Circa Survive

The middle of the week isn’t usually associated with activities that get your blood pumping, but Circa Survive flipped that for at least one night in Los Angeles. With a venue change to the Wiltern, fans packed the venue early to claim a good viewing spot for the night.

First up for me was La Dispute who was celebrating the 10-year anniversary of their debut album Somewhere at the Bottom of the River Between Vega and Altair. While their set consisted of a wide range of selections from their discography, the songs from their debut release garnered high excitement from fans in attendance. The front pit level, although limited to only 250 audience members, was quick to interact with frontman Jordan Dreyer who repeatedly jumped down from the stage to engage the front lines. This is all, of course, nothing new for anyone who has seen La Dispute perform before, but it’s still enjoyable to hear the mic being passed from Dreyer to fans. Whether the physical separation between the band and the audience was a simple metal barrier or tiers of crowded viewing decks, the collective energy in the room was electric.

La Dispute ended their set with the intro song to their debut album. This left the audience in a sort of high-tension cliff-hanger, which actually lead in perfectly to Circa Survive taking the stage. As soon as the lights went dark, the crowd erupted in the excitement they’d been holding onto between bands. Once the band started, I was quickly reminded that watching Circa Survive didn’t mean just watching a band perform their songs live – you’re getting a visual overload. A handful of light bulbs dotted the stage that flickered and dimmed along with their songs, often times providing the only source of light to set the mood for quieter portions of music. When the band kicked into more energetic sections of music, you could expect the stage setup to do the same with rapid changing lighting and projections to give fans a full wide-eyed experience. All of this was coupled with the band themselves taking full command of the stage, wildly swinging and swaying to the music they were producing. Fans were commonly seen with arms outstretched and mouths open wide to sing along – sometimes all of this while floating atop the hands of other fans. While Circa Survive’s recorded music is held in high regard by fans, it is rivaled greatly by the band’s ability to perform those songs live and produce highly entertaining stage designs. Circa Survive’s live show is not something to be missed!

Many thanks to James for setting me up for this show. Also, thanks to Carlos for tagging along. My apologies to Queen of Jeans who provided a great performance, but I arrived too late to photograph properly.