On Friday night, Circa Survive took over the Newport Music Hall with their modern progressive-rock songs and impressive technicolor backgrounds.
While one might think that the perfect show might be a sold out one, seeing the crowd that attended last night’s show would put that myth to shame. There were fans scattered throughout the entire venue, filling up the general admissions floor as well as the balcony.
While Circa Survive’s performance was the highlight of the night, openers Chon and Balance and Composure didn’t disappoint.
An hour after doors were open and fans were comfortably inside the warm venue, San Diego natives Chon took the stage and enthralled the crowd with their instrumental music with a twist of optimistic progressive rock songs. If you could interpret Chon’s music through dance moves, bassist Drew Pelisek was the man to watch. While the other members of the band stayed relatively still throughout the show, Pelisek was constantly swerving his hips and keeping the groove alive through his dancing.
Their full-length album Grow was just released this past Tuesday and their setlist for the night incorporated many tracks from the new album. While they were performing on stage for half an hour, I noticed that some of the crowd got lost throughout their performance.
Some people would stand there, swaying back and forth and grooved around to the entire set. There were a few people who didn’t bother to watch the show and walked around and talked throughout the whole set and then there were those seemed to stand firm in their spots waiting for the other acts to perform.
Pelisek was the only one who talked through the set, taking breaks in between songs to talk to the crowd, which surprisingly always responded with positive remarks, shouting “I love you,” multiple times throughout their set.
Balance and Composure took the stage around 8:45 p.m., filling The Newport with a more intense vibe. Balance and Composure is described as a post-hardcore, alternative-rock band. Their guitars sound spacious and ambient, somewhat reminding me of Explosions in the Sky. The vocals were searing, both harsh and sensitive, and the slow rhythms of each song hitting you like a bag of rocks. There was nothing subtle about it. The crowd began swarming closer to the front of the stage and short waves of crowd surfers made their way to the front of the stage.
The band barely took breaks in between songs, letting the music flow throughout the entire show. They opened with “Quake,” and went on throughout their set featuring tracks from their 2011 and 2013 full-length albums like Tiny Raindrop, Reflection and ended with Cut Me Open. Their set ended with frontman Jon Simmons and guitarist Erik Petersen laying on the floor playing their guitars, Peterson doing so with his teeth. It’s safe to say that their performance held true to their records, and they performed a pretty flawless show.
When the background music slowly faded into silence and the lights grew dark, the screams ensued. When the clock struck 9:50 p.m., Circa Survive kicked off their 15 song set list with much fervor. Bright red and blue lights illuminated the stage with an intricate arrangement of square LED panels. They kicked off the night with “Child of the Desert” and immediately followed with “Schema,” which if from their fifth album Descensus.
As the night continued on, frontman Anthony Green proved to have the greatest chemistry with the crowd all night. He was always in sync with the crowd — from his intricate, yet insane, dancing to throwing his microphone into the crowd and having them take over the song.
Their setlist was comprised of a solid mix of songs from every album that they’ve put out with a majority of the songs coming from their most recent album, “Descensus,” such as “Child of the Desert,” “Only the Sun” and “Phantom.” As the night continued on, their performance was only getting better and better, with Green showing no signs of exhaustion as he continued to jump around on stage and dance as if we was summoning some spirit from his microphone stand. To carry out the night, Circa Survive closed out with “Nesting Dolls” and the crowd went wild with more crowd surfers and non-stop movement.