SAN ANTONIO – What was sure to be a nostalgic evening of music and raw sound turned into a night of new musical christening for fans of Glassjaw and The Used.
A friend joined me on the tour de force that is New York based Glassjaw and The Used, who recently released their newest album ‘The Canyon.’
“So what are these guys? Heavy metal? What?” the producer asked.
There was no clear answer for what genre defines these bands. It was a sight he needed to witness with his own eyes.
Glassjaw grips you by the throat, screams in your face, and doesn’t let you go until you are soothed by their haunting melodies, only after ensuring you leave the venue with tinnitus.
Front-man Daryl Polumbo’s vocals reel you in to sing along and will not let you go. Polumbo’s natural ability to scream and then switch into lullaby is instantaneous and versatile. To go from hardcore to jazz influenced inflections is what makes Glassjaw stand out above their peers.
Glassjaw provided the classics, including Mu Empire, Jesus Glue and Ape Dos Mil. Patrons at the Vibes Event Center were singing-along, moshing, screaming, jumping, and vibing -- to say the least.
There was no shortage of energy and the electricity was high; every turn you made was met with a familial feeling. It’s the feeling of enjoying a band that actually outputs a live show that is identical to a vinyl recording.
Without delving further into Glassjaw, they provided a sweet treat as an opener for one of the early 00s emo music scene legends, The Used.
The Used’s debut self-titled album is widely regarded as their best - and one of the best for the genre. Tunes include heavily rotated, ‘The Taste of Ink.’
Anyone knows that when the opening riff starts, fans break out into sing-song, including myself. It is easily identified as one of the more fun karaoke songs and their best.
Hot off the heels of their release ‘The Canyon’, The Used hit fans hard with a wave of raw and emotional hits. The Used was back in full force and you definitely knew this.
As soon as they began to play their set, fans began singing along. All of a sudden it was 2002, and I’m waiting for the bus, listening to the CD player all while feeling the cool breeze of the Fall weather in the Rio Grande Valley.
That is the experience I had been waiting for.
Bert McCracken’s vocals remained nearly untouched by the years and were exactly the same as a first-time listener and being a pariah in the emo world of the 2000s.
For me, the show was a fun reminder that bands that remained in tact through their careers - and through my adolescence to adulthood – is a rare and appreciated occurrence.
Sharing these musical experiences with others who may not have had the chance to listen to them growing up is part of the fun process and these bands let you live those moments.
“So what did you think?” I asked my buddy.
“Wow. Crazy. First thought. Second, I never thought I’d be introduced to these bands in this way,” he said.
“Yup, now you get it.”