This was a show I was counting down the days since Philadelphia’s Circa Survive announced their long awaited return to Australia. They were back in support of their latest record ‘The Amulet’ and I was lucky enough to catch them at The Zoo in Brisbane. Circa Survive are rarely mentioned within Australia, which is a shame because they’re a criminally underrated band and should be much bigger here than what they are. Regardless I was ecstatic to finally seem them on stage and was not disappointed.
The evening opened with Brisbane progressive punk band He Danced Ivy, followed by another hometown act The Comfort. It was interesting to see Australian bands so amped to be support their American idols and both shared during their the love and influence for the international headliners. Without any introduction, just darkness and clouds of smoke all five members were finally back on a Brisbane stage opening with the thunderous bass riff of ‘Rites of Investiture’. Only one song in and front man Anthony was already in sweats bouncing off the walls warmed up for the familiar tune of ‘The Difference Between Medicine and Poison Is In The Dose’.
It’s mind blowing that they sound almost identical to their 2005 selves, which became obvious when comparing ‘Wish Resign’and ‘Tunnel Vision’from their latest release. They continued to wind back the clock with ‘Child of the Desert’that saw everyone finally break out of their shell, then sing along to their break through single‘Get Out’. You could tell new and old fans were in attendance as the band went through an almighty set list to please them all with ‘Stay’, ‘The Great Golden Baby’, ‘Lustration’, ‘Living Together’and their first song as a group ‘Act Appalled’.
I’ve never seen a front man perform so intimate with their crowd like Anthony did, constantly touching, pointing out individuals and singing with instead of singing to his hyped audience. They concluded as one big sing along with ‘Dyed In the Wool’, ‘I Felt Free’, then ending with the continuous progression of ‘Descensus’that allowed each member to wave and walk off stage individually. The perfect set ender.
It’s heart warming to see an international band make their long awaited return to Australia and show such kindness towards their local crowd. They described the special connection with the audience as a community, they must have been under the impression we’d forgotten about them since their three-year absence. Overall Circa Survive blew all expectations away, I believe we all walked in having no idea what to expect in regards to their sound and set list and they managed to perform amazingly. Each member was on point the entire performance, including Anthony’s vocals that only he’s capable of executing. If you missed them this time around, then I hate to inform you missed something very special. If you managed to catch them, then you’ll agree you won’t be too upset if they take another long absence. But please Circa Survive, come back sooner rather than later.
Review by Christian Kafritsas