State In The Real – Penn State Music Scene

Show Review: Circa Survive at Terminal 5

By: Ryan Kappy

When I go to a concert, I never know what to expect. What are the bands on the bill are going to be like? What is the crowd’s anticipation? How much the beer is going to be? These thoughts are always in my head when walking into the front doors of the venue at the beginning of the night. For the Circa Survive, Touche Amore, Balance & Composure, and O’Brother show, otherwise known as the Violent Waves tour, those assumptions would fall right into place as I thought they would.

The show took place at the famous Terminal 5 in New York City, where many other artists of past and present have graced the stage. The show was sold out with 3,000 attendees, all in high spirits, so the night was already a promising one at that. After admiring the venue, its three floors, and its multiple bars, I went to the second floor balcony to check out the first opener, O’Brother.  I have heard of this Atlanta quintet from the farewell tour of Thrice I had attended in May, but missed them, so it was good to catch them this time around.  The band played through a half-hour set of grungy, loud choruses and subtle verses, brimming with trippy guitar effects and powerful drum settings.  A special appearance from Andy Hull from Manchester Orchestra also made the set special. All of that signaled to me that this was a great start to the overall show.  Next up was Doylestown, PA’s Balance & Composure. For those of you who remember, Jon Simmons, lead singer and guitarist, played SPA’s Noontime Series back in April.  Right when the first note was played, the crowd started pushing towards the front and pit opened up.  I was in awe, for I have watched this band grow through the past two years and having that type of initial reaction caused the band to absolutely play perfect with no flaw.  The half hour set was filled with songs from their acclaimed debut album Separation that had both the band and crowd singing lyrics back and forth.  This started that anticipation of the crowd part I stated in the beginning in that the two bands after this would be in awe of the crowd at hand.


Balance & Composure

Next on the bill was post-hardcore outfit Touche Amore from Los Angeles, California.  Watching these guys was like watching a punk band from the 80’s since they sure had the energy of that moniker.  The band did not stop moving for the forty minute set which included numbers from both full length albums they have released including a piano number at the end to ease the crowd down.

Touche Amore

After a half hour wait, the main band that is Circa Survive took to the stage to an eruption of cheers and broke right into songs from their most recent effort Violent Waves.”  In the background, their set on stage included a forty glass mirror tron that changed different colors throughout the show and created this trippy aroma with the music at hand.  Also involved with props of the band were huge balloon balls that bounced everywhere in the venue as well confetti being blown into the air during epic parts of a certain song.  The band played songs throughout their catalogue including a Bjork cover that no one seemed to knew but singer Anthony Green stated that was “one of his favorite songs of all time.”  At this time, the sold out crowd was in absolute sync with the band and it seemed as if they had the whole crowd in the palm of their hands.  Once this show ended, I was in utter silence in not knowing what I saw throughout the night.  Four bands that can be classified on top of their musical “game” coming together for one amazing tour.