Learning to Love (Circa Survive) Again

The city I live in is often cited as having one of the greatest music scenes in the country.

First off, I’m calling bullshit. I have lived here for four years, and there have been a total of three shows that were of interest. The music scene here in Athens, GA is so into itself its comical. But that is besides the point. The point here is that one of those three shows was a few weeks ago thursday, Circa Survive, Minus the Bear, and Now Now. Being a huge Circa fan for years, but not really listening to them for a while, I wasn’t planning on going. Didn’t want to drop the cash. But I won a ticket, and my wife was out of town so i thought “what the hell? I’m sure they’ll play something from Juturna and Blue Sky Noise”.

Boy, was I in for a treat.

First off: the venue is stunningly beautiful. The Georgia Theater. Originally built in 1935, burned down in 2009, reopened in 2011. I’d been to a show there before, but forgot about it. Amazing.

I had heard a lot about Now, Now but never actually got around to checking them out. They walked onstage and I thought “great, a chick band.” My ears promptly slapped the rest of my face. For some reason, I couldnt really understand too much of what was being sung, but the voice was brilliant and supported by haunting guitar rhythms, compelling drum beats, and (at times) keys that are nothing short of ethereal. Needless to say, I became a fan pretty quick.

Next up was a Stella Artois, followed by Minus The Bear. MTB didn’t do quite as much for me as Now, Now. There was a song or two that I really liked (namely Secret Country and Pachuca Sunrise) but most of their tunes fell pretty flat for me. I see why people really like them, but I’m not one of them. However, their lighting guy killed it. Being an LD myself, I can really appreciate someone with a good eye and made sure to complement him afterwards. Also, their bassist looks like Jason Segel.

After they finished, and a surprisingly short turnover time, lights dimmed, and Circa took the stage. I’ve been to a lot of shows, and there has only been one other time apart from this one that i could literally feel a change in the air when the frontman walked on stage. Anthony Green. Wow. What a dude, what a presence, what a freaking voice. He rushed on stage and powered through four solid songs before even taking a breath. The setlist was just about as i expected, a solid assortment of songs from Juturna, On Letting Go, Blue Sky Noise, and Violent Waves. I would have loved to see Act Appalled, but other than that I was really satisfied.

Leaving the show with nothing but a huge smile on my face, I stepped into the cool night air and said aloud to myself, “this is the reason I love music.”