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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Purple Door Festival 2010
Ski Roundtop, Lewisberry, Pennsylvania, August 13-14

Purple Door Festival 2010. Where do I even begin? Well, to start it off, the five hour drive was certainly worth it, despite missing the first two hours of shows on Friday night, the bands that I did see certainly made up for the other missed acts.


As I pulled into the parking lot at Ski Roundtop, I could make out the sounds of The Classic Crime finishing off their set on the Main Stage with "Salt In The Snow," which sounded great. Walking down to the festival entrance, I could also hear A Plea for Purging ending their slot with "Malevolence," but there was still much more to be seen. By the time I got in, Renee Yohe was already starting her acoustic set. For those of you that don't know, Yohe is the inspiration behind To Write Love On Her Arms, an organization that helps with suicide and other similar things.

I then headed up to the HM Magazine stage to catch War of Ages, who were nearing the start of their set, to a huge crowd. War of Ages were headlining this year's first annual Facedown Friday, sponsored by Facedown Records. The lineup for the whole night was Onward To Olympas, In The Midst Of Lions, A Plea For Purging and War of Ages.

War of Ages had an explosive set from what I got to see, but the highlights was them playing "Eternal," off their new record that released in April of the same name. The most noticeable part of the song was that vocalist Leroy Hamp screamed the part of Sonny Sandoval (of P.O.D.), which was interesting to hear. I then left to go catch a bit of Bradley Hathaway.

As I arrived at the festival's calmest stage, The Gallery Stage, I saw the a small band was accompanying indie singer-songwriter Bradley Hathaway. I listened to "Carolina" from his most recent EP, A Thousand Angry Panthers, before leaving to check out one of the merch buildings, where I met Andy from A Plea For Purging. As I walked outside, I realized that August Burns Red had already started their set and I headed down to the Main Stage.

From what I got to see, Lancaster-based metalcore act August Burns Red but on a great show, playing a good mix of songs from Constellations and Messengers. They played "Mariana's Trench," which was amazing live, followed up by "Thirty and Seven," and a song that I forgot the name of. They closed with "Composure" and left before the headliners of the night, Thousand Foot Krutch, came on.

Since I saw them back in 2007 opening for TobyMac, I'd have to say that Thousand Foot Krutch's live set has gotten much better. They opened with "Bring Me To Life," followed by "Move" and "Absolute." They went on to play "The Flame In All of Us," then "E for Extinction" off of their '09' release Welcome to the Masquerade, as well as "Scream." They moved into a few tracks after that, including "Falls Apart" and "Rawkfist." The stage then turned dark, but to the crowd's pleasure, they encored with "Fire It Up" and finally "Puppet" to end the first night of Purple Door.


After a good night of sleep, which I didn't get much of, I was on my way to the second day of the festival, which started at 10 in the morning and went all day.

The opening act of the day on the Main Stage was Williamsport's My Heart To Fear, an up and coming post-hardcore outfit, who mixed some quality rock with a few growls here and there. The band played a mix of songs from their EP that released earlier this year, A Ship Built To Sink. Their set was short, and met with a small crowd, due to being so early, but showed promise. Once they concluded their set, I walked over to check out the indie rock set on the Gallery Stage from Oceans In Love, who had a nice set that was met with a good crowd response.

A little while later, Esterlyn took their place on the Gallery Stage to lead worship, starting with "Freedom Is Here" and "The Lord Is Good," both from their album that released only a few weeks earlier, Call Out. They moved into a cover of worship hit "From The Inside Out," which was the last song I saw before heading back to the Main Stage to catch the rest of Talain Rayne's set. A singer-songwriter with piano-driven songs and a full band to back him up, he performed "Dear Brother, Your Sister," "16" and "Lemonbright*," all from his debut self-titled album that was recently released.

I then took a walk to the HM Magazine stage to watch the end of CI Records' An Early Ending, which didn't sound to shabby, before walking to the smallest stage of the festival, only set up on the second day, The Forum, to watch Project 86 front man and author Andrew Schwab speak. He had some good things to say and focused on a point of "taking inventory" of our lives, which was a good message to hear.

Once he was done talking, I headed back to the Gallery Stage to catch some of Gotee's B.Reith and his soulful hip-hop. From what I saw, he performed "Mess," a freestyle rap about Purple Door and then "Go On." I decided to get some lunch, and headed back to The Forum to eat and watch Derek Webb. I watched his soundcheck and part of his first song, before heading to watch Texas In July on the HM Stage.

Texas In July had a blasting set, which contained "Hook, Line and Sinner" and their new single "Uncivilized," the latter of which sounded great live. On the Main Stage, indie rockers Abandon Kansas were playing a very energetic set. As I headed over, I heard them playing "I Wonder If It's Me," which was followed by "Months and Years," and then a brand new song titled "The Golden State" off their upcoming album. They moved into "Close Your Eyes" as I left to go back to the HM Stage yet again for Mychildren Mybride. By the time I made it to their set, they were halfway through "Terra Firma," and played through "On Wings of Integrity" and "Crimson Grim," and then "Hooligans," and by that time, I was already heading back to the Main Stage yet again for Tooth & Nail Records' rockers Ivoryline.

Ivoryline's performance consisted of "Be Still and Breathe" and "Days End" from their debut album, There Came A Lion, and "Hearts Open," "The Greatest Love" and "Vessels," all off their sophomore effort of the same title that released only a few weeks earlier. They closed with "The Last Words," which sounded great live and really concluded their set well. Around the time that they were done, I headed back over to the HM Stage to see one of my favorite bands, Showbread.

