The Used | Portland

The starry backdrop for the supporting act, the post-hardcore band Glassjaw, was taken down. Behind that hung a large white screen hiding the back half of the stage for the headlining act that night, The Used. The only things placed in front of the screen were three microphones with long fabrics hung from them. Soon after, The Used’s vocalist Bert McCracken walked onstage to a cheering crowd, greeted them, and turned his back to them to face the screen. The low hums of instruments could be heard as he raised his arms. When McCracken dropped his arms and threw his head back the banner fell, lights flashed and surrounded him, and the missing three band members were revealed standing behind the screen to join him in their song Take It Away. The stage was lined with long LED light towers which flashed colors behind the band and created magnificent shadows and silhouettes throughout their set.

On November 28, and near the end of their tour, The Used performed at Portland’s Roseland Theater with support from Glassjaw. The band was wrapping up a tour following the release of their seventh studio album, The Canyon, and celebrating a milestone for the band as well: they’ve been together nearly 17 years. After performing and recording for years, McCracken remains as humble and charismatic as ever. Prior to performing their song The Taste of Ink, he details the early days and forming of the band, something he says he hasn’t done at a show in a long time. He recounts writing the song when he was 17, and now nearly 17 years later he’s still on stage performing the song to a sold out crowd in a city foreign to where he grew up. 17 years after they made waves in the music scene with their self-titled debut, The Used still delivers. They put on an incredible performance that is exemplified by the stage and light setup their crew has put together. They don’t miss a beat, and they sound as good as ever. McCracken still retains the same captivating stage presence; owning and interacting with his crowd masterfully with the experience he’s gained. Their new guitarist Justin Shekoski brings a new layer and perspective to the band, and helped drive The Used into creating a new and universally loved album by fans and reviewers. The Canyon Tour marked a new milestone for the band, began a new era, and brought excitement to fans as they look to the possibilities of The Used’s future.

Words and photos by Joe Hernandez (@thisisbroseph / website)