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On October 10th, Emo rock legends The Used ( @theused )stopped by Oakland ( @foxoakland )to give one of their final 2023 United States tour shows. With them came fellow emo artists Sleeping With Sirens ( @sleepingwithsirens )and post-hardcore band Dead American. 

The Used have been no stranger to touring this year as they co-headlined with Pierce the Veil across the United States during the summer to promote their new album and then launched their second tour from September to October. 

As somebody who has seen both Sleeping With Sirens and The Used this year my expectations for the energy and performance from both bands were sky-high. I had purchased pit tickets to be full of the action and excitement. Because both artists are on the more intense end of the musical spectrum I was expecting nothing less than a mosh pit. 

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Photo Courtesy of Dominic Herrera

Dead American were impressive enough as the first band on. Because most people were here for either Sleeping With Sirens or The Used most were just wading them out. However, they were good enough to open a decent-sized pit. After a short half-hour set Sleeping With Sirens was up

The first major crowd rush to the front began when the lights went dim and the members of Sleeping With Sirens snuck on stage. After a short instrumental intro frontman Kellin Quinn rushed onstage to kick off their turn onstage. With a mix of almost every one of their studio albums Sleeping With Sirens wowed everyone in the building with their set. The highlight of the show was their biggest hit “If You Can’t Hang” getting everyone to scream along with Quinn as he traded vocal blows with the audience. Their energy was the perfect appetizer for what The Used would have in store. 

A massive curtain descended over the stage before The Used would perform decorated with pink roses. While this was to help roadies and stage tech setup when it dropped everyone in the venue was on their feet and screaming heralding their arrival. The guitar riff from “Pretty Handsome Awkward” would start the night off as lead singer Bert McCracken would capture the audience in the palm of his hand. The heaviness of the song would get the crowd in the perfect mood for the night as the band performed a large selection of songs from their most iconic and popular albums, mainly their self-titled debut and In Love and Death. However, this didn’t stop them from playing tracks from their new album Toxic Positivity. After the apparent end of the show with The Taste of Ink, the crowd demanded the band retake the stage. They of course did, with McCracken giving the spoken word piece which would open the heavy-hitting song I’m a Fake. But the biggest highlight of the night would be their final closing number A Box Full of Sharp Objects which brought Kellin Quinn to give a screamo-infused duet with McCracken. The night couldn’t have ended on a better note with the two giants of Emo rock coming together for one glorious song giving the audience an unforgettable experience.

Any person remotely interested in Emo music must treat themselves to listening to The Used or Sleeping With Sirens at some point because of this show. Sleeping With Sirens still carries the same energy for over a decade now, and The Used has aged gracefully while keeping their razor sharp edge.

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