Circa Survive / Dredg

Circa Survive / Dredg: live in New Yorklive in New York (2010)
live show

Reviewer Rating: 4

Contributed by: InaGreendaseBrian
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Interestingly, it was the venue fucking up my guestlist spots and not a publicist, so I missed Codeseven completely. I'd be more disappointed about it if I hadn't been dismissing the band for the last seven years as fourth-rate Jupiter worship. And while I'd apologize for not giving the band the cha.

Interestingly, it was the venue fucking up my guestlist spots and not a publicist, so I missed Codeseven completely. I'd be more disappointed about it if I hadn't been dismissing the band for the last seven years as fourth-rate Jupiter worship. And while I'd apologize for not giving the band the chance to challenge that, I couldn't even get in the place.

When I did, Dredg was setting things up. Dredg is an interesting band to me not necessarily for their take on spacey, progressive and mildly operatic/metallic alternative rock, but because they occupy this really bizarre space between "cult alt-metal faves" and "scene essential." It's just so hard to place them, but it's pretty clear they've been an influence on more scene-oriented acts like the Dear Hunter, and, the very headliners of this tour, Circa Survive.

Outside of being kind of bored by Catch Without Arms, I'm not totally familiar with the band's recorded output, but they were pretty enjoyable live with lowered expectations. Gavin Hayes was an enigmatic character for a frontman, casting wild eyes and gestures at the front of the stage. (Plus, he reminded me of a whiter Dileep Rao.) It helps that they played some pretty hooky stuff that kept my attention for the 41 minutes they were allotted.

Set list (8:35-9:16):

  1. Ode to the Sun
  2. Same Ol' Road
  3. Pariah
  4. Triangle
  5. Upon Returning [new]
  6. Bug Eyes
  7. Saviour
  8. Lightswitch

Circa Survive is one of those rare bands who can basically play whatever they want and I'll be (mostly) satisfied. Maybe I'm alone, but there's no one album of theirs that rises highly above the rest, and as a result I view their discography as a linear, incredibly solid collection of great songs spanning the space between groundbreaking, atmospheric post-hardcore and melodic, emotional rock. And they delivered just that this Saturday night in expert form.

The new songs have this melodic prowess that understandably worked fantastically in this setting, but to hear the sorely heartbroken desperation of their older stuff littered in was a greatly contrasting treat. The only thing was, no "Act Appalled"? Come on! They played it the next night, but I wasn't there. Sad face emoticon.

Anthony Green had the crowd in the palm of his proverbial hand the entire night. His subtextual requests for "YEAH!"s between songs bordered on Billie Joe obnoxiousness, but he limited it to a point that made it merely amusing. He tugged and pulled at his half-buttoned dress shirt while storming across the stage and raising his hand to a height his voice often far surpassed (in metaphorical theory, anyway).

Multi-colored light racks on stage added an indescribable aesthetic to the entire thing. Guitarist Brendan Ekstrom would be carefully picking or wailing away and a flitter of green would suddenly illuminate behind him, like an exterior, eerie flash to the aural building.

The band was gracious enough to bring out their fan club, the Creature Club, out on stage to sing some backing vocals for "Spirit of the Stairwell," with some dude proposing to his girlfriend just before the set. Seems terrifying.

One final bonus was a transition to At the Drive-In's "Invalid Litter Dept." during "Oh, Hello"--at least, its bridge and conclusion, which was awesome in any regard. The few of us who knew it seemed elated.

Actually, that wasn't even the final bonus. Explosions of confetti every few songs erupting over the crowd's heads, they tried to one-up it by launching monstrouly sized balloons over us as well. It was quite an interesting visual component to the entire scene, which ended in a lightly cathartic manner with Blue Sky Noise's best track, "I Felt Free."

Set list (9:46-10:58):
  1. Strange Terrain
  2. Get Out
  3. Glass Arrows
  4. Mandala
  5. In the Morning and Amazing...
  6. Holding Someone's Hair Back
  7. Frozen Creek
  8. In Fear and Faith
  9. The Difference Between Medicine and Poison Is in the Dose
  10. Spirit of the Stairwell
  11. Imaginary Enemy
  12. Through the Desert Alone
  13. Oh, Hello [w/ At the Drive-In's "Invalid Litter Dept." bridge and close]
  14. Stop the Fuckin' Car
    Encore (11:00?-11:15):
  15. Compendium
  16. Dyed in the Wool
  17. I Felt Free


People who liked this also liked:
Saves the Day - Through Being CoolAlkaline Trio - From Here To InfirmaryLess Than Jake - Borders and BoundariesJawbreaker - Dear YouAt The Drive-In - Relationship Of CommandPinhead Gunpowder - Shoot The MoonThe Clash - London CallingRefused - The Shape of Punk to ComeSaves the Day - Can't Slow DownRx Bandits - Progress

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
strizzmatik (December 7, 2010)

Saw the same show in Poughkeepsie and dredg blows away Circa Survive without trying, live and on record

dingbat (December 5, 2010)

I like Codeseven!

overdefined (December 4, 2010)

"Interestingly, it was the venue fucking up my guestlist spots and not a publicist"

Brian is big time. Brian is on the guestlist, motherfucker.

conduit (December 3, 2010)

You should probably care that you missed Codeseven, because that band shits all over all of the other bands playing this tour. The Rescue and Dancing Echoes/Dead Sounds are both much more then "simple jupiter" worship. Try actually listening to the records and then you can rewrite this review again with the more correct tone of "I missed the most important band on this tour".

freshattitudeyoungbody (December 3, 2010)

Anthony Green is fat now.

eatdogs (December 3, 2010)

all three bands you mentioned are awesome. i remember seeing dredg play at the launchpad in albuquerque a few years ago and being blown away by just the reverb itself. circa survive are a good live band as well. so long as anthony green isn't talking that much. they need to play their song "wish resign" more often...

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