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Hear Nebraska concert review - Motion City Soundtrack

Published on 26th June 2015From Hear Nebraska news update, 6/26/15.

It was a sing-along sort of night at The Waiting Room, as Minneapolis quintet Motion City Soundtrack came to town for the 10th anniversary celebration tour of their seminal pop punk album Commit This To Memory. Several hundred die-hard fans packed the venue for an evening of mid-aughts nostalgia.

Opener William Beckett (of The Academy Is… fame) started off the night with a friendly, chatty set of acoustic rock that consisted of some of his own solo material bookended with The Academy Is… numbers. Beckett was a great fit for the crowd, as The Academy Is… and Motion City Soundtrack appeal to a similar fan base.

Beckett’s material from his solo career was similar to the fan favorites, but had a bit more of a folk lilt, which made for a nice change of pace after the straight-ahead rock songs. The honesty of his lyrics rang through in “Just You Wait,” a song about depression, dedicated to his sister.

The first two-thirds of Motion City Soundtrack’s set consisted of Commit This To Memory played end to end. Ten years later, singer Justin Pierre’s falsetto is as strong as ever, and his stream of consciousness lyrics have lost none of their potency. One of the distinctive elements of the group’s sound is Jesse Johnson’s punchy Moog synth and keyboards, which featured prominently in the mix. Each song streamed logically into the next, a testament to the group’s cohesive vision in crafting the album. The crowd screamed along with every word, particularly fan favorite “Everything Is Alright.”

After closing out the album with the contemplative “Hold Me Down,” the band stepped off stage briefly before returning to finish off the set with a mix of tunes from their other albums. A highlight was the fast paced “TKO,” off their upcoming album. Lead guitarist Joshua Cain provided interesting and dynamic guitar flourishes throughout. They closed out the set with “The Future Freaks Me Out,” and performed “My Favorite Accident” as a rousing encore.