Motion City Soundtrack was always one of my bucketlist bands. Ya know, they’re on your list of bands you need to see live, but that doesn’t really dictate your level of fandom in any way. Well I’m mostly just a casual fan, but they’ve announced that this is their final tour before breaking up, so now is the time.
I’ve gotta say, you feel real out of place as a casual fan at a band’s last concert ever. But at the same time it’s really amazing to be in that space, sharing the air with diehard fans who’ve traveled from across the globe for this show. For one last chance to revel in the majesty of Motion City Soundtrack.
I was here because their last show ever just happened to be an after-party show for Riot Fest Chicago, which I was already attending. And the kicker is that the show happened to be at the Metro, the same venue the Matches played over the summer and Taking Back Sunday played two nights prior. I keep seeing shows in Chicago, but always in the same venue. Go figure.
Speaking of diehards from across the country (and also speaking of the Matches) I wasn’t surprised to run into my friend Nicole in line. MCS is another of her favorite bands and she wouldn’t miss their final show for the world.
However, I did not feel like I deserved a spot anywhere remotely close to the front, dirty casual that I am. So I assumed if I joined the line around 10pm I could just walk right into the venue. They’ve been letting people in for an hour already, right?
I was sadly, sadly mistaken.
The line was somehow still about ten miles long, wrapping all around the block, and the next block, and it took about forty minutes to get into the venue.
Yes, that means it was close to 11pm before everyone in line was even inside the venue.
Which also means we all missed the first opening band and it wasn’t even intentional on our parts.
The original opener dropped out last second (whose name I cannot recall and therefore is unimportant—they did drop out after all), so drummer Tony Thaxton’s fiancee filled in. I’m sure that would’ve been really neat to see.
The floor was already packed by the time I made it inside the Metro, so I went to chill on the balcony instead. No complaints from me tonight. I’m a fly on the wall for once. Besides, the bathroom was upstairs and after a long day at Riot Fest, I needed to pee.
Unfortunately, even just being behind one person at the balcony meant my view was shit. Appears that’s unavoidable.
As opposed to having zero openers at the Taking Back Sunday show two nights before, Motion City Soundtrack had two opening bands. The second was Lifted Bells. They were alright, but honestly did not stick in my head enough for me to remember them.
But then Motion City Soundtrack came onstage, and the entire room erupted.
Despite a late start and two opening bands, they played a massive 37 song set. If you’re gonna end your music career, you gotta do it big. Go out with a bang. Play all of the songs.
Frontman Justin Pierre didn’t talk a whole lot, and he attributed it to the fact that they wanted to just keep playing more music while they could and while they had our attention one last time. Of course they played some deep cuts they rarely ever play live.
This show was just so much more magical than seeing them at Riot Fest. This was theirs. Everyone was there to see them and to celebrate their music together one last time. It was so much more emotional. I loved every second of it.
Justin told us the band basically got their start in Chicago so it was fitting that they ended it their too.
While I might have felt like a fly on the wall watching the diehards, I was still able to enjoy the music and not feel out of place in the slightest. There was a girl next to me who was going crazy the entire night and that really made it fun. She reminded me of me at other shows. I always love looking for the one person in the crowd having the best time. It’s infectious.
I could see the entire floor jumping together in unison from where I stood and that was really great.
Back To The Beat
Her Words Destroyed My Planet
My Favorite Accident
This Is for Real
When “You’re” Around
Hold Me Down
A Lifeless Ordinary (Need a Little Help)
Point of Extinction
Everything Is Alright
With Claudio Rivera on drums:
Anything At All
I Can Feel You
Days Will Run Away
Stand Too Close
It Had to Be You
Make Out Kids
Time Turned Fragile
Better Open the Door
Even If It Kills Me
The Future Freaks Me Out
The band kept leaving the stage and coming back out. I couldn’t tell what was an encore or not. But they played for a whopping two and a half hours, so I can’t blame them for taking multiple breaks.
“Sorry for keeping you guys here so late. But we know you want us to keep playing so it’s okay.”
When the show was over (around 2am), they blew the lid off the Metro with more confetti than I think I have ever seen in my life at one time. It was beautiful. Just a sparkly mess raining down on the ground floor for what felt like forever.
The band shook hands with as many people next to the stage as they could as they walked off one last time. It must be hard to say goodbye, especially to those fans who had been with them every step of the way.
It was a really special night for a band that I know means a lot to a lot of people and it was the best way to cross Motion City Soundtrack off my bucketlist. Thank you, Riot Fest, for allowing them the opportunity for a proper send-off.