[Live Review] ANBERLIN

Anberlin - credit Alicia Stephenson 28

UNSW Roundhouse, Sydney
Sunday September 7, 2014 :

What a bittersweet experience Sunday night was. Standing in anticipation for one of my favourite bands to hit the stage, but this time it was the last time in Sydney. Opening with what kicked off for them, Anberlin flawlessly presented to the audience ‘Readyfuels’ for the last time. Not one body was standing still. Not one hand was left unraised.

Covering songs from their entire back catalogue, Anberlin continually showed gratitude to the fans for being able to do this and musically showed why they have remained a band for such a long time. From drummer Nate Young’s hard hitting and guitarist Christian McAlhaney’s enthusiastic stage presence and harmonies to lead vocalist Stephen Christian’s flawless vocals abilities, going from the calmest of lows to the most ridiculous highs, Anberlin were in fine form.

Once the band started playing ‘Godspeed’ you knew that this would soon be over, so the crowd took advantage of this and raised their voices higher than ever. ‘The Feel Good Drag’ brought the most energy to the night and even if you didn’t want to move the rest of the crowd’s participation gave you no choice.

Anberlin then left the stage only to return to play their final song, ‘Fin’. As soon as the acoustic guitar started strumming this reviewer’s eyes began to water (someone must have been cutting some onions or something). You felt the room take a stand still as everyone in the crowd stopped to take this all in. Slowly one by one hands were raised as they took the shape of Anberlin’s well know crossed finger logo. This moment let me know that Anberlin were more than just a band. They were a piece of life for these people, and for me. As Christian began screaming the last vocals of the night, he decided to incorporate the lyrics from ‘Harbinger’, the closing track of their final album, into ‘Fin’ – “… we’ll live forever … ”. At that moment I doubt there was a dry eye in the room.

It was a perfect farewell to a perfect band. They will be sorely missed by many but will be remembered forever.

Reviewer: Sean Degan
Photographer: Alicia Stephehnson

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