ALBUM REVIEW: The Used – Live and Acoustic at the Palace

We all love a live acoustic album & the guys from The Used have not disappointed with their latest release Live and Acoustic at The Palace.  Recorded live at The Palace Theatre in LA, the album is a celebration of the band’s 15 year anniversary.

Alongside the CD, fans have the chance to pick up the CD/DVD combo; fans who were unable to attend the once in a lifetime performance will have a chance to watch the band perform in a way that they have never performed before: with a 4-piece string quartet and harpist (arranged by Hiro Goto), a piano player, percussion and a 3-piece gospel choir.

So far from this being a conventional The Used album this has an experimental sound to it and unlike some live albums where the acoustics overwhelm the vocals and instruments, the guys have managed to balance this well. We can clearly hear what lead singer Bert McCracken is saying between songs and although his voice sounds slightly high pitched in some of the tracks, it’s better than having a load of background noise and interference from substandard speakers!

For the most part the session takes tracks from their 2004 album In Love and Death and 2007’s Lies for the Liars and instead of just playing the tracks, McCracken spends some time briefly sharing the story behind each track. Yesterday’s Feeling is all about the moments and the feelings that help McCracken get by and is firm favourite with the audience and with us.

In the last 15 years The Used have been labelled every rock genre under the sun and this album is like a culmination of their music and at the same time, takes the band in a completely different direction. It’s clear that their music means a lot to them and has been there through the ups and downs – some which are mentioned – the death of McCracken’s dog is especially poignant in the track All That I’ve Got, and comparing  how much he loves his daughter Cleopatra to drugs in the track Overdose.

Whenever anything is live, there is always a chance of something special or even controversial to make the recording even better. The Used do not disappoint: channelling the spirit of John Lennon, the guys play Imagine and talk about a better world and a message of peace, to which the crowd cheer. The same can’t be said during The Bird And The Worm when the band asks for the freedom of Palestine, to which there is almost complete silence.

As we’ve mentioned, this album is exactly what we expect from The Used and at the same time is like nothing they’ve ever produced before. The Palace Theatre, as it turns out, is an ideal arena for this sort of mellow take on music. There was an almost jazz vibe to the whole album, and would be an ideal addition to existing fans and a great place to start for someone interested in The Used in general.


Standout Tracks: Imagine, Yesterday’s Feeling

For Fans Of: Taking Back Sunday, A Day to Remember

Written by: Omar Malick 

I’ve been writing for Bring the Noise for almost a year, prior to this I used to be a games tester for Microsoft but these days you’ll find me writing reviews for all sorts of films and for the occasional rock album and gig. Bring the Noise have been awesome to me & have given me a chance to write & reach an audience & hopefully if I don’t screw up you’ll see lots more of my stuff in the coming months and years