It’s not often that 10-year anniversary tours come around with bands that REALLY knock it out of the park. I’ve seen some anniversary shows that fell flat on their ass because the bands were just worn out and tired of it, which is one of the saddest things to see. But CIRCA SURVIVE have been consistently on their grind, and they came out fucking SWINGING in Texas at House of Blues Dallas.
It was a rather short bill with just three bands: CITIZEN, RX BANDITS, and the aforementioned headliner. CITIZEN opened the show with an interesting blend of alternative rock, and emo brooding. To be perfectly honest, they got into it sometimes, but they were just a little bit boring. I feel like they’re the type of band you need to see in a 300 person maximum capacity venue with no barricade. Don’t get me wrong, great musicians, great songs, solid performance all the way around. I can see why they would get on a tour with a band of CIRCA’S caliber, however, some bands just belong to intimate crowds with crowd-surfing and people rushing the stage.
Now, I’ve seen quite a few bands come through DFW by now. I’m by no means a seasoned show connoisseur or anything like that, but I know talent when I see it. RX BANDITS is choked fucking full of it. I had never even heard of them before the show, but they’re certainly on my “music to purchase” list now. It’s quite rare to see a group of individuals and immediately know that they have a unique chemistry together, but when you get that opportunity, it usually never disappoints. They came out to an entirely blacked out stage, and pretty much blasted right on into it. Within the first few seconds, I came to the realization that their drummer is a fucking madman behind the kit, the guitarist is a wizard, bassist is a groove machine, and the vocalist/guitarist is rock solid. They delivered a completely insane set from start to finish, and made me a believer within the first two songs.
Truth be told, I love CIRCA SURVIVE as it is. Have for a long time, and I’m in love with damn near all of their material. The album they’re currently touring on (Juturna) is not my favorite of their releases, but holy FUCK they make it come to life. The performance was long-winded, but it had everything: killer lights, amazing sound, heavy/crazy moments, and super soft intimate portions. RX BANDITS had the over-abundance of talent, but CIRCA SURVIVE has that incredible ability to command, and excite an audience. I’m not sure how, but it throws people into a goddamn fever pitch the minute it starts, and the vibe refuses to die down until it’s all over and the lights are coming back on. I’m only about 5’6″ tall, and all of 130 pounds; I am not a very large man, and I shit you not, the minute they started playing, I was smashed so hard by the crowd that my feet weren’t on the ground for at LEAST five songs.
The feral nature of people to get as close to the stage as possible means that if you’re in the middle of it, you just have to go with the flow and hope you don’t get trampled to death. All the elbows to the face, body crushing, and shithead show goers aside, it was insanely worth it. Go catch them on this tour. You will not regret it. 10 out of fucking 10. 5 stars. Whatever fucking rating system matters to you, CIRCA SURVIVE takes perfect marks in it.
Oh, and one little thing about crowd etiquette: Vaping. Vaping is perfectly fine. Cool beans. You look SUPER COOL doing it, whatever. But if you’re in a crowded venue, and you’re blowing that fucking disgusting smoke in people’s faces who are evidently NOT vaping, and do not wish to partake, then you deserve to have me smash your stupid douche pen in front of you. Get fucked, and consider other people when you decide to be a total twat.
LIVE WORDS: ZALEN CIGAINERO
LIVE PHOTOS: KELI MISHELLE LYTTON