The last time I saw Motion City Soundtrack was for their farewell tour in 2016. I had gone through basically my entire adolescence listening to Motion City Soundtrack, not really understanding in my teens the weight of the subject matter and topics brought to light by Justin Pierre's incredibly clever and intelligent lyrics, but just loving the heck out of their fun, synthy, dance-inspiring music. My best friend Becca and I spent every Friday in our Open Mic enrichment course during 8th grade (2005-2006) singing one or two Motion City Soundtrack songs a week. We would leave the science lab of Mr. L's room still screaming the words as we literally skipped down the hallway and out the door to the bus. Finding out they were stepping back from the project left me a bit heartbroken, but in my adult years this is something I've learned to accept a lot more easily than I would have back then (because people are, you know, human and have lives and such).
Fast Forward 15 years, and on January 6, 2020 at the Boston House of Blues, I took my best friend Becca to finally see Motion City Soundtrack for her first time. And this time, Justin still had his voice!
The crew jumped right into their fun, popular hits, opening the night with "Attractive Today", followed by "Everything is Alright," and "The Red Dress." For the rest of the setlist, they played a really good mix of songs from I am the Movie, Commit This to Memory, Even if it Kills Me, and My Dinosaur Life. "Disappear," "Time Turned Fragile," "This is for Real," "Hold Me Down," and "Shiver" to name a few. They closed out the show in the encore with the ever-famous "L.G. FUAD" followed by "The Future Freaks Me Out."
The energy in the room was electric. Justin, Jesse, Joshua, Tony, and Matthew absolutely showed up to play and knocked it completely out of the park (fitting because the venue is across the street from Fenway Park). It was easy to tell that the three year break between tours and living the musician life really helped revitalize their stage presence and love of playing live music. Though it had been a few years, Motion City Soundtrack did not miss a beat. The crowd was super into it, singing along to every single word, feeling every emotion (unless that was just me... I do cry every time I hear "Last Night" or "Hold Me Down"). They even rallied behind that one guy who really wanted his shirt signed in the middle of the set, so Justin stopped the show and signed his shirt for him. There was plenty of crowd surfing, and people, myself and Becca included, were on and off their feet, jumping and dancing to their favorites. All in all, it was a night I definitely will remember, and Becca had an absolute blast, so I think it's safe to say MCS really killed it this run.
Who knows what the future holds for this band? Not me, and certainly not Motion City Soundtrack - I think the future might freak them out a little bit. "Don't Call it a Comeback." Fine, I won't call it a come back. But, like, come back? Please?"
Motion City Soundtrack
Review and photographs by Janelle Choiniere