June 22nd, 2023
By Bryan McCabe
Last week, The Sylvee in Madison, WI was transformed into a haven for post-hardcore enthusiasts as Pierce the Veil and The Used took the stage. Two generations of fans came together on that night to share in their passion for these beloved powerhouses of their scene. The most devoted of fans were lined up outside of the venue all day in the sweltering heat to make sure that they got to be front and center once the door opened.
Pierce the Veil kicked off the night with “Death of an Executioner”, a song that set the tone for the exhilarating journey ahead. The crowd instantly erupted into a frenzy, mosh pits forming and bodies thrashing to the rhythm. The band’s chemistry was palpable, with every member feeding off the energy of one another and the crowd, creating an electrifying atmosphere that filled the venue. Hits like “Bulls in the Bronx” and “Caraphernelia” had the crowd singing along with fervent devotion, their voices merging with Vic Fuentes’ in an exhilarating display of unity. Pierce the Veil’s stage presence was nothing short of mesmerizing. The band members moved with a magnetic energy, their every movement exuding passion and purpose. The synchronized headbanging, the intricate guitar riffs, and the thundering drums created a symphony of sound and motion that was impossible to resist.
As their set reached its climax, Pierce the Veil unleashed an explosive finale that left the crowd begging for more. Closing with “King for a Day,” the band delivered a sonic onslaught that had the entire venue jumping and singing along at the top of their lungs. The energy in the room was infectious, as fans embraced the euphoria of the moment, knowing they were part of something truly special.
Next up, The Used, the iconic rock band known for their raw and emotional performances, took the stage at The Sylvee, unleashing a torrent of energy that left the crowd breathless. From the moment they stepped on stage, it was clear that this was going to be a night to remember. Kicking off the concert with a thunderous explosion of sound, The Used launched into “Take It Away,” instantly electrifying the atmosphere. Lead vocalist Bert McCracken wasted no time in establishing a deep connection with the audience, pouring his heart and soul into every lyric. His passionate delivery and charismatic stage presence drew everyone in, making it impossible to look away. Throughout the night, fans were treated to a setlist that leaned heavily on their first three albums, blending fan favorites with a few newer tracks. The crowd erupted with sheer joy as they recognized the unmistakable opening riff of “The Taste of Ink,” an anthem that has stood the test of time. What truly sets The Used apart is their ability to infuse their performances with raw emotion. In songs like “I Caught Fire” and “Buried Myself Alive,” McCracken’s voice soared, carrying a sense of vulnerability and catharsis that resonated deeply with the audience. To add to the intensity and excitement, Rob from Don Broco joined the band for the timeless “ A Box Full of Sharp Objects”. The band members themselves seemed to channel every ounce of their emotions into their instruments, creating a sonic landscape that was equal parts aggressive and heartfelt.
The final chords of the night reverberated through the venue as confetti rained onto the crowd, the room erupting into thunderous applause, begging for an encore that would never come. Yet, the memories of The Used’s powerful performance will undoubtedly linger on, reminding us all of the sheer magic that transpired on that unforgettable evening. In the end, The Used and Pierce The Veil proved once again why they are held in such high regard within the post-hardcore community. Their live performances are a force to be reckoned with, marrying intense musicality with unfiltered emotion. From the electrifying stage presence to the crowd’s unwavering passion, every element of the concert coalesced into an unforgettable experience.