Nutshell Concert Review: Circa Survive’s Violent Waves Tour- The Vic 10/20/12

Defiant drums keep the beat while feet march with determination to reach their destination- Independence.

Both bass and guitar play off each other’s strengths to form an unstoppable force of motivation for anyone who happens to listen. Active lyrics delivered with just the amount of angst to really hit home. Circa Survive has done it again, challenging their listeners to infuse art with issues, music with urgency.

Circa Survive released its fourth album on Aug. 28 with much anticipation that it did not disappoint. This album is definitely a figurative and literal journey for the band, being self-produced for the first time of its career. Circa also toured with progressive-alternative rock bands O’Brother, Balance And Composure and Touché Amore from Sept. 13 until Oct. 26, showing their extreme versatility both in musical outreach and performance bravado.

The Violent Waves tour stormed Chicago’s Vic Theatre on Oct. 20, a quaint venue for such powerful acts. O’Brother, natives of Atlanta, opened the gig with their captivatingly eerie tracks off of their latest album, Garden Window. Their set left the crowd with a bone-chilling enthusiasm that propelled the suspense of the headlining act a sort of ecstasy.

Following O’Brother were bands Balance And Composure and Touché Amore, upping the anticipation and driving the crowd, to put it simply, insane.

Touché Amore’s set was 20 songs too long, especially knowing that Circa Survive was so close… yet so far away. Although their stage presence was a force to be reckoned with, their set seemed to be composed of the same song set on repeat.

Circa Survive’s diversity within the tour was noble, but seemed to come up short. With Touché Amore off the stage, the static in the air grew thicker as the headlining band was preparing to put on a show that would leave its audience speechless.

Songs played off of “Juturna,” “On Letting Go, andBlue Sky Noise”, although extremely rich and layered, seemed to be in a state of stasis in comparison to their newest gift to the world of alternative music.

With Violent Wave’s opener, “Birth of the Economic Hitman,” and second track, “Sharp Practice,” the urgent concept of action is undeniable and finite. Front man Anthony Green stole the entire show, hands down. By the first song on the list, Green was in the crowd, making sure his enchanting energy was spread. A thrilling stage presence was met with incredible vocals and a full-bodied sound from the entire band.

Moments in “Living Together,” when Green would stop singing and the crowd would fill the words for him, when confetti rained down from each balcony, when you literally found yourself at one with the sound, in a trance- that was when it was clear that this tour and album was a wave of triumph for both fans and the band.

During the middle of Circa’s set, Green paused the show and had to walk off the stage. Between chants of, “We love you Anthony,” and “We want Circa!” It was announced that Anthony was ill and needed a few minutes to regain his bearings.

Finishing the show and even coming back out for an encore performance of, “Get Out,” Green showed a true passion for his work. Even apologizing to the audience, Green said, “I always have said never let the crowd know. If you’re tired, if you’re sick, never let it show. But I have to tell you guys tonight. And I’m sorry.”

Green found out later that night that he in fact had a broken rib and Circa decided to drop out of their show in Michigan the following day. Despite this upset, Circa’s performance at the Vic was nothing less than unforgettable.

Traditionally, the concept of “violent waves,” is alone, very particular for each listener. Explicitly admitting there are relationships like hurricanes, destructive careers and overly aggressive political stances shows immense growth in what Circa Survive is ultimately trying to explain­­- the power to move on to better times.

Circa Survive produces a true work of art, both out of the album and through the tracks, and at their shows. Picking up a copy of the self-produced 11-track piece is not only worth the buy, but also worth the many plays to come.

Here’s the setlist from Circa Survive’s Vic performance, 10/20/12:

  1. Act Appalled
  2. Birth of the Economic Hit Man
  3. In the Morning and Amazing…
  4. Suitcase
  5. Sharp Practice
  6. We’re All Thieves
  7. Glass Arrows
  8. Living Together
  9. Through the Desert Alone
  10. In Fear and Faith
  11. The Difference Between Medicine and Poison Is in the Dose
  12. Get Out

Rating: A-

Posted on October 28, 2012, in Concert Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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