Playing shows back to back on tour is hard enough, but playing all of your albums in the span of two days quite a feat. Motion City Soundtrack have come long way since the good old days, but have kept their lyrical essence throughout time. Justin Pierre, lead vocalist and songwriter, continues to dive into his subconscious with each album.
Seeing MCS play songs that you normally wouldn’t hear on other tours is a fan’s dream come true. Most of crowd that was there for the first night of Philadelphia shows also came out for the second. In fact, the kids in the front row looked like they never left from the Friday show. Jesse Johnson, the keyboardist, was commanding the audience, signaling to the crowd with a wave of his hand—and they responded promptly. The keyboard hand stands may have left but the energy is more than ever.
Long format as this show was, MCS embraced the old-school intermission experience. Between albums songs from the 20,30,50s, like “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and tunes you’d hear on Sunday With Sinatra played over the PA, and Justin encouraged the crowd to grab a drink or shake a friend’s hand while the band too a brief break. The lights were dimmed and brought back as the next set arrived, like the curtain going back up for part two.
Night one at the Theater Of The Living Arts comprised of MCS playing I Am The Movie and Commit This To Memory. These two albums live packed more of a punch than the recordings, very upbeat with lyrics that touch on sensitive subjects. The second night had a somewhat more somber feel, with Even If It Kills Me and My Dinosaur Life having a more mature and introspective attitude in both music and words. As the subjects in the lyrics picked up so did the atmosphere, really showing how well Motion City Soundtrack can control the crowd.
These shows are a unique experience for the band and the fans. If you get a shot at watching one of your best-loved bands tour like this, make sure you hit all of the shows. You might discover something new and exciting emerging from old favorites.
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