[Live Review] ANBERLIN

Anberlin - Jessica Ward 23-2

Newcastle Panthers
Friday September 6, 2013 :

Let’s start with the negatives shall we? Dear Newcastle, for a town that claims they love live music and always complains about bands never coming to your town, you really don’t know how to rock up to shows. I felt embarrassed to see that the venue wasn’t even half full. You were given three international bands and what, that’s not good enough for you?

Anyway, now that is all out of the way, on to the main event.

William Beckett took to the stage and was a whole ball of fun. Armed with his acoustic guitar and mac book for backing tracks, he played songs from all three of his EPs and his new full length. The highlight was the great sing along of his new single ‘Benny and Joon’. The Maine, although tight, were a little underwhelming for me. They seemed bored. Even the heavier tracks from the new album seemed to just drag on, although the die-hard fans seemed to be digging it.

Now the act we’ve all been waiting for – Anberlin! Walking on the stage to what I assume to be a remix from their upcoming album, Devotion (a three disc collection as an addition to last year’s stellar effort, Vital). From the first note, the energy in the room was huge. They turned the lacklustre crowd into something else. Covering tracks from all of their albums, Anberlin showed love toward each song, old and new. Being the first time they have had the chance to play songs from Vital live, the band really displayed these tracks, ‘Tyrants’ especially got the crowd moving. ‘Feel Good Drag’ not only brought nostalgia but probably also the biggest cheer of the night.

After a small break, lead singer, Stephen Christian, walked on the stage and sat behind a keyboard and did the most beautiful rendition of ‘Dismantle, Repair’ from their album, Cities. The band then rejoined Christian and closed with the emotionally overwhelming ‘(fin)’. The mood changed and you could feel everyone’s hearts beat at once as tears streamed down faces and hands in the air. A beautiful closing to a fantastic night. With a promise from Christian that they will be hitting our shores very soon, one can only hope there is truth within that. One of my top five favourite bands live and one I hope to see again very soon.

Reviewer: Sean Degan
Photographer: Jessica Ward

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