I feel like 2011 has been a good year for music tours. I have had the privilege of shooting a lot of them and some definitely stand out more than others: Thrice at Starland, Foo Fighters at The Izod Center, City and Colour at Webster Hall, Brand New at The Electric Factory. All of these shows, and a few others, stand out in my head as incredible nights. Circa Survive at Starland Ballroom on 10/23/11 would absolutely be on this list. That Sunday night in Sayerville, NJ was nothing short of incredible.
Circa Survive is led by the energetic, charismatic Anthony Green. Green has been a part of several bands and has also released a lot of really loved solo material. To say the crowd exploded when he took the stage would be a huge understatement. It was clear that this packed house was there to pour themselves over the frontman and get lost in his lyrics and his falsetto howl.
Circa opened with “Get Out,” a track from their last album, Blue Sky Noise. Right out of the gate it was clear that everyone in attendance knew every word to every song. “Through The Desert Alone” also off Blue Sky Noise was next and then they unleashed a clear fan favorite, “In Fear and Faith.” The mood absolutely changed when they started playing this. It is one of my favorites too and it was amazing to hear live. Anthony Green has a voice that cuts through all the bullshit, and his lyrics always find their mark.
The show was filled with songs from all of their albums. Certain songs definitely had more of an impact where the crowd was concerned “Frozen Creek”, “Kicking Your Crosses Down”, “Lazarus” and “Stop The Fuckin Car” were definitely met with much excitement and energy.
The band sounded amazing too. All too often when talking about Green’s projects the bands are left out of the conversations. It is easy sometimes to see how they can get lost in the shuffle but they do more than just back him up. Live, they keep this train moving. They keep the lyrics flowing. They keep the energy high. Everyone sounded very tight and pretty all around incredible. Circa Survive songs are not always the easiest technically. The highs and lows in the songs are always pretty epic and the band translates this perfectly.
The audience was both at times frenzied and in rapture. Green definitely knows how to control the crowd. He leaped often onto the barricade, held up by the fans, singing every word with a passion that was translated easily. At one point he dove completely into the crowd and disappeared for a couple minutes finally emerging without one of his shoes. Fans clamor for any piece of him that they can get.
In between songs he jokes and speaks to everyone easily. At one point he told everyone that a new Circa album would be out next year which was met with thunderous applause. All in all, the night was fantastic. Circa Survive won’t be on the road again until next year but if you are reading this, and you haven’t seen them play, you absolutely need to go see them as soon as they are the road again. It will definitely go down in my mind as one of the best musical nights of 2011.
All photos courtesy of Keeyahtay Lewis of DeadBoltPhotos