An Ode to Brand New (Or: A Primer)


If you’ve ever had even one conversation with me, you probably know about my feelings towards Brand New. Brand New is, not-so-debatably, my everything. That’s only kind of an overstatement. Brand New has been my favorite band since I first heard “Sic Transit Gloria” on someone’s myspace page. After that, nothing was the same.

A few years later, after learning the true pain of being a Brand New fan (in other words, Brand New doesn’t tour much…and when they do, they do not come to South Florida), I learned that they were actually going on tour. They weren’t coming to South Florida but they were coming to Orlando. The show was near my 17th birthday so my mom offered to get some tickets and a hotel room and drive my friends to the show. It was nothing short of amazing, I felt so lucky to finally see them and so sure that I just loved Brand New so dang much.

That was in 2009. Fast forward to 2014. Nearly five years had passed and little new information about Brand New had come to light. I still listened to them every single day, hoping and praying that, one day, a reputable source would tell me they were at least still together – I knew a new album or tour would be too much to ask. About a month into the year, a few of my friends and I learned about a festival in Boston called “Boston Calling.” Not only were Brand New going to be there but also a ton of my other favorites, including Death Cab For Cutie, Modest Mouse and Warpaint. Tickets wouldn’t break the bank so we committed: we were going to Boston.

Seeing them in Boston, after nearly 5 years, was unbelievable. That isn’t the right word but I’m not sure what else to say. The show was insane, there were thousands upon thousands of people packed into Boston City Hall and people were going nuts. A few guys near us in the crowd told us it had also been years since they’d seen Brand New. People were going all out, fearful that this could actually be the last time they’d ever see their favorite band. I felt the same way…but, miraculously, that same day, a few more Brand New tour dates appeared on their website, including one that caught my eye: October 25 2014 – Miami, FL.

Of course, I immediately bought tickets. Knowing that that show in Boston was not my last Brand New show brought tears to my eyes. I had spent a huge chunk of my life loving Brand New, knowing full well that that could be it, just that memory of the show in Orlando and years and years singing along to songs in my bedroom.

Between all this, I had another extremely lucky break. I was planning on visiting my best friend in New York all summer. I kept rescheduling the dates because I was trying to pinpoint the exact times I’d be able to go and see Sam, but also when I could see my friend Daniel who wasn’t moving up to New York until about mid-August. I finally settled on August 14 – that’d be the day I’d go to New York. As if the Brand New gods themselves were smiling down on me, Brand New just happened to be playing at Forrest Hills Stadium in Queens on August 14.

The tickets were all sold out but I knew I just could not be in the same city as Brand New and not see them. I contacted a ton of people who were selling tickets for hundreds of dollars and actually considered it – who knew when would be the last time I’d see them? This band meant enough to me and I was willing to pick up a bunch of extra shifts to pay for the tickets (I am the reason these people are able to mark tickets up so much…they know someone out there is just a little bit crazy enough to pay for them). Fortunately, I didn’t have to do this. Literally minutes before I was about to pay $250 for two tickets, the official ticket website released a few extra tickets. I ordered a ticket for my best friend and myself and was beaming with joy. With the addition of this New York show, I would be seeing my favorite band in my favorite city. This felt like the greatest present of my life. What had I done to deserve this?

The show in Queens was great. People were not nearly as crazy as they were in Boston (I’m thinking it is mostly because people from New York have probably seen Brand New a ton of times, let alone that there were far less people than at the Boston festival). I could breathe and sing and not feel like some 300 lb dude was going to crowd surf over me and then crack my neck (truly a great fear of mine).

Now, it is October 25. Right now, at this moment as I write this. I’m home for the weekend and the show is in approximately nine hours. I’m feeling exactly how I felt before the New York show: weirdly calm and not at all feeling like I’m going to be seeing them today. It still hasn’t hit me that I’ve gotten to see my favorite band three times in one year. Three times in six months even. I’m also oddly nervous…I don’t want today to end. I’m nervous that it will be five more years (or maybe more, maybe never) til I see them again. Although, I’m not sure I’d let that happen, especially because now I’m an adult with a job who can prioritize and fly across the country if I really, really had no other choice. Regardless, I’m excited. I’m excited for the future of Brand New and I’m excited for my future of loving Brand New. It’s a good time to be a Brand New fan.

I thought I’d end this with a little Brand New primer. People always ask me what they should listen to first and, to be honest, Brand New is a little all over the place so it doesn’t really matter. I’d probably just say to listen chronologically and experience the beauty of a band that truly grows from record to record. Ugh, I love this band.

If you listen to (and fall in love) with Brand New, let me know! I’m always hoping I can enlighten those who have not been blessed yet. Also, pass this along, share the Brand New love.

P.S. I’m gonna add a bit to this after the show tonight. Here’s hoping they play Logan to Government Center for me. Please, oh please, Brand New gods. One more little thing for me.

P.P.S. The concert is over and they didn’t play Logan. I’m upset about it (not really). It was INCREDIBLE. Oh my goodness, it was great, probably better than any other time I’d seen them. Just bask in this glory with me

Yes, wow. Okay.


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