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CIRCA SURVIVE with Foxblood & The Vestige
Corner Hotel, Melbourne
Friday, 25th May 2018
In support of their latest album The Amulet, psychedelic punk legends Circa Survive grace Australian stages again for the first time since 2015. Melbourne’s favourite venue with a pole in-front of the stage, the one and only Corner Hotel, accompanied by local supports Foxblood and The Vestige.
Opening up the night, Melbourne new-comers The Vestige delivered a dynamic set ranging from high energy rock, showcasing powerful vocal styles from the band’s frontman Nico Bradley to some slower songs and semi-acoustic ballads in the middle. The guys displaying a passionate performance for not just to their dedicated fans in the front, but also many new faces as the venue began to populate for the night. Reminiscent of acts like The Getaway Plan, with an ability to craft and perform a tasteful and diverse set of songs that can stand on their own made The Vestige worth the effort to get down for early.
After a short break the next local support Foxblood hit the stage, bursting in with … technical difficulties. Opening with their recent release Bittersweet the band attempted to power through as stage hands scrambled to fix the missing keyboard samples and bass guitar that are absolutely essential to the bands enormous post-rock sound. Fortunately the issue was resolved quickly and Foxblood were able to showcase their enveloping mix of emotional layer rich verses, scattered heavy breakdowns and huge sounding clean-sung chorus’s.
Offering intense tension and release, Foxblood delivered a very tight and professional sounding set which seemed was unfortunately lost on the Circa Survive crowd, perhaps not ready for something that leans as much on the heavy side as Foxblood do. But with a dynamic and interesting line-up, from main vocalist Tom Beale and bass guitarist/singer Anthony Style seamlessly swapping front-man and instrumental roles throughout the set; a unique spin on the Bring Me The Horizon-esque post-rock genre, Foxblood are certainly a band to keep an eye out for on future line-ups!
Another break and finally it was time for the main event, the Anthony Green show … I mean, Circa Survive. More easing onto the stage with the grinding bassline of Rites Of Investiture quickly followed by Anthony’s iconic vocal style as the rest of the band joined the fray and the crowd cheered in ecstasy.
Jokes aside though Anthony Green’s soaring vocals are very hard to ignore and certainly a show stealer. Anthony’s voice is like a force that cannot be stopped, powering through at full intensity from start to finish of the night and never showing a single sign of breaking. A very impressive feat to witness in person!
Offering up a balanced mix of old and new tracks Circa Survive’s set was all about ebb and flow this evening. Holding the energy up with well-known hits such as Get Up, then bringing it back down with contemplative ballads only to hit us with another burst of energy shortly after. The crowd bouncing, swaying, cheering and flowing with the band as the night went on. At times even feeling like time stood still, the audience and band alike lost in the deeply introspective washy texture of Circa Survive’s music.
It wasn’t until later in the set that Anthony took some time off vocal duty to properly address the crowd, dedicating a song to “that guy right up in the back” showing he’s focused on the whole audience and not just the front three rows. As the night felt like it was about to end Anthony jokingly informed us “This is normally the part where we pretend to leave, then come back and play more songs. Now, I enjoy a façade just as much as anyone, but how about we just stay here and play some more songs?” Welcoming the honesty and change in predictability the crowd cheered, ready for more!
Closing with two more songs Circa Survive left us more in a trance rather than closing with a bang or collection of greatest hits. The perhaps monotonous drone of closing track Descensus having an almost hypnotic effect on the crowd; urging us to calmly reflect on the experience we all shared together tonight. Certainly an interesting way to close out a show.
If you don’t want to miss Circa Survive they still have dates left to play in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth as they continue the rest of their Australian leg. But don’t hesitate, in Anthony Green’s own words “We’ll be back real soon … Actually we probably won’t” offering up some more honesty for the evening and joking their next appearance down under ‘Will probably be their 50th anniversary tour. There’ll just be guys on stage that look like us.”
Catch Circa Survive at the following remaining dates:
Saturday 26 May // Factory Theatre // Sydney
Monday 28 May // The Zoo // Brisbane
Wednesday 30 May // Rosemount Hotel // Perth