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The Used @ The Observatory – June 4th 2016

The Used @ The Observatory © Holland Van Gores

Of all the outstanding bands Southern California has been fortunate enough to have seen perform at it’s plethora of amazing venues, I believe The Used is high up on that list. The band managed to completely sell out a whopping six SoCal tour dates on their acclaimed 15 year anniversary tour – two in Los Angeles, and four in Santa Ana. For anyone that is not completely clued in as to how the band orchestrated this tour, I will provide a bit of insight. Appealing to, no doubt every longtime fan, they played two nights in each city and one album on each of those nights – their self-titled album on night one and In Love and Death on night two. I was lucky enough to be in attendance of one of those six sold out shows, and experience a night bedazzled with the sweet sounds of their self-titled album.

Walking into the venue brought an immediate sense of curiosity. The stage was littered with mannequins, each one plastered with a different thought-provoking blurb, and it became clear to me that this wasn’t just a musical experience, it was an artistic experience as well. The band hit the stage not long after I maneuvered through the anxious crowd of people, and they came out with enough of a bang to keep everyone hooked for the entire night – myself included. Before the second song had even started, Bert McCracken, the famed lead vocalist of The Used, singled out a young boy from the crowd and pulled him up on stage, undoubtedly fulfilling that boy’s every last wish. He allowed him to hang out on stage for the whole show, and the way the boy clutched the souvenir pair of drumsticks he also received as a gift from the band brought me immense joy.

The band went on to deliver a sensational, emotional, and personal show to every soul in the venue that night. They played an all-star setlist, which included all the emotive masterpieces from their first album, such as “Blue and Yellow”, “Poetic Tragedy”, “On My Own”, and of course one of the largest fan favourites, “The Taste of Ink”. Anyone, whether they were a die-hard-since-day-one fan or just a sporadic listener (and everyone in between), could appreciate the unceasing and dedicated energy every band member put into their comprehensive performance that night, and do everything in their power to sing their hearts out.

As if the show wasn’t already beautiful enough, one fan and friend of the band decided to make it even more beautiful by proposing to his girlfriend on stage. What better way to secure one’s love for another than to propose at one of The Used’s concerts, where compassion happens to be waiting around each corner? After saying their congratulations, the band recommenced and gave it their all until the very last second of the show, never losing a beat along the way and never letting the overall energy diminish. At one point, Bert consulted the young boy and asked him to tell the crowd a story. Overcome with emotions, he proclaimed, “I’m not exactly sure what to say, but this is the best show I’ve ever been to and this is the best band ever.” It was easy to tell how much it meant to him to be up there with the band, overlooking a sea of people who all wished they were in his shoes.

Nostalgia was in the air and old songs were ringing through everyone’s ears. The band showcased their true talent as artists and ensured every individual left with a permanent memory painted in gold. Their lights on this tour were unique and appealing, making it an absolute treat to photograph, and I can only assume that the succeeding date in the same city was just as excitement-infused.

Were you at this show? Want to share something, or just want to say something about my photos or review? Drop a comment below! As always, thanks for checking out my coverage!

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