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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Haste The Day's Farewell Tour with Mychildren Mybride, The Chariot and A Plea For Purging
March 4th, 2011 at The Lost Horizon, Syracuse, NY

It was rather shocking when Haste The Day announced that they would be disbanding this past November, after a farewell tour in late winter/early spring. Starting at the end of January, the bands on the tour have been trekking all throughout the states and Canada on the tour, going through bad weather the whole way, and on Friday, March 4th, the Farewell Tour stopped in Syracuse, New York, at The Lost Horizon. After seeing both Haste The Day and Mychildren Mybride last year there, I was familiar with the smaller venue, and looked forward to a killer show.

After a good (two and a half hour) drive to The Lost Horizon, I finally arrived, about 20 minutes before the show was set to start. When I walked in, I heard what was a local band on their last song, with rapid double-bass and high, shrieking screams. Meanwhile, I realized that the venue had been renovated since I had been there going on a year ago, adding in a section of restaurant-like booths, that were located right next to the merch area, allowing for fans to hang out with the bands. I also noticed that among the band merch tables that were there, The Chariot was not one of them. I then talked to Robert from Mychildren Mybride, and found out that the axle on The Chariot's trailer had broken, and that they were still up in Canada, but had left about 20 minutes prior and were planning on making the show, but nothing was guaranteed. Soon after, A Plea For Purging took the stage.

This was technically my first time seeing A Plea For Purging, but I did catch the end of their set at Purple Door Festival this past summer, playing "Malevolence." The first thing that I took notice of were how heavy A Plea For Purging were. Their bass player John Wand had his bass up loud enough that it shook up the venue, and certainly my bones. They played a set of mainly songs from The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell, such as "And Weep" and "The Fall," but closed with "Malevolence," off Depravity. They also incorporated a question and answer segment into their set, towards the end. The only downfall of the set, was that guitarist Blake Martin's clean vocals were barely audible on "The Fall," due to being drowned out by his heavy riffs and frontman Andy Atkins' growls. Nevertheless, they put on a good set.

At this point in the show, I was unsure of what was going to happen, as The Chariot were scheduled to play this slot of the tour, after A Plea For Purging and before Mychildren Mybride, but the band were not there. A few minutes later though, Mychildren Mybride started setting up, and I wondered if The Chariot would still make it. Soon after though, the opening sounds of McMb's "Terra Firma" started to swell, before finally bursting into a breakdown. The band then tore into one of their most noticeable songs from Unbreakable, "On Wings of Integrity," and then went onto "Crimson Grim." Lead vocalist Matt Hasting then at one point walked past the stage and onto the crowd, who remarkably held him up. He then said "This one's for all the metalheads out there," and then the opening riffs of "Faithless" became evident. The rest of their set was solid as well, playing more from their debut album on the second half of their nine songs, but included "Hooligans," before ending with "Verses" and "Headshot!," on which Hasting encouraged 50 stage dives, which was accomplished within the song. This was my third time seeing Mychildren Mybride, and I can honestly say that they are getting better each time, and put on a good show.

A good half an hour or more followed after Mychildren Mybride's set, allowing for many to hang out with the bands, and the wait paid off. Halfway through the wait, I was informed that The Chariot had indeed made it and would be playing for sure. Vocalist of The Chariot, Josh Scogin, stepped onto the stage, and proclaimed "This set is brought to you by the letters M.C.M.B.," as the band ended up using McMb's gear to play, because they left their trailer with their equipment up in Canada to make it to the show. Scogin then shouted out the name of the song they were about to open with, but I didn't catch it. As the first note was played, both Scogin, and bassist Jon "Wolf" Kindler immediately jumped into the crowd. It was amazing to watch them play with such energy and crazy antics, such as Kindler going through the crowd to a near-barren corner of the standing area and playing there on his own for a little while, and later, even dropping his bass into the crowd right in front of the stage. Another highlight of their set was when they played "The City," which was started with a slow screaming of "This is only a revolt," from the song's chorus, and then moved into the "rant" that is made up of the last half of the song, which was truly memorable to watch. The band also played another new one, "Calvin Makenzie," complete with the sampled '50s' country song bit about the band's home town, which they continued to let play even after the song was over. The Chariot lived up to their well-known live show for sure, and you really have to see them live to appreciate them, even if you are a fan of their recordings.

After a bit of a break, and time that I spent hanging out with some of A Plea For Purging and their merch guy, Haste The Day finally took their spot on stage and started with their usual opener, "68" from Dreamer, then ripped into the ferocious "The Place Where Most Deny." The classic "Blue 42" was played next, and had everyone screaming along to the song's main line, "burning bridges!". The band's great melodies were showcased on "The Minor Prophets," then "Mad Man." Front man Stephen Keech then asked the crowd to vote between them playing "Fallen" or "Walk On." To me, it sounded like nearly everyone voted for "Fallen," but they played "Walk On." A similar thing happened later, when asked to vote between the newer "Dog Like Vultures" or "Travesty," in which "Travesty" was chosen, over "Dog Like Vultures." The band played one of their bigger songs from Pressure The Hinges, "Stitches," another one that everyone sang along to, and then Stephen said, "This one's a slower one for the older people here to sway along to," before playing a favorite of mine of their latest Attack of the Wolf King, "White As Snow." Keech then went on to talk about the band's faith, and about Christians out there that don't love, and instead hate others, and that Haste The Day do not believe in that, but in the love that comes from Jesus Christ, and a lifestyle of loving others.

Right after, they played another classic, "American Love," which showed off some great harmonies between bassist Mike Murphy, Keech, and guitarist Scotty Whelan. After playing "Needles," they "closed" with "My Name Is Darkness," which was followed by a crowd chant of "One more song, one more song!" They came back out a minute after, and encored with "Chorus of Angels," on which Scotty Whelan's backup clean vocals were shown off, reaching a great range. The strong "When Everything Falls" was chosen to end on, and was quite a fitting way to end their set, and the last time I will ever see them live most likely.

With only this week left on their Farewell Tour, I would highly recommend you see Haste The Day, and their tour mates, if they are in your area, as it is one of the best shows I've been to in a while. Truly a memorable experience.

Set List:

A Plea For Purging:
  1. And Weep
  2. Sick Silent America
  3. The Eternal Female
  4. The Fall
  5. Shiver
  6. Malevolence
Mychildren Mybride:
  1. Terra Firma
  2. On Wings of Integrity
  3. Crimson Grim
  4. Faithless
  5. Lost Boys
  6. Boris The Blade
  7. Hooligans
  8. Versus
  9. Headshot!
The Chariot:
  1. Calvin Makenzie
  2. The Audience
  3. Teach:
  4. The City
  5. Daggers
(The Chariot played two others that I did not catch the name of, one being the opening track and the other coming in the middle of their set.)

Haste The Day:
  1. 68
  2. The Place Where Most Deny
  3. Blue 42
  4. The Minor Prophets
  5. Mad Man
  6. Stitches
  7. White As Snow
  8. American Love
  9. Needles
  10. My Name Is Darkness
  11. Chorus of Angels
  12. When Everything Falls

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1 comment:

  1. It was amazing to me how much Haste the Day stood out over the rest of the bands on this tour (I didn't get to see The Chariot). It wasn't about breakdowns, circle pits, or bouncing off the walls. They just let the music carry the set, and it was amazing how well it did. They truly seemed like veterans.
    That being said, I also know and enjoy HTD's music more than any of the other bands so that could have been why they stood out to me so much.