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LIVE IN MPLS | 1/17: Motion City Soundtrack

MotionCitySoundtrack-2005

photo from AltPress

by Jordan

On an unusually balmy Minnesota winter night, fans lined up to see Motion City Soundtrack’s return to the Varsity Theater to commemorate the 10th anniversary of their successful sophomore album “Commit This To Memory.” The much-anticipated hometown kickoff sold out so quickly that due to such high demand, the band decided to put on another show a couple days prior to the official start of the tour. To no surprise the Minnesota natives second show sold out nearly as fast as the first.

Before the show, the grounded Minnesota five-piece treated VIPs willing to upgrade their tickets for a small price to a sing along and hangout before the show. Despite the hype for the band, members could be found hanging around the venue as fans flooded in. It quickly became clear the importance of the show to the fans that waited a decade to hear their favorite album played in full, as the majority of the crowd even bounced along to the local acts opening. This energy alone would have satisfied most bands, but once the first strum of “Attractive Today” hit as Motion City Soundtrack took the stage, the room erupted. The band quickly flew through the next couple songs, including the fan favorite “Everything is Alright,” where front man Justin Pierre beckoned for the overjoyed responses to his fun chorus.

The band oozed excitement as they played in front of friends and family, through an album that resonated better than anyone could have dreamed 10 years after its release. From Jesse’s enthused singing as he jammed on the Moog synthesizer, to lead singer/guitarist Justin’s robotic dance moves, it was unclear who was having more fun, them or the crowd. Even newcomer to the band, Claudio Rivera transferred his own zest for life to his drumming as he executed even the toughest parts of “Time Turned Fragile” with a fresh confidence. The show’s highlights came from intimate explanations and stories behind a few of their favorites. Most notably the story of “L.G. Fuad,” where Justin tells of his favorite letter from a mother who, upon listening to her son’s favorite album, was drawn in by the depth of the song despite initially being appalled by its profanity. Not only was the son spared a scolding; Motion City Soundtrack gained a new fan that day. The slower jam was belted out over the band as fans sang along, creating a haunting and captivating atmosphere in the room. Another great story Motion City told fans was the story behind the album’s emotional ending, “Hold Me Down.” In which, Justin tells of a former roommate who shook her lifestyle of stripping and doing drugs to become a sober astrophysicist. Despite the dark wintery content of the album, Motion City instilled hope, which can be very helpful in this northern state of such dismal chill.

As bubbles floated down onto the crowd, Motion City waved their goodbyes with smiles lighting their faces. It was not long before the band burst back onto the stage to perform the hard hitting, rarely played bonus track of Commit This To Memory, “Invisible Monsters.” This was followed by an array of favorites from other records, including “Anything At All” from the band’s upcoming sixth album due out this year. The band ended the first encore with fan favorite, “The Future Freaks Me Out” where I struggled to hear them over the crowd’s collective, overwhelming voice. Quite frankly it was one of the most moving things to see such a close connection between and band and a crowd.

Apparently Motion City Soundtrack was moved as well when they returned for one last song, “My Favorite Accident,” from the band’s debut, as a thank you to everyone who came out. Unfortunately, the show had come to a conclusion. Everyone stood in place, still in awe and wanting more as a portion of Motion City’s new album poured out the speakers. It was clear every fan truly meant every word in “I am with you till the end,” they previously shouted from the song “Disappear.” The band put out everything they had and no doubt got everything out of it; they will always be welcome back home.

 

Setlist:

Attractive Today

Everything Is Alright

When You’re Around

Resolution

Feel Like Rain

Make Out Kids

Time Turned Fragile

L.G. Fuad

Better Open The Door

Together We’ll Ring In The New Year

Hangman

Hold Me Down

Encore 1:

Invisible Monsters

This Is For Real

Anything At All

Last Night

Her Words Destroyed My Planet

Disappear

The Future Freaks Me Out

Encore 2:

My Favorite Accident

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