This was a show I was looking forward to for quite some time now. I had seen three out of the four bands live numerous times and none of the acts have ever disappointed me in a live setting. I arrived at the Regency around showtime, expecting a half full venue with some stragglers filing in, but to my surprise that venue was borderline packed. Which made me feel good about the crowd checking out some of the more talented acts opening for Circa Survive.
First up was the DC instru-metal band Animals as Leaders. A few similarities to Russian Circles can be found but all in all the band is a bit more intense with their impressive riffs and explosive drumming. The tough part with instrumental acts is keeping the audience’s attention, as every song can sound the same to someone unfamiliar with the genre. That did not seem to be the problem with ASL since nearly every song was mathematically calculated to melt the crowd’s face for the duration of their set. I hope to see them again soon.
[mp3] Animals as Leaders – Soraya from Animals As Leaders (2009)
Afterwards was recently reunited atmospheric synth-rock group, Codeseven. As a fan of theirs for several years now, I was very excited to see what the band had in store that night. While no new material was played, Codeseven delivered their epic style of Floydian song build-up and impressionistic, harmony-rich musings to a polite and attentive crowd. Playing a select few from their darkly fascinating Rescue (including the soaring title track) and 2004’s criminally underrated Dancing Echoes/Dead Sounds, Codeseven made a welcome comeback with high energy and detailed space-age soundscapes. If only the audience that night knew how privileged they were to witness this very special band.
[mp3] Codeseven – All the Best Dreams from Dancing Echoes/Dead Sounds (2004)
[mp3] Codeseven – The Camel City from Rescue (2002)
Probably the 15th time I’ve seen the Dredg live and they still enthral and impress me. Predictably opening with Ode to the Sun and moving onto Same Ol Road, the set was very “hits” heavy with their more catchy songs making their appearance with their long form and experimental songs taking a back seat that night. Recent tracks from last year’s The Pariah, The Parrot and The Delusion like Savior and Pariah were performed to their hometown audience’s delight.
One new song was played entitled Upon Returning from their upcoming album that should be arriving next spring. The song is very bass and drum heavy with a bit more groove than I’m used to with the band. Altogether though the band brought their brand of lightly experimental rock to the Regency with much love from the crowd. It’s always a pleasure to see this band gracefully command the stage.
[mp3] dredg – Zebraskin (Demo) from Coquette Demo (2005)
Closing in the night with a highly enthusiastic crowd at their disposal, Circa Survive appropriately opened with Blue Sky Noise’s first track, Strange Terrain and right into the intense Get Out with as much energy and charisma as you’d expect from the band. Frontman Anthony Green has always been a force to be reckoned with on stage and this night was no exception. Green lept, danced, and seemed to physically fight against his own music, which made for a very entertaining addition to the already impressive show. With strong emphasis on this year’s hit album, the band did not shy away from 2005’s Juturna (In Fear and Faith was a welcome addition) and 2007’s On Letting Go (an unexpected Your Friends Are Gone was furiously performed) .
A few stand out moments were about three quarters into the show, the band featured about 15 audience members on stage in chorus form singing along to Spirit Of The Stairwell. Plus the band did a modest tribute to probably their biggest influence, At The Drive-In with a short excerpt from Invalid Letter Dept. The major aspect of this show I noticed was how the crowd would sing literally every word of the songs, almost draining out Anthony’s vocals. I don’t think I’ve heard anything like it in years and it was pretty neat to experience. Circa closed the night by throwing several large balloons filled with confetti into the crowd as they ended on I Felt Free.
Overall the show was entertaining both through the brilliantly impressive line-up and the magnetic enthusiasm from the audience. Definitely worth your while.
[mp3] Circa Survive – Difference Between Medicine and Poison Is in the Dose from On Letting Go (2007)
[mp3] Circa Survive – Act Appalled from Juturna (2005)
[mp3] Circa Survive – Suspending Disbelief from The Inuit Sessions EP (2004)