Motion City Soundtrack celebrated their second album Commit This To Memory by kicking off a tenth anniversary tour at the Varsity Theater. After selling out the original show on Jan. 17, the band added another show on Jan. 15, which sold out as well.
A variety of artists—including Hawthorne Heights, William Beckett, and Hellogoodbye—will be opening for the band on the anniversary tour. On Saturday, openers were local heroes Stereo Confession and New York band Team Spirit. High school band Stereo Confession are definitely on the right track. Their cover of the Replacements’ “F–k School” was dripping with teenage angst and classic say-no-to-the-man attitude. Team Spirit continued to capture the crowd’s attention with their addictively danceable punk sound.
Motion City Soundtrack walked on stage with smiles on their faces, looking appreciative at the crowd. They played Commit This To Memory though its entirety, pounding out track after track. The crowd’s energy was red-hot throughout the show. From “Attractive Today” to “Hold Me Down,” every lyric was sung and every pop-punk beat was dropped. People were turning to each other and reminiscing as their favorite songs were played, and the decade-old material still sounded fresh.
There are songs on the album that don’t normally get stage time, but they finally did. It only took a ten-year anniversary tour for the band to play, for example, “Better Open The Door.” As they played, the band talked about the songs’ inspirations.
Track four, “Resolution,” has sounded to many people like an apology, lead singer Justin Pierre explained. One person in particular was a girl he knew who would bring him food because he would forget to eat; however, Pierre had no recollection this was happening. “LGFUAD,” Pierre said, created a connection between a mother and her son when Commit This To Memory was left in their car’s CD player. The mother was appalled at first (the song opens with “Let’s get f–ked up and die”) but then became a fan. The first line of “Hold Me Down,” one of the most honest, heartbreaking songs the band has written (“I found a letter that said, ‘I’m sorry that you were asleep when I wrote these words down'”), was prompted by a friend Pierre was living with. His friend, who overcame drug abuse and became an astrophysicist, left some writing that helped inspired the last song on the album.
After Motion City Soundtrack was finished with Commit This To Memory, they played bonus track “Monsters Invisible,” and continued with “This Is For Real,” “Last Night,” “Her Words Destroyed My Planet,” “Disappear,” then ended with the infamous “The Future Freaks Me Out.” They also played a new song “Anything At All,” off their forthcoming album. This song has a similar feel to their earlier work on I Am The Movie and it sounds as if Motion City Soundtrack are going to release another album that’s guaranteed to still have people talking about it ten years later.
Motion City Soundtrack are our January Artist of the Month. Read Matt Perkins’s retrospective of the band’s career.
Motion City Soundtrack
Writer Kayla Culver is studying multimedia journalism and public relations at Concordia College. Once she graduates she will be pursuing a career as a music journalist. She blogs irregularly at chameleonears.com. Photographer Bridget Bennett is a student at the University of Minnesota—Twin Cities.