As the elder emo crowds came off a wild When We Were Young Festival weekend, The Used fed the nostalgia with their penultimate tour stop at Mesa Amphitheatre on Thursday.
The inexhaustible Magnolia Park was back yet again as the openers on this stacked lineup. Still riding a wave of post-pandemic TikTok fame, the pop punk quartet promised a killer show and definitely delivered one to the early crowd. These guys haven’t stopped grinding on the tour circuit all year and their efforts are clearly paying off from the reception they got as the sun started to set.
Movements was up next- and they were ready for a set that no one would be able to stop talking about. The California post-hardcore group has also been making the rounds in recent years with all the buzz centering around their stellar live sound. The rumors are true- Movements is indeed that band and their short but powerful setlist had the fans working up a sweat in the pit. Naturally they closed with the massively popular “Daylily” and surrendered the stage to The Used.
The last time Arizona saw The Used was at this very amphitheatre, so all of the returning fans enjoyed a moment of déjà vu when the band took the stage. Singer Bert McCracken emerged like a horror movie creature, flipping off the crowd who promptly handed that energy right back.
“You guys are awesome- kind of!” was the sentiment exclaimed by McCracken as he actively encouraged the packed crowd to boo the band between songs. They married their new music with plenty of classic tracks and fans sang along to “Blow Me” and “I Caught Fire” with equal fervor.
Their set came to an explosive end with “Pretty Handsome Awkward” and a brief cover of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” before the lights went down, the disco ball hanging hearts stopped glittering and the fans were left cheering for more.
Check out all the photos from the show!
Story and photos by Olivia Khiel