Concert Review: Anberlin Fall Tour w/ Crash Kings and Civil Twilight

This was the concert that almost wasn’t. At least for myself and the trio of fellow Anberlin enthusiasts I traveled with to the show. You see, House of Blues Chicago never changed the status of the show online to being sold out, so I found out in a rather roundabout way that I needed to obtain tickets in an alternative fashion. To make a long story short I got ahold of 4 tickets less than 4 hours before the concert itself via Craigslist.

We arrived at the venue, the chic House of Blues Chicago shortly after doors opened. A slight set change meant that Crash Kings would kick off the evening instead of Civil Twilight, as the latter had played in another state earlier that day and was still en route. Crash Kings played a fun set of classically minded alternative rock, at times treading into the humorously superfluous realm with their lyrics (“You Got Me” in particular comes to mind) ending with their radio hit “Mountain Man” and a cover of Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs.”

Civil Twilight then played a set of around 6 songs, opening with “Soldier”. The vocals seemed slightly off throughout their set, and the crowd seemed not to be into them as much. This could have been because of their unfortunately placement between the high energy Crash Kings and Anberlin. “Anybody Out There” followed, which features a cool crescendo in its intro but the highlight of their set was their cover of Massive Attack’s “Teardrop”. Otherwise known as the theme song from “House”, the trio truly made this song their own, which the lead vocalist venturing out into the crowd during its climatic buildup toward the end of the song. They ended their set appropriately with their alternative hit “Letters from the Sky”.

Following a 20 minute or so set change, the house lights dimmed once more and drummer Nate Young, flanked by a drum tech and touring member Randy Torres (of Project 86 fame) mounted the drum risers and began pounding out an intro while the other band members gradually entered the stage, before launched into the lead off track “We Owe This To Ourselves” from their latest, Dark is the Way, Light is a Place. The explosion of light, sound, and audience participation was a thrilling moment. The band didn’t slow down, moving into the sole representation of Never Take Friendship Personal, “Paperthin Hymn.” The set had a couple too many new songs, but this is a small complaint since their new record is phenomenal in my book. One interesting song choice was “The Haunting”, a b-side that has previously only seen the light of day as part of the “Godspeed” online single and on the “Lost Songs” b-sides/demos record. The main set concluded with their two biggest radio hits, “Impossible” and “Feel Good Drag.” The inevitable encore was “(*Fin)”, and I might say there couldn’t have been a better choice for an encore!

This night was definitely one of the highlights of my senior year of college thus far. All bands sounded great, and Anberlin keeps getting better and better live with each time I see them. If you’re reading this and have yet to see them live, see if they’re coming to a city near you on their upcoming January tour with Circa Survive and Foxy Shazam.

Anberlin setlist:
We Owe This To Ourselves
Paperthin Hymn
Disappear
Closer
Dismantle. Repair.
The Resistance
Art of War
The Haunting
Take Me (As You Found Me)
The Unwinding Cable Car
Godspeed
Pray Tell
Impossible
Feel Good Drag
—————–
(*Fin)

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