Brand New

Roots Stage, Downsview Park, Toronto ON, September 6

Brand NewRoots Stage, Downsview Park, Toronto ON, September 6
Photo: Stephen McGill
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As the sun began to set, Long Island post-hardcore outfit Brand New took the Roots stage, where flower bouquets were draped over the mic stand. The band's twin drummers began pounding out the intro to "Sink," from the band's 2009 LP, Daisy. Singer Jesse Lacey's voice sounded perhaps a little more ragged than the last time the band toured, but incredible nonetheless as he scraped out songs like "Gasoline" and "At The Bottom" with aplomb.

The band constructed their set from mini-suites from each album. When they finished a run of songs from Daisy, they started in on the formative Deja Entendu, beginning with "Sic Transit Gloria...Glory Fades," a clear highlight. The song found Lacey employing talk-singing more than the breathy vocalizations on record, but instrumentally, it was perfect, the band rounding the rhythmic corners of the dynamic song with precision and emphasis. Lacey's clean singing was on-point for "I Will Play My Game Beneath the Spin Light" and "Okay I Believe You, But My Tommy Gun Don't."  

Lacey threw flowers from his mic stand into crowd throughout, and grabbed a yellow bouquet for Your Favorite Weapon's "Seventy Times 7," which was great but incongruous, given that album's more pop-punk leanings. The band wrapped up with material from their now-classic The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me. "Sowing Season," "Luca" and "Degausser" were all highlights, and after a shout out to the Cure, who would headline hours later, they closed with a lengthy version of "You Won't Know." Their set was a timely reminder, five out years from their last LP, that Brand New are still the best at what they do.

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