The Used light up Ace of Spades with passionate performance

Steven Condemarin, Arcurrent

Photo Credit: Bryce Fraser
Bert McCracken, lead singer of The Used preforming with his band at The Ace Of Spades in Sacramento, Calif.

October 1, 2012

Just when fans started to forget about them, The Used graced Sacramento with a performance at Ace of Spades on Sept. 22. This was their first show in Sacramento since their appearance at Arco Arena back in 2007.

The dark venue was lit by the screen-lights of dozens of iPhones recording the front of the stage by anxious, die-hard Used fans. The Used came out and started with one of their more popular songs from their 2012 album “Vulnerable” entitled “Put Me Out.”

Right off the bat, lead vocalist Bert McCracken conducted a kind of energy that sparked the entire crowd into hysteric screaming. His passionate singing fueled the crowd even more and for a moment he decided to crowd surf among his fans.

After the grand entrance to the stage, the band hit the crowd with a blast-from-the-past performance, performing three popular songs from their multi-gold 2004 album, “In Love and Death.”

The band was sharp and on point, almost as if they just wrote the songs. Unfortunately for McCracken, it seems like the decade of delivering flawless performances worldwide has caught up to him. His voice disappoints in comparison with his last performance at Arco Arena back in 2007. It seemed, to this reporter, that McCracken was having a hard time hitting the higher notes in their hit “Take It Away.”

McCracken got a second to say a few words in between his older songs, asking the fans to cheer and segueing into the bands newer tracks.

“We just came out with a new album, if you don’t already have it, go steal it from Walmart or Target,” McCracken said.

After preforming the next two songs off of “Vulnerable,” the band stopped playing for a few minutes as McCracken reassured the room full of loyal, “Used-craving” fans that they appreciated their loyalty.

“If I can take one second to tell you how grateful we are for your love and support,” McCracken said to the crowd. “It seems cliché, but without you there would be no us.”

The band played a mixture of old and new songs, all with a high amount of passion. The band pulled energy from the crowd and visa-versa. The fans went crazy for McCracken, regardless of his voice not being able to hit the high notes like he was able to in the past.

After a few songs, McCracken reached into the crowd and pulled out two fans, asking them to come on stage with him for a song. It was one’s birthday, so he banded the crowd together to sing happy birthday to her.

Once “Pretty Handsome Awkward,” the 2007 hit from the album “Lies for the Liars” was finished, the fans had calmed down from their moshing and screaming while the band took a bow and waved goodbye. The ravenous fans wanted an encore as they cheered in unison, “One more song!”

After a minute the band came back out and thanked the crowd for sticking around.

“Let me just say that there has been a lot of times in my life when I was feeling down and I turned to music, and I know that a lot of you share that same love for music,” McCracken said to the eye-shimmering, iPhone-lit-up fans.

After encoring with “On My Own,” Maybe Memories” and “Box Full of Sharp Objects” from their first studio-recorded, multi-gold 2002 self-titled album, the band made a dramatic exit by dropping the microphones and kicking over the drum kit.

Setlist: Put Me Out

Take It Away

Bird and the Worm


Kiss it Goodbye

I Come Alive

I Caught Fire

Taste of Ink

All That I’ve Got

Buried Myself Alive

Blood on My Hands

The Best of Me

Pretty Handsome Awkward

On My Own

Maybe Memories

Box Full of Sharp Objects


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