[Photo by Julia Schwab]
I’m not going to lie: I arrived at Showbox SoDo on February 18th alone, somewhat bummed out, and grumpy. My mind was racing through all the things I had to get done, and even more so, I was fixated on how tired I was. I found myself tucked into a tightly-packed, sold-out crowd, and kept to myself as some drunk guy yelled at his friend (classic, right?). However, I reassured myself that it would get better when the bands I was there to see came on—Turnover, mewithoutYou, and Circa Survive.
Eventually the lights dimmed, and Turnover took the stage, starting off with “Cutting My Fingers Off” from their most recent release, Peripheral Vision. Lead vocalist Austin Getz softly crooned emotionally-charged lyrics through the set.
“Losing you is like cutting my fingers off.”
“When it gets dark without you, I won’t make it out.”
The band delivered a mellow, relaxing set that seemed to stop all of the motion and thoughts twirling around my head.
Next up was mewithoutYou, a band known for their energy and quirky antics on stage. From the moment they stepped on stage, the passion they performed with was incredibly clear through each note, lyric, and movement. I couldn’t help but smile to myself as I watched vocalist Aaron Weiss explosively make the stage his own, jumping, and running around. The band transitioned back and forth from newer, softer material, to older, more emo and spoken word-based material. Having been a band for an impressive 15 years, it was clear how in-sync the musicians were with each other, but the passion they played with seemed fresh and new. I could feel more of my worries drift away.
After mewithoutYou ended, the anticipation for Circa Survive to play was felt in the air. Circa Survive is one of those bands with a cult following, and rightfully so considering their influence on the post-hardcore and emo scenes. Chatter around the packed crowd stayed along the lines of people anxiously sharing how excited they were for the band to come on. Suddenly, drapes dropped to reveal two large spheres with the album artwork for On Letting Go projected on top. The band entered the stage and quickly broke out into the first song from On Letting Go, “Living Together.” The crowd’s response was immediate—pushing, singing, and moving with excitement. Midway through the song, confetti blew, soliciting even more liveliness from the crowd. As someone who is used to simple, small venue shows, the touches of theatricality had me excited, and I fed into the energy.
The band proceeded to play On Letting Go in order, cleanly and ardently. Being able to sing songs that had meaning to me, with a crowded room of strangers, reminded me that my problems weren’t the weight of the world, and that kept a smile on my face. It was a fascinating and humbling feeling to know that everyone there was so dedicated to the band. Also, as a band that has been playing together for a long time, their synchronicity and technicality was extremely evident. They ended their set with an encore of the song “Your Friends Are Gone,” leaving the crowd screaming along, “All your friends were wrong / No one cares.”
Ultimately, a night that didn’t start so great turned into a very special and beautiful one. I am constantly reminded of the power that live music can carry from shows like these, and I truly hope others can thrive in these experiences, too.
JULIA SCHWAB | Specializing in Crying at Shows | KXSU Music Reporter