Motion City Soundtrack @ Leeds Cockpit 23/03/10

Support: Jenny Owen Youngs

The start of a new tour is always exciting for any band. For Motion City Soundtrack there’s added cause for celebration, having just released fourth album ‘My Dinosaur Life’ despite numerous setbacks which delayed its recording.

Supporting tonight Jenny Owen Youngs seems like a bit of an odd choice. Sure, her set has plenty of energy, akin to that of tonight’s headliners, but her more indie / alternative style doesn’t really fit, and polarises the crowd – some patiently listening, but the majority talking throughout. But when you consider her backing band compromises of members of MCS and their tour manager, it all makes a little more sense, even if she is still a little misplaced.

From then on, Motion City Soundtrack unleash a superb set, rarely letting up on momentum. As on their latest effort, ‘Worker Bee’ is the perfect opener; with its slow teasing intro before bursting to life, whilst ‘Delirium’, ‘Pulp Fiction’ and ‘A Life Less Ordinary (I Need A Little Help)’ equally impress, and are arguably some of the band’s catchiest work to date.

However, as you’d expect from a MCS gig, it’s not all about the music; both frontman Justin Pierre and keyboardist Jesse Johnson seem to out do each other onstage, the former with his jokey banter, including an impromptu rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ to a fan, the latter with his exaggerated mannerisms as he hangs over his instrument. It all makes for fantastic entertainment, which sees the 90-minute set bounce along in no time.

Later on, ‘Attractive Today’, from the band’s breakthrough ‘Commit This To Memory’, draws one of the biggest cheers of set, whilst ‘Her Words Destroyed My Planet’ is a worthy closer before the inevitable, but still brilliant, encore of ‘Everything Is Alright’. What else could possibly be more fun on a wet Tuesday night in Leeds?!

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