Friday, February 21, at the Beaumont Club.

The Used 

Friday, February 21, at the Beaumont Club.

The most interesting thing about the rise of commercially viable pseudopunk is the gap between the polished albums, which gleam like Mr. Clean's dome, and the sloppy live shows. On record, Finch (pictured) seems radio-ready, with producer and engineer Mark Trombino (Blink-182, Jimmy Eat World) sanding every jagged edge into oblivion. There's an off-key scream shadowing the easygoing vocal hooks, but it feels more like a ghost haunting the melodic machine than a real part of the band's personality. Onstage, though, even the tuneful singing turns rugged; frontman Nate Barcalow, winded and leaking adrenaline, barks where he once crooned. The backing shouts and shrieks, no longer disembodied, appear to be the result of periodic demonic possessions. This is the way to witness Finch, billmates the Used, or any such softer-side-of-hardcore outfit. Their discs reveal mediocrity, but in concert, the energetic presentation and the emotional exchange between bands and fans compensate for the pedestrian compositions.

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