Friday 8th August 2014
It’s a Friday in alternative capital of London, Camden town, but ‘that Friday feeling’ is tinged with a mix of excitement and sadness for UK Anberlin fans.
Formed in 2002, with an impressive seven, unique studio albums under their belt, Anberlin announced they were calling it quits after the release of their latest and final album, Lowborn this year.
There is a lull of energy in the usual electric atmosphere of the ballroom, as fans wait in anticipation for the familiar alternative five piece to take their UK stage one last time.
Paperthin Hymn is opening to this last chapter of their career and what an opener; the added strobe lighting throwing the crowd into a nostalgic, 2nd album ‘flashback’. Stephen Christian’s vocals crisply echo through the venue, his delivery so spot on, that you could have sworn you were listening to a studio recording. Rivalling an even better performance were Joesph Mlligan on lead guitar and Nathan Young on drums who kept the performance smooth but adding their familiar raw edge. The onstage chemistry felt almost a little competitive during the up tempo favourites, Self-Starter, Ready Fuels and Someone Anyone, creating a technically flawless performance by every member. Their 40th show as exciting as their first, ceasing any anticipation that this would be a tired one last push for the guys.
Energy levels even remained high when the pace slowed down mid-set, making room for melodic classics and my favourite songs of the night, Adelaide and what became an audience’s sing along version of Godspeed. Christian’s emotional connection to the crowd was unmeasurable. At one point deciding to ‘be at one’ with his fans by diving into the crowd topless (that’s one way unique way to thank them!)
The set list was a trophy showcase of their career, but left a little to desire to hard-core fans, missing out their entire first album and newest Lowborn. This was barely noticeable through such an eclectic mix through the five others.
After their penultimate song, ‘Feel Good Drag,’ Christian addressed the fans that have shaped and supported the bands 12 year career.
‘I remember our first time in London. It was a huge moment with only a few people, now this is amazing. You guys have stuck with us through thick and thin and if we ever play another show we’re coming back here.’
The crowd chorus of, ‘Anberlin, Anberlin. Don’t go,’ created the seamless encore set up and ‘Fin’ was the obvious, but perfect track to end off the night.
Could Anberlin be back? Despite the rumoured un finality of the split, during a recent interview Bassist Deon Rexroat shared his thoughts.
‘We want to leave it as something awesome and beautiful, we don’t want to leave it as a shell of itself,’
Regardless of the future, their final London performance was just that, a perfect goodbye to the fans that have helped these US Christian rockers throughout their 12 year career; a true mark of the end of an Anberlin Era.
Interview by Charly Phillips
Image by Jessica Ferrarons
- Paperthin Hymn
- We Owe This to Ourselves
- Someone Anyone
- Other Side
- (The Symphony of) Blasé
- Take Me (As You Found Me)
- The Unwinding Cable Car
- Time & Confusion
- A Day Late
- The Resistance
- Feel Good Drag