Motion City Soundtrack
Hawthorne Theatre – Portland, OR
Monday, February 17th 2015
Motion City Soundtrack made a stop in Portland for their 10th year
Anniversary tour in celebration of the 2005 album, Commit This To Memory. It was only appropriate that the small,
intimate venue of the Hawthorne Theatre hosted this event giving a subtle nod
to the nostalgic feel of small, underage emo-punk shows despite the nights
“sold out” status.
Lead singer William Beckett of the band The Academy Is… joined along
as the opener belting out classic emo pop hits from the bands old days as well
as his own work deriving from his solo career. Motion City Soundtrack put on an
incredibly electric performance from the start coming greatly from the
enthusiastic keyboardist, Jesse Johnson, who was head banging
uncontrollably throughout the show and at one point was whacking a cowbell like
nobodies business. The overall onstage chemistry of all the band mates was something to be
admired and caused a rowdy atmosphere among the crowd.
While performing the Commit This To Memory album in its entirety, the group reminded
everyone how relevant their music still is today. The show came to a climax as
the most beloved sing-along classics “L.G. FUAD”, “When You’re Around”, and
popular “Everything Is Alright” put the venue in a state of bliss. Motion City
brought just about everything anyone could ever want in a good show; a long set
running more than two hours, minimal breaks between songs, and a consistent
on-stage energy that brought you alive.
Personally only being 13 years old at the time of their album release,
it wasn’t surprising that most of the audience deemed to be of an older crowd,
and long time fans of the Minneapolis born group. Constant sing-a-longs were
unavoidable for the majority of tracks as their signature catchy pop/punk
melodies have been engrained in their fans’ minds over time.
I felt I was channeling my 15 year old self during its entirety achingly
wishing that jelly bracelets and Hot Topic would make a mainstream comeback.
Among the other iconic emo-pop bands of the early 2000’s such as Taking Back
Sunday, All-American Rejects and Yellowcard, it is easy to forget about how
those dusty mixed CD’s stashed away under your bed or drawers truly influenced
your overdramatic teenage angst years and played as a soundtrack to your life.
Motion City proved that since their first performance back in 1998,
their music is ageless and still pertinent to everyone young or old. You could
feel the lead singer Justin Pierre’s pure emotional connection he continues to
possess behind his lyrics and music even though he’s played them a million
times; this made for a deeply sentimental performance.
The band came back with an encore of the care-free tracks “The Future
Freaks Me Out” and “My Favorite Accident” that satisfied the fan in all of us. Once the lights came on, it was back to reality as everyone put their childhood memories to rest.
Written by: Kelsey Rzepecki