If you were around in the early 2000s, you probably remember all of the great rock/pop-punk/emo music at that time. It’s hard to forget when you’ve got so many awesome bands, from Brand New to Jimmy Eat World and everything in between, that deeply resonated with teenagers while simultaneously taking over Fuse. Side note: remember how great Fuse was back then?
To honor such a fantastic time of sounds, feelings, and culture, I figured I’d run through some of the scene’s biggest moments and give my own narrated recaps. I was pretty young when all these events went down, but I’m going to pretend I was front and center anyway. Still, if I act like I’ve never basked in the glory of these moments, I’m only kidding myself. Here’s the second one: a recap of Brand New’s high-energy performance of “The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows” on Jimmy Kimmel Live! in 2003.
Following their breakthrough debut Your Favorite Weapon in 2001, Long Island quartet Brand New returned to the studio in 2003 to record Deja Entendu. Frontman Jesse Lacey wrote the songs on acoustic guitar in his bedroom, and the results saw the band’s initial pop-punk sound evolve into darker, deeper, and more diverse territory.
After the album’s release in June, Brand New was treated with widespread critical acclaim and growth of its fanbase. Due to the breakthrough of punk and emo in the early 2000s, the band soon got the chance to perform on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, a new late-night talk show with a tendency to draw heavier musical acts. On their first TV performance, they blew through Deja‘s single “The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows” with the fire and fury for which they would eventually become known.
0:00: ‘Sup Jimmy.
Kimmel’s has always had the coolest music performances. Not only did he get the best bands of this era, but he also had the neatest setup with the large audience size and lights and everything.
0:02: Man, he really trips over that first line there. But hey, ‘03 was his first year hosting the show, so I’ll give him a break. He probably was so excited to have Brand New on his show too.
“Rolling Stone’s Hot Band of 2003”. Other possible options: Fall Out Boy, Yellowcard, and Anberlin. That’s some tough competition, but they made the right choice.
0:11: The large screen playing live footage of the show behind them is vintage Brand New. They always go all-out with their production. This is going to rule.
0:20: Not sure what exactly it’s called (yeah, I’m musically illiterate), but that sliding-down-the-neck-of-the-guitar thing has always been cool, especially here.
0:22: The flange (I know that term, at least) is a bit high there, Vin [Accardi, Guitarist].
0:24: WHAT A CROWD. There’s going to be so much sweat it’s going to be unreal.
0:30: Jesse looks possessed here. I mean, that’s probably the only explanation for why he was able to write the greatest album of all-time in Deja Entendu the same year.
0:35: ROCKIN’ OUT. I know this is, like, the big anthem on Deja, but Brand New’ energy has always been impeccable.
0:41: With that hat and jacket, Garrett [Tierney, Bassist] looks more like the bassist of a jazz band than an emo/punk band.
0:46: Jesse’s got style with that suit too. They were obviously going for a bit unconventional of apparel considering the genre of music they play. And still, thanks to those jackets, there’s no shortage of black.
“HI MOZ”. Could Jesse have been any less subtle about his love for The Smiths? Apparently that whole pseudo-British accent he used in his vocal delivery back then wasn’t enough. I really hope Morrissey was watching, but I bet he was too busy not eating meat or something.
0:47: “FUTHAWESTERN COAST”
0:50: There’s that weird British accent thing I was talking about.
0:55: And there you can spot a fascinating breed: the crowdsurfer.
I really hope Jimmy crowdsurfed during this entire song. He would’ve earned so much street cred for that.
1:01: Remember when Jesse had the whole up-in-the-front hair thing going on? It was a pretty overdone trend, but I kind of miss it right now. And have I stressed enough how I also miss the early 2000s?
1:04: “WE KEPT IT SAFE AND SLOW, [ENTER SONG NAME HERE]”
Jesse always puts so much substance into his lyrics. It’s unbelievable that he’s even able to deliver half of the lines considering how much he’s trying to say.
1:10: With the chorus comes the fistpumps. There’s not close to enough jumping, though.
1:14: Without Jesse trading off with Vin, he’d be completely out of breath this entire song. There was a lot packed into those verses, and Jesse at least doubled it in this chorus.
I think it’s also important to note that Vin epitomizes early 2000s style here. You’ve got the polo and slacks to show your preppy side and the plugs and tattoos to show your punk side.
