It’s been five long years since The Used last played a show on UK soil. Following the announcement of a five-date tour for December, I headed down to their London show at the O2 Forum Kentish Town for what promised to be a cracking night from the post-hardcore alumni.
O2 Forum Kentish Town – 7 December 2023
Words and Photography: Lawrence Potter
It had been electric inside the forum thus far, with two great performances from Honey Revenge and The Home Team setting the scene for The Used to take centre stage.
As an impatient crowd waits in anticipation, the lights finally go out, and the band rushes to the stage one by one to a giant roar from the attendees. To everyone’s surprise, the band delves straight into their biggest hit to date, Pretty Handsome Awkward.
This was one way to make an impact. As expected, the fans were going bonkers. It’s been a long five years for the UK, and The Used haven’t missed a beat.
With that in your face, don’t give a fuck attitude, the band are famous for, vocalist Bert McCracken invited everyone to join this mentality tonight. McCracken went as far as requesting fans to boo the band after the song People Are Vomit. They still get a few cheers, though.
Having formed in 2000, The Used are as good as ever and still command sell-out shows wherever they lay their feet, which is a true testament to the band as a whole. The Used are as relevant today as they were back when we, in our 30s, were blasting their songs on our MP3 players back in high school.
The Used play a best-of-the-best set, taking us on a journey through their repertoire from way back in the day to the present.
Such songs as The Bird And The Worm, the rebel anthem, Fuck You, as well as their monster hit, The Taste Of Ink, all find a place on this special welcome back show in London.
A truly memorable night full of some amazing up-and-coming acts, headlined by one of the true pioneers. The Used play us out with In A Fake, Buried Myself Alive and A Box Full Of Sharp Objects featuring a snippet of Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana. Epic.
At the beginning of the night were LA rockers Honey Revenge, who embarked on their first UK tour. The band bounded onto the stage with all the energy and enthusiasm in the world, beginning their set with probably their most notable song, Airhead.
The crowd at the O2 Forum were feeding off the energy from the band. Honey Revenge gave everything they had to the audience.
A fantastic first act of the evening that delivered a plethora of catchy vocals from Devin Papadol, which are only heightened by Donny Lloyd’s expert guitar grooves. The band ends on Distracted, and that’s a wrap!
The Home Team
Next up at around half eight were pop punk rockers, The Home Team. Kicking off with Watching All Your Friends Get Rich, this goes straight into the title track from their 2021 release, Slow Bloom.
It’s yet another band from the night who absolutely owns the stage with an abundance of energy, utilising every square inch of it.
Frontman Brian Butcher’s immaculate vocal performance throughout captivates the audience, showing why he is one of the best-kept secrets in the genre.
With guitarist John Baran, bassist Ryne Olsonand and Daniel Matson on drums, The Home Team hit a home run with every performance. The band closed their set on Right Through Me.