Wheatland’s Music Scene Comes Alive: Inside The Used’s “Toxic Positivity” Tour Review+Photos: The Used, Sleeping with Sirens & Dead American at Hard Rock Live 10/1/23
WHEATLAND, CA- Attending The Used concert at Hard Rock Live in Wheatland, CA was nothing short of an extraordinary experience. The Used started this tour in support of their latest album, “Toxic Positivity,” which was released earlier this year in May.
“Toxic Positivity” by The Used feels like a throwback. The album is packed with vibes reminiscent of the raw emotion of their early days, but it’s way more refined, likely targeting the current Gen Z’s emo phase. Tracks like “I Hate Everybody” and “Giving Up”? Super relatable. The sound? Think pop punk meets anthemic beats with wild titles like “Pinky Swear”. It’s kinda like if 2000s emo met 2023 tech. And, honestly? It’s a total jam. Some might say The Used may not take too many risks with this album album, but they totally nailed what they were going for.
As a devoted fan of the band for years, I had high expectations, and they were surpassed in every way imaginable. From the electrifying crowd to the explosive music and the palpable energy in the pit, this show was an unforgettable spectacle.
Dead American kicked off the evening, igniting the atmosphere with their powerful music. Emerging from Southern California, Dead American is a five-piece ensemble deeply rooted in 2000s post-hardcore. Comprising members Cove Reber (vocals), Chad Rexton (guitar), Josh Latham (bass, vocals), and Kyle Rosa (drums), the band nostalgically captures the sound of an era, taking cues from iconic bands like Underoath and My Chemical Romance, while infusing a contemporary edge. Their debut album, ‘New Nostalgia,’ produced by Fred Archambault, stays true to their live sound, steering clear of over-digitization.
Their electrifying stage presence set the tone for the night, warming up the crowd and getting us all in the mood for what was to come.
Sleeping with Sirens is an American rock band that formed in 2009 in Orlando, Florida. Renowned for their distinctive sound that combines elements of post-hardcore, pop rock, and emo, the band quickly rose to prominence within the alternative music scene. Known for their high-energy live performances, they quickly proved that point from the start.
Kellin Quinn, the band’s charismatic frontman, held the audience captive with his mesmerizing vocals. He shared heartfelt words about the honor of opening for The Used and delivered an inspiring message about mental health and solidarity before performing the song “Better Off Dead,” reminding us that we’re never alone in our struggles. This touching moment added depth to an already exceptional performance.
And then, the moment we had all been eagerly waiting for—The Used took the stage. Bert McCracken, the charismatic lead singer of The Used, brought his signature personality to the stage, engaging the audience with his playful yet rebellious attitude. From flipping people off to encouraging others to join in, he made sure the crowd was fully immersed in the experience. The setlist was a perfect blend of classics like “Taste of Ink” and “I Caught Fire” and newer tracks like “Giving Up,” showcasing the band’s evolution over the years and the incredible new tracks they released with their latest album.
During the electrifying concert, Bert McCracken, the lead singer of The Used, took a moment to reflect on the band’s remarkable journey. With genuine sincerity, he shared that despite being together for over two decades, The Used had never taken a break, quit making music, or broken up. It was a testament to their unwavering dedication to their craft and their unquenchable passion for music. This declaration resonated deeply with the audience, serving as a powerful reminder of the band’s enduring commitment to their art and their fans.
As the show reached its climax before the encore, The Used surprised the audience with a breathtaking display of pink confetti cannons and heart-shaped confetti showering down upon us. It was a moment of pure joy and love, symbolizing the deep connection between the band and their fans.
But it didn’t stop there. When the show eventually came to an end, The Used went above and beyond to express their love for their devoted fanbase. They distributed roses to some of the audience, a heartfelt gesture that left an indelible mark on everyone in attendance. It was a poignant way to demonstrate their gratitude and appreciation for the unwavering support they’ve received over the years.
In conclusion, the concert featuring Dead American, Sleeping with Sirens, and The Used was an unforgettable night that showcased the vibrant and thriving music scene. Each band brought their unique energy to the stage, leaving us all with profound memories and a renewed love for music. This remarkable evening emphasized that the music scene is very much alive and well, resonating deeply with all who were fortunate enough to be part of it.