In an era where new bands come and go as fast as a Snapchat video, The Used has been around for over a decade. And it is no wonder as The Used frontman, Bert McCracken, was at his best in a live performance to a full house at the House of Blues Cleveland. Together with Jepha Howard (bass), Quinn Allman (guitar), and Dan Whitesides (drums), the quartet rocked the crowd from the first note to the last.
Drama adds intensity. Beginning with a dark stage and spoken word intro, the backdrop exploded into lights from dual stacks of discarded computer monitors. The sound was perfect and McCracken commanded the crowd like a maestro. When the words said, “Take my hand” virtually every hand in the audience was raised in unison. McCracken sang lead, while the audience provided backing vocals for a show that was second to none. It had everything, from comedy to sincere praise, but most of all, music that resonates with a room ready to party. Even McCracken said this was the most fun he has ever had on a tour, after balancing atop the bass drum on a raised platform above the stage.
Cell phones are blinding. I admit there was a bit of apprehension at the start of the concert, as it was nearly impossible to see the stage beyond the cell phone and iPad lights. Did everyone have to record or photograph at the same time? However, my fear over not being able to see the considerable action on stage was laid to rest by the end of the first song, when cell phones were stowed away, and the crowd got down to the business of having fun.
A dream come true. There was crowd surfing, jumping, dancing and singing, a perfect way to celebrate years of music The Used has created. During a pause between songs, McCracken told the audience. “I have to say, from the bottom of my heart, thank you, for allowing this dream to continue for fifteen years.” His sincere appreciation for his fans garnered deafening screams and shook the floor. It is apparent that the fans (including me) feel the same way.