Motion City Soundtrack Delivers Pop Punk Nostalgia in Anaheim

Motion City Soundtrack
House of Blues Anaheim

Crowds rushed into Anaheim's House of Blues last night to see punk-pop legends Motion City Soundtrack. Nostalgic about their teenage angst, couples sang along to Brand New and All-American Rejects tracks playing throughout the venue speakers before showtime. Huntington Beach based band Hellogoodbye took the stage and performed a set of their favorite tracks including a rendition of “Here (In Your Arms),” a mix of Nintendo bleeps and synthesized rock, as a guy in the audience spanked his girlfriends butt to the beat.

Finally, for the main event, Justin Pierre (lead vocals, guitar) Joshua Cain (guitar), Claudio Rivera (drums), Jesse Johnson (moog aka synthesizer) and Matthew Taylor (base) took the stage to perform their second album, 2005's Commit This To Memory. A decade ago, it became the band's breakthrough album, selling over 285,000 copies and peaking at number two on Independent Albums chart. Most importantly it was the soundtrack of millennial youth, reminiscent of breakups, making out, goofing off, and growing up.


A few tracks in, Pierre shouted “How's everybody doing? [10 years ago] I was writing part of this album under the influence but before finishing it I was sent to Los Angeles where people helped me sort my life out. Some of these songs are angry but this was an apology of sorts.”

They began to perform “Resolution” singing, “liquids, powders and pills, not quite taken against my will.” Fans clapped their hands in the air in preparation for the next song and Pierre smiled saying, “It's safe to say we are feeding off each-other's energy. One question though: Anyone make out with someone they shouldn't have?” They performed “Make Out Kids” and the centerstage turned into a mosh pit. A few guys begin to fight and Pierre addressed the situation asking them to rock and roll without fighting. He demonstrated what that looks like, jumping up and down in place with his chin tucked tight. A seamless sequitur to their next song “L.G. FAUD” where fans shouted “God damn the liquor store's closed/we were so close to scoring/it hurts, it destroys 'til it kills.”

Lime green lights flashed neurotically on the stage and they began to perform “Hold Me Down” singing, “how will I break the news to you?” a breakup song and the last track off Commit This To Memory. The band left the stage but the instrumentals to “Hold Me Down” still echoed throughout the room while fans shouted “one more song!” Soon they returned, snapped a selfie with the crowd and began to play an assortment of tracks from their discography, as well as a new track from their forthcoming album slated for release later this year. This will be the first album that the band has recorded with drummer Claudio Rivera as the original member Tony Thaxton left the band in 2013. It will also be the first album that Motion City has performed live, Pierre notes that fans should expect it to be raw and unpredictable similar to The Pixies and Weezer, who the band draws inspiration from.

They completed their 8-track encore with “The Future Freaks Me Out” off their 2003 album I Am The Movie and yet again exited the stage. Motionless fans screamed and chanted for more and they returned to say, “Today we met this guy and he said, 'dude I want to play drums for you guys'. He did pretty good during soundcheck so he's going to play with us right now.” The stranger (who turned out to be Thaxton) took the stage with drumsticks in hand and they performed “My Favorite Accident” a song that requires quick and thunderous technique, which Tony aptly delivered. Meanwhile, current drummer Rivera took the opportunity to stage dive and crowd surf and gracefully returned to the stage just as the song came to a close. Motion City Soundtrack thanked the crowd and this time they exited for good.

Set List
Attractive Today
Everything Is Alright
When “You're” Around
Feel Like Rain
Make Out Kids
Time Turned Fragile
Better Open The Door
Together We'll Ring In The New
Hold Me Down

Invisible Monsters
Anything At All
A Life Less Ordinary
Her Words Destroyed My Planet
Last Night
Capital H
This Is For Real
The Future Freaks Me Out

Additional Encore
My Favorite Accident

See also:
The 50 Best Things About the OC Music Scene
The 50 Worst Things About the OC Music Scene
The 25 Greatest OC Bands of All Time: The Complete List

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