Venue – House Of Blues
Location – Orlando, FL
Date – 11/26/2014
Lineup – Anberlin w/ ’68
We arrived outside of the House Of Blues in Orlando, FL about an hour before doors, I had been anxiously awaiting this day for close to a year when it was first announced the band would be breaking up. Anberlin were never necessarily my favorite band, seeing them a total of thirteen times throughout the years, I literally grew up with there music, as I grew up right down the street from half of these guys. After a mix up at the box office I headed inside just after the opening band 68 had finished their second song.
Until recently I was completely unfamiliar with 68,after checking them out I came to find that the band was formed by ex-The Chariot frontman Josh Scogin, which automatically peaked my interest. Even though I was only able to catch half of the band’s set, I was intrigued by the duo’s unique approach to their style of rock n’ roll, bringing a somewhat unorthodox sense of showmanship, as well as a sense of humor. During the third song, Josh took the opportunity to mess around with us in the photo pit, doing cliche and cheesy posses around the stage, shaking hands with the drummer, throwing his guitar ten feet in the air multiple times, even holding his guitar up for the drummer to use it as a percussive instrument. Overall the crowd seemed to thoroughly enjoy 68’s chaotic and somewhat off-color performance. I can’t wait for these guys to roll back through, hopefully with a longer set.
At this point, it was finally time for the final Anberlin performance to come. I had never in my life, out of the 30 or so concerts I’ve attended at the House Of Blues, seen the venue so slam packed, and when the lights when out and the curtain opened up, the roar of the crowd filled up as the band walked out on stage. The band wasted absolutely no time, opening their set with the fan favorite, “Paperthin Hymn”, it was blatantly obvious the band was here to give absolutely everything they had. Throughout their set, vocalist Stephen Christian would address the crowd, sharing stories from the band’s career, and thanking the crowd for coming out. The band walked off stage after finishing their set, as the crowd erupted into a chant for an encore. After a moment the band returned to the stage, thanking the crowd for twelve years of love, support and loyalty to the band, as the intro to (*Fin) started up. For the next eight minutes the intensity and overall mood of the show quadrupled. As I looked around the venue, I saw people smiling, singing along, crying, the feeling going up and down my spine is truly undescribable. When the band neared the end of the song and the choir piece started, Stephen broke down in tears on stage, as it was obvious the rest of the band were barely able to keep it together to finish the song. Singing out “We’ll live forever’, the song finally ended, and as the band stood there letting the moment sink in. They hugged each other, took a photo with the crowd and thanked the crowd one final time, not one of them unable to hold back the tears. The feeling walking out of the venue was bittersweet, it was like we were all saying goodbye to a part of our lives. I’ll always remember and cherish every time I was able to see the band perform live, and I know a couple of the guys will be starting up other projects, so definitely be on the look out over the next year.
On behalf of myself, and I’m sure I can speak for the rest of the crowd in attendance, thank you to Anberlin for twelve years and seven albums, and many incredible memories.
“If this is salvation, I can show you the trembling. You’ll just have to trust me. I’m scared.”