When we got to the venue right next to the mythic Moulin Rouge,after passing by the signing the band was doing at a local record store, we were pleasantly surprised to see a queue already lined up in front of it. In said queue, most of the fans were talking about how excited they were for the show — and to be honest,we weren’t the last people to admit we were stoked. Indeed, The Used were THE long awaited band of the year, with 7 years of absence in France.
The night started with Our Theory, who have built a strong following in the capital (and elsewhere,for that matter) and definitely had a few fans there for them in the building. While the rest of the already massive crowd weren’t really receptive,the quin tet gave all their energy to play a coherent and enjoyable set. They seemed as stoked as we all were to be there for The Used (we really won’t blame them for that) and even played a brand new song which has yet to be released before concluding their set on single ‘The Devil’.
Next up was Merge,and upon watching them and seeing the crowd light up as they took the stage and opened with the banger that is ‘Lighters’, it was clear that they have reached a new level in the Elysion album cycle. They obviously have gained even more presence and are now,more than ever, sure of what they’re doing (well,at least we do hope vocalist Anthony Hamin did when he jumped into the crowd and started running around). This time,the crowd went along, moving in waves and even shouting the lyrics back at them for the first few rows. And as every time we saw Merge, they left us hungry for more.
When the lights go out for the third and last time and The Used finally run in, setting the crowd on fire with their new single ‘Cry’ off the new album Imaginary Enemy, a sort of natural selection operates itself in the pit : on one side, people clinging to the stage to scream their (emo) hearts out,and on another, the pit itself,which will only get bigger on the violent,yet full of memories second song ‘Take It Away’. Memories will definitely be present tonight,with anthems that smell of 2000’s and Warped Tour like it’s nobody’s business and nearly every single person in the crowd and on the sides will not miss on a word. (That also includes us.) Four songs in, we’ll notice that love is definitely in the room as well as a wedding proposal takes places on stage, with Bert’s blessing, of course, followed by a speech of his inciting everyone to love whoever they want and to kiss the person next to them on the cheek. That will definitely get us all in the mood for ‘I Caught Fire’, once again sung by the whole room in unison. Altogether, The Used have a consistent fanbase in France, which we frankly didn’t expect and since Bert will pinky promise us they won’t take another seven years to come back to our shores, we’re reassured. The night reaches its paroxysm when the band plays the intro to Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ before breaking into ‘A Box Full Sharps Objects’,punching us in the face with 2002 one last time before they leave the stage. Overall, when we left the venue, it felt like we had been flooded by memories and the past, but in a really, really good way. And we sure hope they don’t break their pinky promise.
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