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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Alternative Press Isn't Just a's a tour.

Friday, April 20th 2007
To a successful tour, you have to get bands on board that can A) get along without wanting to commit some kind illegal assault on another band members life, B) have relatively “complimenting” sounds/styles, and C) the drive to rock hard almost every night for…well, months. AP Magazine was able to find four bands that fit the criteria. The tour was made up of Cute is What We Aim For, Circa Survive, As Tall As Lions, and Envy on the Coast.

When you arrive at the Stone Pony it is always exciting when almost all of your senses can feel the emanating presence of talent waiting to be unleashed. Fans were lining the sidewalks waiting to get in well before the doors were slated to open. I knew by the excitement of the fans that it would be a good night. The fans possibly more dedicated than Yankee fans. The show had been sold out and there was an expected 1,500 fans attending. For those of you reading this and have been to the Pony, and have any kind of minds eye…you can imagine that the environment inside was not exactly conducive to having a nice chat with the person standing next to you.

Standing backstage looking at the stage as Envy on the Coast went on, it became obvious to me that even though they are still pretty young they have the talent, drive, passion, and the work ethic of a band that has been in the industry for decades and touring for longer than they have been alive.

Envy walked on stage with a level of confidence that I have to say, I did not expect. With many of the “younger” bands in the business you find that they are complete jokers or don’t take their talent seriously. That was not the case with Envy on the Coast. While you could tell they are fun loving guys, you are also able to see that they have complete respect for their art form and they are in love with music. They played a set filled with skillful keys, powerful guitar and exceptionally energetic vocals. By far one of the highlights of the whole night was when lead singers of Circa Survive (Anthony Green) and As Tall As Lions (Dan Nigro) joined the guys on stage for one of their final songs. It is so inspiring to watch seasoned talent compliment the sound of the young rising talent on stage. You could tell that everyone has respect for everyone else’s expression, very cool to see.

As Envy left the stage, they did so to the yells and cheers of their fans. It was certainly a performance that left you wanting more.

ATAL (As Tall As Lions) singer Dan Nigro had little time to waste as he hopped off stage after helping out Envy on the Coast with their last tune. After accompanying his band with loading their equipment, the band was warmly welcomed to the stage for what would be one of the most amazing live performances I have ever seen.

Before hearing about the AP tour and the bands that would be on it, I had heard extremely little about As Tall As Lions, but from what I had heard…they were good. I found that ATAL’s is one of those bands that you go buy their record because someone told you it was good, you listen to it and you think “ehhh, they are pretty good.” THEN, if you are one of the lucky ones, you stumble upon one of their shows and you walk away from it in awe. You come away from their performance thinking about creativity and wondering if you ever creative at all. They played a set filled with songs that are certainly melodically driven and have deeply rooted lyrics. They played what is now one of my ring-tones, “Love, Love, Love” which certainly set the mood and the majority of the crowd was able to sing back. This was the second band in a row that used synth’s in a way that I actually enjoyed.

I had the pleasure of standing next to Mr. Anthony Green (circa Survive) for ATAL’s set, and after a couple of their songs I saw him looking over at me trying to figure out what I thought. All I was able to do was turn to him and say without any hesitation was “that was amazing.” He smiled, nodded and went back to watching the show. Unless you have a true appreciation for the LOVE of music and the drive for one to convey their passions and emotions through lyrics and performance, I don’t know that you could truly get the whole experience that is an As Tall As Lions performance.

Circa Survive. What was once just a thought in Anthony Green’s head is now a reality…a reality that they actually having to recognize themselves as a “bigger band.” With the upcoming release of their 2nd studio album, the guys are living the dream. With Juturna, their first release as a band, being a genre success of barrier breaking proportion their 2nd album entitled On Letting Go with a release date slated for this month, promises to give us a look at how the band has grown, changed, and developed after touring and living life together as Circa Survive following Juturna.

I got to the Stone Pony with just enough time to joint the Circa Survive guys on their bus for a chat before they had to do an autograph signing… Let’s just say I walked on the bus and my “hello” was a poke in the stomach from the guys foam pirate swords that they had acquired at some point on the road. After talking about their experience recording this new album I was able to establish that they have completely tranquil confidence about this record. They seem to be extremely happy about the place in which they mentally and emotionally recorded it. I was happy to hear it.

They are fun guys and responded well to my not-so-conventional interview questions. When asked what super hero they would be, I get an array of responses…superman, batman, aquaman?

The band went on later that night to put on a show stopping performance. Out of the many times I have seen them perform live, this was probably my favorite. Playing some songs of their upcoming release, it was a nice sneak peak at what is to come. I was overjoyed when they played some of my very favorite “classic” Circa songs such as Stop the Car, and The Great Golden Baby.

To end the night on an acoustic note Anthony Green came out to perform an encore that rivals the best I have ever seen. His voice penetrated every emotional nerve in the room and it was certainly a unique and inspiring way to end their set. I was not expecting it, but I was certainly glad I was able to experience it.

Cute is What We Aim Forwhat can I say? As soon as front man Shannt walked in the side stage door to begin prepping for his bands portion of the show, it was hard not to wince at the screeching and screaming of his female fan section attempting to convey their love to the long haired rocker. Certainly one of the crowd’s favorite bands, their were high expectations for their performance. Not to fear, the “Cute” band brought it, the stars were certainly in line. The band could not perform a song that at least 70% of the crowd could belt back.

Playing “Curse of Curves” along with other crowd favorite about ripped jeans, they guys could not go wrong. Cute is definitely a band that gives the crowd what they want, and they do it in style…and with talent. You know that your band has a good performance when you are able to look out at the crowd and see almost everyone rubbing their sore throats from yelling to many lyrics, i bet 7-11 was packed that night. Props boyzzz.

ALL photos were shot by Amanda Tumulty.

*By Amanda who thanks Circa Survive for their KICK ASS new album....BUY IT

1 comment:

Ms. Special said...

on nice. we're gonna interview circa soon, too. - JC