist Quinn Allman just before this tour doesn’t take anything away from the band, with replacement Justin Shekoski from Saosin proving a more than able fill-in. In fact, his guitar sounds huge and has the kind of depth you don’t always get from one-guitar bands.

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The great songs keep coming and the crowd keeps bouncing, with ‘The Taste of Ink’, ‘Blood On My Hands’ and ‘Pretty Handsome Awkward’ particularly standing out. McCracken looks thrilled and thankful throughout and his audience sends their appreciation right back at him.

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For a band that has been together for 15 years the level of passion The Used has for its craft is admirable and inspiring. With more shows like this there’s no reason they won’t stick around for many more years to come.

 

Review and photographs – Dave Musson

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