Artist Of The Week - Anchor & Braille

It's been about three years since we've gotten an album from Anchor & Braille, the indie side project of Anberlin's Stephen Christian, but this week, on July 31st, the band's sophomore album will be released. The Quiet Life is a collection of haunting melodies and catchy percussion, certainly a maturation of sound since 2009's Felt. The Quiet Life is available now in stores and online through Tooth & Nail Records.

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Underoath with A Day To Remember, The Word Alive and Close Your Eyes
11/8/10 at Northern Lights, Clifton Park, NY


I honestly never expected to wake up the day of the show and be met with snow. In fact, it snowed all day, but relentless of that, I braved my way to see Underoath and Close Your Eyes at a big local venue in my area, named Northern Lights. I've missed a lot of shows at the venue before, and this was my first time there.

As I walked to the door, unfortunately a few minutes late, I heard Victory Records' Close Your Eyes playing the end of "The Body," off their debut album We Will Overcome that released earlier this year. I must say, I was very excited to see them, as they are one of the best up and coming hardcore/pop punk bands out there today. I then entered the venue, which was indeed packed with many more than I expected, but then again, the show was sold out. Close Your Eyes then moved into "Something Needs To Change," one of my favorites off their album, which sounded great live. They closed out their set with "Song for the Broken," the first single off of their album, which really had some kids moving.

After Close Your Eyes, I went to check out the merch tables from the bands, and picked up the deluxe edition of Underoath's new record Ø (Disambiguation) a day early, which was certainly a good buy.

Shortly after, metalcore act The Word Alive started, who played a pretty typical form of the genre, with heavy riffs, breakdowns, and electronic synth parts heavily placed throughout their set. They played a few songs off their new album Deceiver, but it wasn't really my thing. I do know that they had interesting stage presence, and a good crowd response, but their set made me even more anticipated for the following act, Underoath.

A 20 minute break in between sets, Underoath finally came out, with a very bright backdrop behind them of pulsating lights to go along with their high energy set. They opened with "Illuminator" off of Ø (Disambiguation), which was set to release the next day. I was very impressed with Spencer's clean vocals, proving that he can really pull them off live, along with his brutal screams. After then introducing myself, they ripped into "In Regards To Myself," and another heavy song that I unfortunately didn't recognize. Spencer then talked about their new album, and said the next song just had a video released for it, which was "In Division." I'd have to say that I was very impressed with Chris Dudley's programming and synths on the song, which were done very well, adding a haunting layer to the song, as they emanated through the whole song, especially the intro. The stage then went dark, and I noticed that "The Blue Note" from They're Only Chasing Safety was being played, of course leading into fan favorite "It's Dangerous Business Walking Out Your Front Door," performed amazing live, and met with a huge crowd reaction. Slowing down their set was the atmospheric "Paper Lung," which Spencer was really getting into on stage, despite being a bit slower, building up for a crushing breakdown. "Desperate Times, Desperate Measures" followed, with clean vocals done surprisingly well by Spencer and guitarist Tim McTague. Their set started to draw to a close with one last new song, "A Divine Eradication," followed by Chamberlain talking about their beliefs in Jesus Christ, refreshing to hear in front of a crowd mainly there for the headliners, A Day To Remember. "Writing On The Walls" closed out Underoath's very high energy and somewhat chaotic set.

I left after Underoath, due partially to the weather. I must say though, I was very impressed by their Underoath's live show, as well as Close Your Eyes', and would recommend that if this tour comes close, you should go see it.

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