Motion City Soundtrack is a really special band to me. That’s a painfully obvious statement to anyone who knows me, but it’s worth being said. They were the first band that I got in on the ground floor and followed them through their career, from album to album as they continued to grow into one of the most revered bands in this music world. And now, I can say that I’ve followed them to the very end.
When they announced that they would be completing one more tour before disbanding, I didn’t know what to think. Naturally I called up fellow Editor-In-Chief/MCS fanboy Connor Feimster for an emergency podcast session to try and hash out our feelings, but it still felt weird. How do you balance the selfish thoughts of wanting them to continue on forever with the realistic thoughts of realizing that they’ve given their lives to this for over a decade and don’t owe anyone a damn thing?
I spent the following weeks battling those ideas, edging closer and closer to accepting the inevitable, until finally it was time. The final Charlotte show.
I lost count of how many times I have seen Motion City Soundtrack around show number seven or eight, but I can unequivocally say that that final show stood out as the best. There was an air of awe filling the room, a room filled to capacity by likeminded people equally touched by the band’s lengthy career. As they ripped through hit after hit, with the crowd roaring along, it became clear that this final show wasn’t a somber affair; it was a celebration of all times the band affected their legion of fans.
The setlist was career-spanning, though it did pay close attention to featuring fan favorites, even dipping into deeper cuts like spiraling “Modern Chemistry” and early B-Side “Back To The Beat”. It was a perfect string of perfect songs, all leading up to one final moment. As the final line of “Even If It Kills Me” trailed off, only one song remained. Everyone knew what was coming, but the anticipation was palpable. With the buzz growing, frontman Justin Pierre addressed the crowd, for the last time before instructing the building for one final, cathartic burst. The entire room came together for “The Future Freaks Me Out”, with the crowd nearly overpowering the sounds coming from the stage. And then, with one final refrain of “I’d rather waste our time together/Yeah, cause we can get down”, it was over.
I actually had the chance to see Motion City Soundtrack one more time after that, a week later at Wrecking Ball in Atlanta, but I decided to pass it up. As tough as it was to forgo one more performance, my final memories of the band were perfect as is, singing along in a crowded venue to songs that mean more to me than I could ever explain.
And now, with their final show at this past weekend’s Riot Fest, they’re gone. The band that shaped my musical tastes more than anyone are gone. Sure, they’ll probably reunite at some point. Sure, I still have their records, perfect specimens of the band’s tortured, neurotic masterpieces. But Motion City Soundtrack is broken up. And that’s fine.
Everything is fine.