The first thing I noticed when Showbread took the stage was that they were only a four-piece now, and I also had a hard time recognizing vocalist Josh Dies, as he had cut his hair much shorter than usual. From the start of their set, they impressed me, ripping through mainly songs from their release from last year, The Fear of God, opening with "Shepard, No Sheep" and then following it up with "Vehement" and "Lost Connection With The Head," before premiering a new song from their (then) upcoming album Who Can Know It? titled "A Man With A Hammer." I left before they closed with "Nothing Matters Anymore" to go to the Gallery Stage and check out piano-driven pop rockers Seabird.

Arriving about halfway through their set, Seabird sounded solid live from what I heard. They played a good selection of songs from Rocks Into Rivers and 'Til I See The Shore. As soon as they were on their last song, I headed back up to The Forum to catch an acoustic set from the festival's headliners, Family Force 5. Now I'm not sure how it happened, but they blew out the speakers on the stage by playing interesting acoustic renditions of their songs. They played such songs as "Cadillac Funque" and "Supersonic" from Business In The Front, Party In The Back, as well as "Fever" from Dance Or Die. Folk-rock worship artist John Mark McMillan took his place on the Gallery Stage while FF5 started to finish their set, and I went back down to the stage to watch him. He had a full band to back him up, and they got started immediately. He opened with "Breaking Down," before going on to play such songs from The Medicine as "Skeleton Bones," "Carbon Ribs," "Out of the Ground" and "Carolina Tide," all before taking time to close with his most well known song, "How He Loves." It was a great experience to see the writer of the song perform it live, and was one of the most memorable parts of the festival.

Due to seeing John Mark McMillan, I missed most of the set from one of my favorite metal bands, Solid State Records' Demon Hunter. By the time I got to the HM Stage to catch their stage headlining set, they were nearly done, only playing a few more songs. They started into "Collapsing" off of their newest album, The World Is A Thorn, before moving into "Soldier's Song." They did an encore, which started off with an expertise drum solo, and right before it ended, I headed back to the Gallery Stage yet again to see indie/experimental act Paper Route. They played mainly songs from their first full length which released last year, titled Absence (which if you don't have it, I'd highly recommend checking it out). The set consisted of "Are We All Forgotten," "Carousel," "Wish," "Tiger Teeth," a new song I believe, and "Enemy Among Us." Apparently, they ended up closing with "Dance On Our Graves," which I did not get to see, because of heading to see House of Heroes on the main stage.

After an amusing sound check, alternative rockers House of Heroes took the stage, fresh off of their release of one of the summer's best albums, Suburba, only a mere week before. They opened with "Code Name: Raven," from their stellar The End Is Not The End, before moving into "God Save The Foolish Kings" from Suburba. "If" brought back the sounds of The End..., shortly after followed by their newest single, "Elevator." Long time fan favorite "Serial Sleepers" took its respectful place in the set, which was succeeded by "So Far Away." "In The Valley Of The Dying Sun" concluded their somewhat short set, but nevertheless, it was great to see House of Heroes live, as they put on a great show.

Reach Records's rapper Lecrae walked onto the Main Stage shortly after, to give a good sermon for a few minutes that was really moving. By this point, there were only a few artists left, so all the performances for the rest of the night were on the Main Stage. About fifteen minutes after Lecrae preached, a break dancing team came out and showed off some moves, which about halfway through their performance, Lecrae joined in, starting off his set. He played a wide variety of songs, such as "Don't Waste Your Life" and "Go Hard" from Rebel, and even premiered two songs from Rehab, one titled "Used To Do It Too," and the other called "Children of the Light." He then played "Fanatics" from 116 Clique fame and his set ended shortly after.

By this point, their were only two more bands for the festival, and I was heavily anticipating seeing Project 86 for the first time. Known for putting on explosive shows, it didn't come as a surprise that their set was nothing less than that. They played a large variety of songs spanning nearly all of their albums, opening with "Sincerely, Ichabod," then moving into "Safe Haven" and "Oblivion." By this point, I noticed that Cody Driggers, bass player for The Wedding, was taking on bass duties and back up vocals during the set. Next, they played a personal favorite of mine, "The Butcher," from Picket Fence Cartel. "Last Meal" followed, before moving into "Light 'Em Up," where Andrew Schwab encouraged much crowd participation. "Evil (A Chorus of Resistance)" came after, then "Destroyer." The band then played the first song I had ever heard from them, "Stein's Theme," and then closed with fan favorite "The Spy Hunter." Project 86 were easily one of the best performances of the festival.

The last band of the festival took the stage soon after, being the festival headliners, Family Force 5. They had a very enjoyable set, consisting of songs from Business Up Front, Party In The Back, such as "Kountry Gentlemen" and "Replace Me," and some from Dance or Die as well. They did play a lot more songs from their debut, which surprised me, but they had a very enjoyable set. Towards the end, before playing "Ghostride The Whip," the band came out with huge white balloons with their faces on them attached to backpacks they were wearing. To top that off, the members of House of Heroes also ran out on stage and had a bit of fun. They closed out the festival with "Fever" shortly after, before bassist Fatty (Josh Olds) prayed over the many festival attendees.

Purple Door could not have been any better, and I highly recommend going next year if you can.

CRR Purple Door Photo Gallery (© 2010

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