Filed under: Scene Around Town | Tags: Anberlin, Hit the Lights, I Am the Avalanche, New Order, Oh No Not Stereo, Scene Around Town, Sparks the Rescue, Stephen Christian, Taking Back Sunday, The All-American Rejects, The Lost Horizon, There for Tomorrow, Vinnie Caruana
In the middle of their set, Anberlin lead singer Stephen Christian told the crowd that their Sunday night performance happened to be on an off date from their All-American Rejects, Taking Back Sunday tour. While the crowd was clamoring for more, Christian told the crowd that at first he wasn’t sure if they should just take the day off to rest, or come to Syracuse’s Lost Horizon and play a show. The band settled on the later and Christian, with a huge smile on his face, told the crowd, “We made the right decision.”
The night started off rather slow with Oh No Not Stereo and Sparks the Rescue turning in less than memorable performances. Vinnie Caruana, the frontman of I Am the Avalanche, was the third performer to hit the stage. His acoustic performance was heartfelt, but it didn’t fit with the other bands pop-rock sensibilities.
Next up, There for Tomorrow delivered their energetic, clean cut, pop songs to a crowd that was waiting to do a little dancing. Small mosh pits broke out during their set which showed that these guys have a lot of potential.
Hit the Lights performed next, and even though they weren’t the last band to play the crowd certainly treated them like headliners. Lots of people wore Hit the Lights paraphernalia and it seemed like a good number of people were only there to see them. Hit the Lights had tons of people crowd surfing, moshing, and singing along to their pop punk anthems. If you’ve never seen Hit the Lights think of New Found Glory and you’ll have a good idea of what they’re like.
After a set change that seemed to take forever, Anberlin came onstage and burst into one of their most aggressive songs “Godspeed.” Practically the whole crowd was singing along, and for the rest of the night Anberlin’s dynamic pop-rock ruled the stage. Anberlin kept the energy high by rolling right into “The Resistance.” The 300 or more people that managed to stick around were somewhat less rowdy then they were for Hit the Lights, but they were not at all less passionate. On older songs, like 2006’s “Paperthin Hymn” which was played third, the crowd truly came alive. When Christian held the mic out to his adoring fans all of them knew the words. When they slowed the set down to play “Unwinding Cable Car” and “Inevitable” many people in the crowd grabbed their significant other and slow danced. It was like prom, except a really good band was playing instead of a crappy DJ.
In the middle of the set Anberlin played their new single “True Faith,” which is a cover of the 1987 New Order single. Most people in the crowd didn’t really know the song, because the vast majority of them weren’t even born when the single was released, but the song’s up-tempo, make you wanna dance mentality fit nicely into Anberlin’s repertoire.
The band finished the set with their biggest hit “Feel Good Drag.” At this point the entire floor of The Lost Horizon was singing and dancing. Amid chants of “one more song” Anberlin came back out and performed an old fan favorite “A Day Late.”
Pop punk was on full display Sunday night. At times-mostly when Hit the Lights was playing- it seemed a little ridiculous, but in the end it was all about having fun. Anberlin is a band that’s worked very hard over the years and they deserve the popularity and notoriety that they’re starting to garner. These bands aren’t changing the face of music as we know it, but they are writing catchy pop songs. Is there anything wrong with that?
— Eric Hoffman