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Show Review: Motion City Soundtrack’s return fills The Van Buren with delighted fans

After nearly four years away, Motion City Soundtrack have returned- just don’t call it a comeback. The alt-rock powerhouse group visited The Van Buren for a lengthy set  performed to a packed house. 


Atlas arrived just in time for our favorites in Mom Jeans. Judging by the energy radiating from the crowd, the room was getting an inkling of just how fantastic this band truly is. These Berkeley boys have been performing in Arizona for years, but introducing their sound to the full venue was something new and special. Their energy is unrivaled, the music is stellar and full of relatable emotion and, at the end of the day, they’re just so much fun to watch. 

Mom Jeans. blessed the audience with a new song, added in among favorites like “Death Cup” and tracks from 2018’s Puppy Love. Their half-hour set may have been short, but they’d certainly converted the crowd into smiling, cheering, diehard fans by the end. 


In their typical straightforward fashion, Motion City Soundtrack took the stage with little fanfare (other than a plethora of flashing lights and the deafening screams of the audience). They opened with “Attractive Today” and it’s like the band never left. “Everything is Alright” really got things going and the rest of the evening was a welcoming party that could have continued forever. 

Singer Justin Courtney Pierre was dry and deadpan in his stage banter, but extremely genuine in expressing the band’s gratitude that so many fans returned to see them play live again. The rest of the group kept the energy levels reaching for the ceiling- and everyone up there was clearly thrilled . 


While there will always be complaints about bands’ chosen setlists, it’s tough to do that with this MCS show. Everything from “My Favorite Accident” to “Make Out Kids” to “This is For Real” was included, along with the band’s plethora of Emo Nite staples. They closed things out with “Hold Me Down” before returning to blow us all away with “L.G. FUAD” and “The Future Freaks Me Out”. 

“Support the art you love, good people!” was Pierre’s sentiment for the night and the audience filed out of The Van Buren riding a wave of good vibes and stellar tunes. 


Check out more photos from the show!
Story and photos by Olivia Khiel