Recently, Brand New played two special discography shows over in the US; the first of the two featured The Devil & God Are Raging Inside Me and Daisy, with the first two albums Your Favourite Weapon and Deja Entendu following on night number two. Now, judging by the explosion of backlash on a variety of social media sites (this Tumblr is probably the best at summarising it), a whole lot of people weren’t really happy with this because it’s generally a pretty widely accepted fact amongst fans of the band that Daisy is their worst album and obviously people who had paid a lot of money (resellers had tickets going for around $300!) to be at the first show felt a little cheated at not hearing what they wanted (or, it would seem, felt they deserved) to hear. I felt compelled to write this because the disparaging Tweets etc. that I was seeing following this gig angered me somewhat.
I can certainly concede that Daisy is the worst album that the band has produced. Objectively speaking it is a musical departure from the sound and substance of the three records that preceded it and especially does not play particularly well to their strengths (lyrically speaking above all else). However, also objectively speaking – and here’s the crucial difference, ladies and gentlemen – Daisy is not a bad album. It is just not very good as a Brand New album. If you look at Daisy as an album in and of itself, without considering the artist, it’s a pretty sweet record. It’s a great piece of post-hardcore and if someone told me it was a new release from someone like D.R.U.G.S I’d totally believe them. At the Bottom and Sink are both brilliant tracks. The thing with Daisy is that it’s not as accessible an album as YFW, Deja, or The Devil & God and is such a jump from the resonatingly angst-ridden songs (especially of the first two albums) that it’s understandable that people wouldn’t really want to hear it live.
And if that were the end of it, I could probably stomach it. “They played all of Daisy live last night, and people didn’t like it. They wanted to hear YFW and Deja, man.” That’s really not a problem, people can think that if they like and I can’t do a damn thing to stop them. It’s when they start bringing in all this garbage about being “entitled” to hear the older stuff. I’m not going to list any specific examples (the aforementioned Tumblr takes care of that quite nicely) but basically people think that just because they’ve been there from the start, that they helped get the band to where they are today, that they can start acting like spoiled kids if they don’t get what they want in return. That’s the stuff that makes me mad, and is pretty symptomatic of the culture of entitlement and instant gratification that we live in today. These people have taken tickets that other fans who would have been grateful just to hear the band play live at all could have bought instead (it is my understanding that tickets for Brand New are like gold dust in the US, as yet another Tumblr can testify) and to be honest they don’t deserve them. They might consider themselves the “true fans” but that’s just an outright lie – true fans wouldn’t walk out halfway through a show just because the band didn’t play what they wanted to hear.