1:18: Vin’s absolutely in the moment right here. That’s pretty much my face anytime I listen to Brand New, so it makes sense.
1:21: Fuzzy slippers…because what other footwear is appropriate for your first talk show gig?
1:29: Vin’s not the best singer ever, but he’s a backup singer, thus making talent level irrelevant.
1:35: Jesse’s grasping the mic here as hard as we’re grasping onto his emotions. See? I can use figurative language just like he can. However, he’s still a god to us humans.
I’d like to stress that he’s not the best singer either, but he always knows how to use his voice to the best of his abilities. That’s what makes songs like this one hit so hard.
1:41: Brian [Lane, Drummer] almost gets forgotten back there, but he adds a lot of thunder to this song.
1:47: Multiple crowdsurfers…let’s hope they don’t bump into one another and cause an injury and ruin the show.
1:48: Jesse’s voice is getting higher. THE URGENCY IS RISING.
1:54: Oh look, a homemade Brand New sign. “Brand New Owns Your Mom”…kids were so clever back then. Just like half of the people who went to emo shows back then, she looks like she could be a cast member on Degrassi or something.
Side note: I wonder how long fans had to wait to get into this. Brand New shows would sell out big venues in New York back then (and they still do now, of course), so I wonder if they had some sort of Hunger Games-like competition to choose attendees.
1:57: Now there’s some jumpers.
That one dude with the metal horns up knows where it’s at. It’s pretty much an unwritten rule that you can flash the horns during any song that rocks, no matter if it’s metal or not.
2:01: When you’re singing so hard you can’t even keep your eyes open.
2:05: “WASTING WORDS ON LOWERCASES AND CAPITALS”. Seriously the greatest line ever.
2:09: Now we’re starting to see some flair from Brian back there.
2:21: Time to slow things down. Brand New’s known for the emotion packed into their heavy moments, but the softer, more gentle moments need to be recognized too.
2:45: Vin, back at it again with the flange.
2:49: I didn’t realize how elaborate that stage setup is. There are so many screens back there you’d think they were in a Best Buy — or, to get super early 2000s on your ass, a Circuit City.
2:57: “D’I, LIE WELL, HALLELUH”
Side note: Vin definitely overdid it a bit with the flange in this performance. It’s still sounds tight as hell, though.
3:07: Jesse’s about to lose his mind.
3:08: HERE HE GOES.
3:09: [That same line again, but with 10x the force, loudness, and feeling]
3:15: Vin knows how to move around onstage. As you’ve probably noticed already, his feet are basically always moving.
3:18: The crowd’s hit its peak intensity, and so has Brand New.
3:20: CHILLS. EVERY SINGLE TIME.
I’m honestly amazed that these guys aren’t drowned out over the crowd singing along. That speaks to how big and layered their sound is.
3:29: Jesse’s face is so red here he looks like he could pass out any second.
3:33: The moshers here are sparse, but everyone’s just too focused on what’s going on onstage. With the legend that is Brand New gracing it, I wouldn’t ever look away.
3:35: Now Jesse’s taking the whole chorus himself with Vin backing. It’s a neat twist, but Jesse can only spit out about half the words.
3:41: That moment when you’re on camera and all you know how to do is put up the metal horns.
This group is in absolute adoration right here. Plus, there’s enough black clothing here that no one would mistaken the show for anything other than emo.
3:44: “KEEP THE BLOOD IN YOUR HEAD, YOUR FEET ON THE GROUND, THE DAY IT GETS TIRED IS THE DAY WE DROPPED OUT”
3:47: “I LIE WELL”
There’s so much going on right now I don’t know what to think other than this song still rules just as much 13 years later.
3:50: Garrett and his stylish hat appear once more for a split second.
3:52: Jesse’s practically making out with that mic. I hope they auctioned that off for, like, a million dollars after the show. That, or put it in a museum or something.
3:55: “Thank you”
No, thank YOU. You just made the lives of several hundred fans complete, while simultaneously making everyone who wasn’t there insanely jealous.
4:00: One little jam session just for good measure.
4:05: Jimmy sounds like he’s losing his voice. I bet he was screaming along to every word.
With Brand New’s 2003 performance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, we witnessed a band that was taking over our music scene finally hit the mainstream. Over a decade later, this video reminds us of what was, what is, and what will be (for one more year — yeah, thinking about it makes me cry too).