May 30, 2016



COVERAGE: JESS DIAZ // @jessldiaz

Back in November 2015, The Used, a popular rock band from Orem, Utah, announced their first headlining tour of 2016: The 15th Anniversary Tour, which celebrates the fifteenth birthdays of their first self-titled album, and their sophomore album, In Love and Death. This tour consists of two separate productions, on two separate nights, in each city. The band began their trip around the US early this April, and I was able to attend and photograph the second night of their Chicago stop on May 18th.

The night began with a line of eager fans wrapping around the entire venue waiting to get inside. The House of Blues is one of the smaller venues in the Chicago area, and, once the building was filled to its capacity, the amount of energy and excitement I felt was almost overwhelming.

The New Regime, a one-man band from San Diego, California, was the opening act on this tour. Although there were some technical difficulties that had to be dealt with at the start of his set, The New Regime powered through and impressed the crowd for the second night in a row. The band’s unique guitar melodies and erratic stage presence set the tone for the rest of the evening.

The Used were up next, and as time continued to wind down, the chatter volume rose, and I could hear small cheers from around the venue as the stage crew prepared for the next act. The stage production for The Used was unlike anything I have seen before–not only did it represent the album artwork for In Love and Death, but it was also three-dimensional. Tombstones had been strategically placed around the stage, and their famous heart, which lit up at different times during the performance, was hanging from the cutout of a tree. Their props were truly unique and beautiful, which added to the emotion that this tour brought to the fans.

During the introduction, the dangling heart began to light up, and that was the moment when nothing else mattered to everyone in attendance. A band that they have listened to during some of the most important years of their lives was taking the stage, and all was right in the world. The band played In Love and Death straight through, just as they had the night before with their self-titled. Bert, their lead vocalist, had called the night “one big family sing-along,” and he was not wrong.

What I took from this show is that The Used and their fans truly are one big family. The members’ rowdy stage presence coupled with Bert’s openness and passion towards his words showed the importance and the reason behind the love this band shares with their fans.

image4Before all of the chaos took place, I spoke with some fans that were standing on the barricade about what this band and this tour meant to them. Kristen, who traveled from Tennessee for a short Chicago vacation, couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see her favorite band. “I have been listening to them since the very beginning,” she told me. “This tour means everything to me.” The Used originally introduced her to this music scene, and she even has a tattoo of a cartoon that was drawn by Bert himself.

Evelyn, who is now twenty two, has been listening to The Used since she was fifteen years old. She was also fortunate enough to meet the band before the show that evening, and this was her fifth time seeing the band live.

Everyone I was lucky enough to have a conversation with was so passionate about their love for The Used. Music is one of the most powerful things we have in this world, and a band that is able to bring so many people together is one worth listening to. Not only was this show so meaningful to everyone there, but it was also a remarkable performance in itself. Nowadays, you don’t find passion like you would at a show such as this very often, which leads me to this: if The Used ever comes through your city, please go. Not only will you experience the music, but you’ll feel it in its entirety, and it’s something special.


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