On June 25th, Circa Survive announced their plans to self-release their fourth full-length album Violent Waves on August 28th. After months of recording and producing the album, undertaking the responsibility of preparing for the promotion and release of the record, not to mention devoting time to his growing family, one might expect to find Circa front-man Anthony Green taking a much need rest before his band sets sail in support of Violent Waves later this summer. Instead, Green has been on the road playing a slew of solo shows supporting his latest album Beautiful Things which was released earlier this year. It is unknown whether Anthony Green actually sleeps.
Instead of resting backstage or finding ways to kill time before his set at the Emerson Theater in Indianapolis, Indiana, Green is watching intently as The Dear Hunter does much more than merely “open” for the night’s main event. The brainchild of Casey Crescenzo, The Dear Hunter is a prog-rock enthusiasts dream, boasting a plethora of sounds and tempos and melding a multitude of styles into their own unique sound. Last year’s massive project The Color Spectrum, featuring seven EPs, one for each color in the visible color spectrum, may have been the most criminally underrated release of 2011. Hearing the recorded songs as they capture the mood of each color is simply wonderful, but seeing them performed and expressed through sound, light, and the passion of Crescenzo’s vocals creates a completely new and enthralling experience. The performance not only keeps Green stage-side until the final note emits, but takes an audience, largely unacquainted with the band, by storm as they erupt with cheers by the time the set comes to an end.
Incredibly enough, after the stellar performance The Dear Hunter is not required to leave the stage, but instead takes on a new role as Green’s backing band. He wastes no time in bursting into opener “Baby Girl” as the packed crowd passionately sings along to every note. Much like The Dear Hunter, Green is impressive on tape but his live performance is so eccentric and unpredictable that it creates an entirely new experience. Green flails about the stage, jumping, writhing, and belting out the high notes as only he can do before stopping momentarily to talk about how good it feels to lose himself in the music. There’s nothing contrived here – just a natural born performer that pours every ounce of himself into each song as if it’s the last he’ll ever sing.
The set is full of older songs from Avalon such as “She Loves Me So” and “Drug Dealer” as well tracks from Beautiful Things like “When I’m on Pills” and “Get Yours While You Can”. The crowd gets a special treat mid-way through when Green plays “Only Love”, a b-side from his latest album. Instead of Nate Ruess of fun. providing the vocals during each verse, it’s Crescenzo, who masterfully adds his own flavor to the song. Near the end of his set, Green takes time to choreograph a wonderful version of “Devil’s Song (This Feels Like a Nightmare)”, leading each section of the audience like a choir as they contribute overlapping vocals to the performance. Green and friends take the stage once more after a short break to perform fan-favorite “Dear Child (I’ve Been Dying to Reach You)” before calling it a night.
From his early, erratic days as lead-man for Saosin, to his quirky and captivating contributions to Circa Survive, The Sound of Animals Fighting, and multiple other projects, Anthony Green has become a staple in the post-punk scene and performer that demands to be experienced in person. Perhaps the most impressive trait he possesses is his continual creativity and his drive to push himself as an artist with each and every project he undertakes. In “The Difference Between Medicine and Poison is in the Dose” from 2007’s On Letting Go, Green sings “My mind’s a well, it won’t run dry”. Assuming this is the case, one can only expect Violent Waves to once again raise the bar and surpass expectations.