Concert Review + Photography: The Used and Live My Last at Newport Music Hall (Columbus)
By Corey Leaman
I don’t believe it’s common for your third show as the new singer you open for a major band like The Used. But then again that night was pretty unusual, leaning on epic.
The Newport was completely packed on Saturday with eager fans of all ages for The Used, who was between Warped Tour shows. Opening up for them, and the only opening act was the local Columbus group Live My Last. They’ve been changing up their sound recently, not just with their new lead singer Jon Grubbs (also singer and guitarist for Ranger Danger), but also with the addition of a live bass player and losing backtracks. The changes have been directing them away from the slight pop flavor, to more of a raw hard alternative rock sound. For long time fans of Live My Last, you don’t need to fret that they are doing a complete change over; it is different but it’s still clearly their sound.
Live My Last played their usual set with songs loyal fans love to hear and the crowd of mainly new listeners appeared to have really taken to them. They also premiered a new song in the middle of the set, which I really enjoyed and am looking forward to hearing again soon. The guys as a whole had a great strong stage presence with lots of energy, which was echoed back from the crowd that cheered and jumped along with them. The only thing that kind of bothered me was that they were filming their set so there were several guys with cameras bobbing and weaving through the guys, which being an audience member I found a bit distracting from the band. But that could have just been me. Either way they did great at owning the stage and getting everyone pumped up for the main event.
I was reminded how big of a show this was when the second the Used came out I got shoved against the guardrail. They came out in neon ski caps and immediately exploded out with “Listening”. One by one each of the guys removed their masks so by the third song they had all reviled their faces. They continued on full throttle never once losing any steam or chaos. Mostly they performed older songs, the ones I recognized from their albums In Love and Death and Lies for the Liars. I like The Used but I wouldn’t call myself a huge fan so I was excited just by the fact I actually knew a lot of what they where playing. The crowd on the other hand, knew it all and sang along to every single one. They performed at least one song (like I said, not as familiar with the discography so there could have been more) from their recently released The Ocean of the Sky. Bert McCracken stated before playing that the album wasn’t for everyone since it’s deep and thought provoking. “If you’re into reality TV, this album isn’t for you,” he joked.
Like all shows with crazy bands the fans are just as insane. People were going nuts with circle mosh pits, crowd surfing, flashing, and the Wall of Death or as Bert called it, the Wall of Love. There was a lot of interaction with the fans. McCracken put on a few hats that where thrown on the stage and took one someone’s fingerless gloves. A wallet some how ended up on the stage and the bassist Quinn Allman pocketed the money. At the end of their show for their encore they had some of the fans come up to sing and dance along with them.
The night was awesome and I ended up having a really good time. After the show I even got to meet McCracken, Allman, and Howard and got autographs and pictures. I was excited to see Live My Last getting the same treatment. I got started listening to the local scene after seeing a group (Look Afraid) open for a major band, and I hope that night will lead new fans down the same path.