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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Vans Warped Tour 2011, July 17th, at the Comcast Theater, Hartford, CT

Chances are, if you've ever been to the Vans Warped Tour before, you could use these words to describe it: long, hot, and tired. This year's Warped Tour fit that description perfectly, but was also a day filled with great music, filled with many genres spread about the tour's seven stages.

Moving Mountains

After arriving a bit after 12 to the Comcast Theater, I made my way to the amphitheater of the venue, to the Nintendo 3DS stage, where indie rockers Moving Mountains were playing the stage's first set of the day. The band played a very impressive set, composed of some older material, mixed in with some new songs off their new album Waves, which released only two months ago, including the standout "The Cascade." The guitar work from the band sounded very experimental and atmospheric live, which was a pleasant surprise, standing out from all the other bands of power chords and chugging. Moving Mountains are one band that you need to check out on Warped this year, if you are looking for some new and creative music, in the vein of bands such as Thrice.

A few more bands followed after Moving Mountains on the split stages of the amphitheater, which not only housed the Nintendo 3DS stage, but also the Alternative Press/Tilly's stage as well, featuring a good amount of smaller punk, pop, and rock bands, including the likes of Lionize and Simple Plan. The Nintendo 3DS stage housed bands such as rockers The Dangerous Summer, the high energy Go Radio, and the spastic, terrible-sounding I Set My Friends On Fire (whose vocalist seemed like he was screaming in pain, but for no real reason, at some point).

After three interviews for the day were done, including one with a few members of The Devil Wears Prada, I headed out into the dusty tour grounds to check out some merch tents, including Relient k's and the Tooth & Nail/Solid State one. I picked up this summer's edition of Tooth & Nail's annual Fuel Magazine, which is pretty cool, since it has in depth features in it on Run Kid Run and Oh, Sleeper about their new albums, out this fall.

Relient k

I then had time to watch most of the energetic, pop punk set from The Wonder Years, who played heavily from their album The Upsides, but also played some songs from their latest release, including the hook-heavy "Don't Let Me Cave In." Next came some time to talk with piano-driven indie rockers Windsor Drive, who's set we unfortunately missed. After speaking with the band for about 15 minutes, I headed back into the amphitheater for the last time of the day, catching the tail end of the punk band Street Dogs, who brought a positive message. Finally came the band I've been waiting years to see, one who have been a big name in the Christian rock community since their beginnings: Relient k. They ripped into their set with fan favorite "Who I Am Hates Who I've Been," followed by "Sahara" and their cover of the '80s' hit "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun." They continued into "Forget And Not Slow Down" and "The Lining Is Silver," among a few others that had the fans all singing along, before concluding with "Be My Escape," which I heard most of as I left to head to the main stage.

August Burns Red

My last set of the night to watch would be the Pennsylvanian metalcore giants, August Burns Red. An electronic sample played as the band ran out onto the Teggart Main Stage, in front of a 1000+ kids. Although I only stayed for the first three songs, they put on a very intense set, which was even better than the last time I saw them, last summer at Purple Door Festival. The band's most recognizable song, "Composure," opened their show, to the delight of the crowd surfing and moshing fans. Vocalist Jake Luhrs jumped around a ton during the song, before stopping to introduce the first single from their brand new album, Leveler, "Empire," which was very heavy live, including the passionate screaming of "All You are, is what we want, it burns inside us all!" The slow building guitars of "White Washed" soon followed, setting off the massive crowd into a frenzy of energy, which I watched unfold as I left the venue.

I did enjoy the day, but was disappointed to have missed The Devil Wears Prada yet again (after missing many of their local shows in my area), due to the band playing an early set at 12. It was great to see some other big name Christian bands on this year (August Burns Red and Relient k), in contrast with last year, which did not feature many. For those going to Warped this summer, here are a few tips: Get there early to check the schedule so you don't miss any bands and stay hydrated.

Set Lists:

Relient k:
  1. Who I Am Hates Who I've Been
  2. Sahara
  3. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun (Cyndi Lauper cover)
  4. Forget And Not Slow Down
  5. The Lining Is Silver
  6. Devastation And Reform
  7. High of 75
  8. Be My Escape
August Burns Red (partial set):
  1. Composure
  2. Empire
  3. White Washed
Vans Warped Tour 2011 Photo Gallery (© 2011

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