Motion City Soundtrack: The Roxy, West Hollywood, CA 7.10.07
On this night, Motion City Soundtrack showed that they were not only on fire, but more than ready to bust a move.
From the moment this tour was announced a few months ago by the band, any fan of the band would know that this was a special tour. With their new album Even If It Kills Me (Set for release on September 18th on Epitaph Records) on the way, the band chose a short summer tour of small venue dates as a treat before kicking off promotion for the new album. Almost all of the dates on the tour have been sold out, including this night’s gig at the renowned Roxy in West Hollywood. The crowd was a lot younger than I was expecting for this night, but one would also recognize the long time fans of the powerpop-punk band later during the set.
The band took the stage at a little after 10, with most of the crowd on the floor packed together like sardines, trying to get as close as they could. Motion City Soundtrack busted their set wide open with the catchy “Capital H” off their debut full length I Am the Movie. The set was filled with their Moog synth, heavy rocking, odes to life, love and friendships filled with pop culture references galore.
Lead singer Justin Pierre was so ever the grounded frontman talking to the crowd regularly between songs and even apologizing to the band for talking so much. The crowd did not seem to mind much. Justin even handily took care of a few impatient fans yelling out song requests for songs that would eventually be played in the set. I was stationed by MCS’s 2nd guitar player and backup vocalist Joshua Cain and keyboardist Jesse Johnson. Both were energetic all through out, moving constantly in our area and pulling off great live performances. I even managed to catch a couple of Jesse’s trademark “Moog stands”, where he pushes off the stand of his synthesizer jumping in the air and catching some hang time in the process.
Not to be forgotten are drummer Tony Thaxton, who kept the beat going from behind the kit while also doing backup vocal duties on some songs, and bassist Matthew Taylor. Matthew was all the way on the opposite side of the stage, so I was not able to observe much of him. But all of them together translate the energy of their songs on CD to the live stage very well.
As I said, there was a special vibe for this tour. Not only did us fans get a chance to hear our favorites off I Am the Movie (“Mary Without Sound”, “My Favorite Accident”, “The Future Freaks Me Out”, etc…) and the Mark Hoppus produced Commit This to Memory (“Everything is Alright, L.G. FUAD, Hold Me Down, Attractive Today, etc….), but the band also surprised us with the song “Throwdown” off their first EP Back to the Beat. It was sad that most of the crowd was too young and new to the band to know the song, hopefully they’ll be curious enough to go out and track down the EP. They also gave us a sample of their new album Even If It Kills Me with the songs “Fell in Love Without”, “This is For Real”, and the lead single “Broken Heart”. The new songs have a lot of promise, bringing in a little bit of the sound from each of their previous releases.
The band topped off their set with their first big hit “The Future Freaks Me Out” and were later commanded for an encore performance capping the nigh off with “Perfect Teeth”.
Overall, it was a high-energy show with lots of great tunes to dance to and sing along to. And if you didn’t know the songs, it’ll make you want to hunt them down so you can sing along the next time they’re in town. The tour is just kicking off, so if Motion City Soundtrack is coming to your town and there are still tickets available, do take the chance to check them out. They have great support on this tour too with The Forecast, The Higher, and Sherwood, so show up early and show some love to them too.
Much thanks to Gary and Sue from StuntCompany for their help in allowing me to review the show.
Everything is Alright
Mary Without Sound
Fell in Love Without You*
Time Turned Fragile
Better Open the Door
This is For Real*
Make Out Kids
My Favorite Accident
Hold Me Down
The Future Freaks Me Out
*denotes new song off their upcoming album Even if It Kills Me