Brand New homecoming a solemn performance

Alternative rock band Brand New played a number of sold-out shows during their fall 2009 headlining tour, including one in Rochester, N.Y. on Nov. 24 and one at Long Island's Nassau Coliseum on Nov. 28.

The band's stop in Rochester was one of the final dates during the third leg of their fall tour, which two other Long Island bands, Crime in Stereo and Glassjaw, opened. Although they played relatively short sets, both bands set the bar high.

As Brand New took the stage, however, the crowd was so riled up, it seemed as if they'd accept any and everything the band threw at them. A dark stage set the scene for the sinister instrumentals of "Welcome to Bangkok," which exploded into "Sink," a song off their latest release Daisy.

Vocalist Jesse Lacey and the rest of his band played most of their songs off Daisy, as well as their third album, The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me. They did, however, play several songs off of their sophomore release Deja Entendu, including the hit "The Quiet Things that No One Ever Knows" and "Sic Transit Gloria … Glory Fades." As a band that rarely plays encores, Brand New finished their set with Lacey singing Deja's "Play Crack the Sky" solo.

The final show of the tour at the Coliseum on the 28th served as a "homecoming" for the Long Island natives. It was also Brand New's largest headlining performance to date: the arena was jam-packed with 18,000 of their most dedicated fans.

Several acts opened for the band on the main stage including Kevin Devine and his Goddamn Band, Manchester Orchestra, Glassjaw and Thrice. An acoustic stage featured Robbers, Brian Bonz, Vinnie Caruana and Andy Jackson of Hot Rod Circuit. In some respects, the openers were more impressive than Brand New themselves.

Perhaps the reason Lacey and crew were so underwhelming was because their setlist barely strayed from the songs they played in Rochester and at other dates throughout their tour. Playing mainly from their latest two albums, Lacey's screams, Brian Lane's pounding drums and Garrett Tierney's thumping bass lines characterized the evening.

Longtime fans, especially those from Long Island, have come to expect big things when Brand New plays shows close to home, and unfortunately nothing special or unexpected came out of this evening. Those anticipating songs off the band's first album were sorely disappointed, save for the last minute addition of "Seventy times 7," which closed the show on a high note.

Although Brand New's performance may have been a slight disappointment, that's not to say they put on a "bad" show. Recognizing that they had little time to play and wanting to get as many songs in as possible, Lacey spoke little throughout the evening, only stopping to thank everyone in attendance. His sentiments were met with heartfelt cheers from the sold-out arena. "None of this would be possible without the people who first started supporting our music here on Long Island," he assured.