Just before Christmas, I had the amazing opportunity to talk with Motion City Soundtrack's lead vocalist and guitarist, Justin Pierre, about one of my favorite albums of all time – his group's 2005 sophomore release, Commit This To Memory. Starting last month, Motion City Soundtrack has been on a ten-year anniversary tour celebrating the album, which I was lucky enough to catch on January 28th at Irving Plaza in Manhattan's Union Square.
We were due to get slammed by a blizzard that week, and the show was moved back a day from its original January 27th show date. The snow that was allegedly coming was underwhelming to say the least, but I'll save my criticism of weathermen and the entire school of educated guessing that is meteorology for another time. My friend and I rolled through the doors of Irving Plaza just in time to catch the end of opener Team Spirit's set. After them, acoustic performer Vinnie Caruana (I Am The Avalanche, The Movielife) took the stage, giving a solid performance as the crowd milled around and chatted amongst themselves. His set didn't seem particularly well-received by the audience, who were seemingly just there to see Motion City Soundtrack, but my friend and I dug him and spent the next twenty minutes discussing how interesting the chord progressions of his songs were.
Check out the 'Commit This To Memory' 10 Year Anniversary Tour Announcement video
And then finally, the lights go down, and it's the moment we've all been waiting for – I stop ogling the cute blonde girl with the pixie cut and the tight gray sweater and start screaming my head off as Motion City Soundtrack takes the stage and launches into Commit This To Memory, playing the entire album from "Attractive Today" to "Hold Me Down". Predictably, Pierre's vocals were nearly drowned out by the jubilant, enthusiastic screaming of the audience and their singing along to every song, but the frontman, as well as the rest of the band, gave a tight, exuberant and, to quote the drunk person nearby who said this about fifteen times throughout the night, "on point" performance.
After a short break (and by short, I mean about ninety seconds), the band came back out to launch into Commit This To Memory's bonus track, "Invisible Monsters," followed by an assortment of other hits from their storied career - "Her Words Destroyed My Planet," "A Lifeless Ordinary," "This Is For Real," "Capital H," "The Future Freaks Me Out," and several others. Keyboardist Jesse Johnson was perhaps the most entertaining as he smashed the crash cymbals and danced like a maniac during the songs off of My Dinosaur Life that are synth-absent.
Sadly, Motion City closed the show with "My Favorite Accident," and just like that, the night was over. The packed house began filing out the doors and down the stairs, and my friend and I, hoarse from screaming along and sweaty from jumping up and down all night, pointed and laughed at the 300 people waiting in the coat check line that stretched around the block as we wandered off into the New York City night.
01. Attractive Today
02. Everything Is Alright
03. When “You’re” Around
05. Feels Like Rain
06. Make Out Kids
07. Time Turned Fragile
08. L.G. FUAD
09. Better Open The Door
10. Together We’ll Ring In The New Year
12. Hold Me Down
Encore Set List:
01. Invisible Monsters
02. A Lifeless Ordinary (Need A Little Help)
03. Anything At All
04. This Is For Real
05. Last Night
06. Her Words Destroyed My Planet
07. Capital H
08. The Future Freaks Me Out