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Live Review: Motion City Soundtrack

When Motion City Soundtrack announced their ‘So Long Farewell Tour,’ and an indefinite hiatus in 2016, fans of the Minneapolis rock/alternative/indie band were bummed. Hardcore. This was a band known for their energetic live performances, and an exhaustive touring schedule — being a Warped Tour mainstay, and frequently playing overseas.

In June 2019, the band announced their ‘Don’t Call it a Comeback Tour,’ slated for winter 2020, and fans rejoiced. And bought out those shows in record time. 

The largely-sold out tour stopped in Detroit on Jan. 3 at St. Andrew’s Hall to yet another packed house.

The night provided two openers, first up was Lipstick Jodi, a Grand Rapids, Michigan band — who also opened up for Justin Courtney Pierre’s (Motion City Soundtrack) solo show in St. Andrew’s basement venue, The Shelter in November 2018. The second opener was an Ohio rock band, The Sidekicks, also on the Epitaph Record label.

Motion City Soundtrack’s setlist kicked off with “Attractive Today,” from the band’s 2005 record, “Commit This to Memory,” with soaring guitars and the crowd was happy to sing along ‘to all the metaphors and lines that had taken Pierre years to come up with.’

“Commit This to Memory” turned 15 this year, and it’s safe to say Motion City Soundtrack fans have done just that — with some of the loudest crowd singalongs I’ve heard in quite some time.

The band plowed through 19 songs in their setlist, including fan favorite, “Her Words Destroyed My Planet,” followed by “My Favorite Accident,” “Make Out Kids,” and the always hauntingly beautiful “Hold Me Down.”

The concert was delivered by a seemingly re-energized, refreshed band — featuring the original lineup : Justin Courtney Pierre (guitar, vocals), Matthew Taylor (bass), Jesse Mack Johnson (keys), Joshua Cain (guitar), and Tony Thaxton (drums). There was a time when Thaxton left the band, and Claudio Rivera (Saves the Day) stepped in, but Thaxton’s return to the drum throne was well-received with “Tony!” chants throughout the night.

The show finished with a two-song encore starting with “L.G. FUAD,” always the loudest crowd sing along, and one where Jesse Mack Johnson steps center stage — demanding participation, with the crowd fully obliging. The show ended with “The Future Freaks Me Out,” a sentiment I’m sure many fans will agree with if Motion City Soundtrack leaves us for an undisclosed period of time yet again. Regardless, we salute you for good times you’ve provided us over the last 23 years — and rest assured, ‘you’ll always be our favorite one.’

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Sarah Spohn

Sarah's a little bit of a rock 'n' roll rebel, almost always at a concert. She loves to soak up the scene, immersed in the music journalism world, still buys CDs and rents music documentaries from the library. Just don't call her a hipster. She's never been that stylish.

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