Circa Survive w/ mewithoutyou and Turnover
Showbox SoDo, Seattle, WA

Post-hardcore Philadelphia band Circa Survive threw down the gauntlet for powerful live performances with the Seattle stop of their On Letting Go 10 Year Anniversary tour. Known for their brooding, grown-up emo kid sound and the piercing, passionate vocals of Anthony Green, the band drew a sold out crowd.

Showbox SoDo was packed early in the night, with merch lines wrapping across the venue. Virginia Beach four-piece Turnover opened the night, their mid-tempo rock holding the crowd’s attention. While they weren’t a ball of energy on stage, their musicianship was impressive and their melodies catchy. They wielded their reverb with care, with atmosphere aplenty.

Post-hardcore group mewithoutyou were up next, and while they started started off subtle, it didn’t last long. By the second track, vocalist Aaron Weiss had put down his guitar, taken off his sweater, and unleashed his manic persona on the crowd. As he bent, twisted, and jumped across the stage, the band delivered a dynamic set.

When it was time for CS to take the stage, the room went completely dark, and curtains at the back of the stage dropped to reveal two giant inflatable white balloons, echoing the On Letting Go cover design. Rainbow-colored, psychedelic projections lit the stage, dancing across the balloons, and the faces of the band, as they kicked off their set with “Living Together,” the opening track of the album everyone was there to celebrate.

The crowd was immediately enthralled, singing back every word, and then Green threw his hands forward and confetti canons released a shower of fun over the fans. The band kept the setlist to the sequential track listing of the popular sophomore album. They added in two B-sides, “Most Dangerous Commercials,” and “1000 Witnesses,” the Bandcamp download of which benefits the ACLU, which Green made sure to note during the set.

Crowd-surfers barreled over the barricade, and Green continuously referenced the “party people” in the front, as each track roared to life like brewing storm clouds. CS have always been a visceral live act, and they lived up to that with ease. Green showed off both his astonishing vocal range and theatrical personality throughout the show, and the band has only gotten more impressive with age. Though CS haven’t released a full-length since 2014’s Descensus, their sound still holds up tremendously after a decade, and their energy won everyone’s appreciation.

Circa Survive Set List
Living Together
In the Morning & Amazing…
The Greatest Lie
The Difference Between Medicine and Poison Is in the Dose
Travel Hymn
1000 Witnesses
Semi Constructive Criticism
Kicking Your Crosses Down
On Letting Go
Carry Us Away
Most Dangerous Commercials
Close Your Eyes To See
All Your Friends Are Gone

Review and photos by Stephanie Dore