Monday, January 31, 2011

Here for the Music: Circa Survive

          On May 05th, 2010 I flew to San Francisco, California to see Coheed and Cambria live in concert. I had heard there was a band called Circa Survive supporting this leg of touring and I was intrigued. I chose not to listen to their music before seeing them perform because I prefer to judge bands on their energy and live vibe on stage rather than develop predisposed opinions based on studio tracks. However, I noticed a lot of fans gathering in excitement and the temptation to hear some songs developed. But I held out, instead looking up some lyrics to see if I could get a feel of what they were about. After just a glance of a few written words, I knew I was in for a treat.

          At the show, I'm up front against the rail, and the crowd was growing behind me. I was at the show alone so instead of conversing and drinking with friends, I stood and waited. The filler music kept me entertained and eventually the lights came down and I felt the force of more than 500 fans pushing against my back, a feeling I've grown accustomed to as a regular concert goer. Circa Survive made their way to the stage. The crowd was screaming and pushing and the first lyrics hadn't even been sung.

          Finally, Anthony Green steps forward and screams "I can't get started from the part where I left off..." then outstretches his mic to the audience, where they scream back at him "Yesterday!" and the first song begins. Throughout the set, Circa Survive just delivers every punch of live music bliss to the faces of those in the audience. Whether you were right up front or so far back you couldn't tell who's lips were moving when, you felt it. The on-going energy and connection flowing from the band's moves and range of vocals to us in the crowd.  With songs like "Glass Arrows" and "Imaginary Enemy" (From their new album "Blue Sky Noise"), the set was a winner and the never fading electricity of their performance had clearly made a fan out of me.

          That Spring I followed Coheed and Cambria's YOBR tour, and my love for Circa Survive grew. When I found out they would be back supporting Coheed in the Fall (Along with The Dear Hunter, another band I have grown to love), my heart grew with anticipation. Now more familiar with the band and their music, I found myself just as excited to see them as I was for the headliner. After another tour came to an end, I was determined to see Circa play the main stage. And so I did.

          Cut to November 29th 2010. Circa Survive at Irving Plaza, NYC. The last stop of their tour for the year. They were headlining and taking no prisoners. For this show, I was up in the balcony so I had the perfect view of the band and the audience. Their interaction, the love being shared between artist and fan, such a sight to experience. They opened with "Strange Terrain", and I was instantly taken away. The flow between songs throughout the set was perfection and Green immersed himself into every tune, from jumping across the stage, hitting every note, to diving into the audience, not missing a beat. At one point, he had members of the band's fan club (aka "The Creature Club") come on stage to sing during "Sprit of the Stairwell", a song he had dedicated to his son who was sleeping back stage.

          It was truly a roller coaster of emotions, and just before they played their final song "I Felt Free", Green took a moment to thank all of the fans for the on going support and expressed his love and appreciation for us being there. His words were heartfelt and brought tears to my eyes. As the last song was being played, members of the opening bands and basically anyone who was back stage jumped in and sang along, hugging it out and dancing about, while confetti and balloons were released. It was the perfect show to end out the year.

   Circa Survive deliver songs that can be taken to mean anything you want them to mean. No message is the wrong message, and that's what's so great about their music. Aside from the range of vocals and high pitch heart felts Green delivers per track, the instrumentals manage to keep up and not fade into the background. No one aspect of the music outshines the other. They perform unlike many bands out today, full of heart and life, as though each performance will be their last.  No two nights are alike, and I've seen them play day after day for weeks at a time. Though I have a few songs I favor more so than others, I do enjoy each album this band has put out and I highly recommend each of them to be heard at least once, all the way through. I look forward to being apart of their live experience again in the future, because it is indeed an experience for the musical books.

For all things Circa Survive: Click Here

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