TBT: The Used, Pierce The Veil & Don Broco – The Stone Pony Summer Stage 6/12/23

Written by on March 28, 2024

I recall “The Bird and the Worm” and “The Taste Of Ink” being some of the very first songs I added to my middle school playlists when I was first navigating my music taste – and it was awesome to finally hear them live! 

Review and Photography by Emily “Emol” McCormack – 

This show was my first at the Stone Pony Summer Stage in Asbury Park… and I can certainly say, the weather conditions will certainly make or break your experience at this venue.

I suppose the opening should go without saying – if you go to an outdoor venue, you pretty much sign up for whatever weather the date comes with… unfortunately, this review is written from the lens of someone who was drenched by the end of this show. But I didn’t let this ruin the night completely. 

On this particular date of The Creative Control Tour, the anticipated lineup was Don Broco, girlfriends, Pierce The Veil, and The Used – all artists I have yet to see live, which was very exciting!

Don Broco took the stage first- and had to have been one of the loudest bands I have ever heard. No, I don’t mean they were super heavy and/or screaming- the sound mix was bass-BOOSTED. I believe they could be heard for miles… 

While I wasn’t very familiar with the British rock band before the concert, I honestly really enjoyed their sound early on. They opened with their song “Pretty” from their 2018 album Technology, and only got progressively angst-ier in their sound as the setlist progressed. I would say the highlight of their set was “Bruce Willis,” perhaps for the comedic elements of the song or just simply the title of the song that made me chuckle (I seem to like songs named after actors, what can I say? Shout out to “Brad Pitt” by COIN).

If I could identify them with other artists, I would say they sound somewhat along the likeness of Royal Blood with some inspiration from recent Nothing But Thieves releases. 

I am not completely sure why, but Don Broco announced at this time that girlfriends would not be performing this day- and on their first date of the tour! This was a bit of a bummer, but the following would be worse for this ex-emo-middle-schooler: Pierce The Veil would be cutting their set short. 

Shorter than short. Somehow, this widely popular band was not co-headlining, but opening for the night, and only had an anticipated ten-song set- and because of severe weather conditions, limited their set to seven songs.

My friends and I had been checking for the anticipated setlist for weeks and we were so excited to hear “Southern Constellations” followed by “The Boy Who Could Fly” back to back live, as that’s where they’re placed on the band’s 2010 album Selfish Machines (admittedly, it’s been a while since I heard that album in full- so I listened back to hype up the set list). In the end, both these songs and “Circles” from Misadventures (2016) were cut… This was a bummer to say the least.

However – I will not say that this ruined the entire experience. From The Jaws Of Life (2023), their opening song was “Death of an Executioner” – my favorite from the album! I still heard iconic PTV songs like Hold On Till May,” “Caraphernelia” and “King For A Day” live for the first time – which was awesome! 

My only wish is that it wasn’t downpouring during their set. Standing in the photo pit absolutely drenched, I could tell that the band was less than thrilled as well. As bad as this may be for a fan, it must feel so disappointing knowing that you can’t do anything as a performer… all I know is- this will certainly not ruin the band for me. This short set only really excited me for the next chance to see them again- and hopefully indoors!*

Despite the poor weather, the audience (and my fellow photographers) only found out that The Used was going to perform the moment they took the stage. Luckily, as if the band was able to control the weather with their powers of music, opening with “Take It Away” seemed to quite simply take all the rain away!

I recall “The Bird and the Worm” and “The Taste Of Ink” being some of the very first songs I added to my middle school playlists when I was first navigating my music taste – and it was awesome to finally hear them live!

Their ninth studio album Toxic Positivity released just a few weeks before the performance – At the time of the show, their latest single “Giving Up” was HUGE and topping alternative rock charts, and I played it quite frequently on WMSC.  

Opener Don Broco again joined the stage for “A Box Full Of Sharp Objects,” bringing a fresh feel to such a seasoned song – as it’s from the band’s 2001 debut album USED

The Used ended their set early because of the weather – another bummer, but understandable – yet finished off strong with “Pretty Handsome Awkward” from their 2007 album Lies for the Liars

My takeaway from this night? I suppose it’s that the weather makes or breaks an outdoor concert. I must try to see these bands again under different circumstances, and… well… that Canon cameras are kind of water resistant! 

The Used will be going on tour in Summer 2024 alongside Story Of The Year and Amira Elfeky, returning to Asbury Park, New Jersey on July 12, 2024! You can check out tour dates and ticket availability on their website.


*Pierce The Veil is going on tour with Blink-182 in the Summer of 2024! I’m excited to see them live in (a hopefully dry) Citi Field this upcoming Summer, haha!