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 Arts and Music Festival 2011, August 12-13, Lebanon Valley Expo and Fairgrounds
Lebanon, Pennsylvania

This way my second time attending Purple Door, and it's such a great music festival. As you may know, Purple Door moved their festival this year from the Roundtop Mountain Resort (where they've held the festival for the last nine years) to the Lebonon Valley Expo and Fairgrounds. The festival was set up pretty nicely. They of course had the main stage outside on the fairgrounds, and they had two other stages (the LBC and Relevant stages) that were inside the expo center building, which worked great, since it rained Saturday evening.

They also had Come&Live! set up in the expo center, which they called the Come&Live! Lounge. There, they held interviews and special speakers, which featured the likes of Aaron Gillespie, Andrew Schwab, Mattie Montgomery, and a few more. There was a pretty cool set up for all the band merch and non-profit organizations as well, and they were all set up on the fairgrounds in the "petting zoo" barns, which again worked out great because of the rain. And of course we cannot forget about the yummy food vendors, which were set up on the fairgrounds between the main stage and the merch tables. They had a milkshake vendor there also, but they sold out before I got any, haha!


I arrived at the festival on Friday, about a half hour before they opened the gates. So lets talk music, shall we? I started off seeing House of Heroes on the main stage, which was my second time seeing them live, and they definitely did not disappoint! I have been a fan of House of Heroes since they're No Tagback days. With every album they release, they progress more and more. Songs they played include "God Save The Foolish Kings," "In The Valley Of The Dying Sun," "Serial Sleepers," and a few others.

Later, I headed to the LBC stage and watched the last half of a set from Yesterday Is Waiting, a local band from Hershey, PA. They were pretty good, and reminded me of the band The Early November. The songs I saw them perform were "Breakdown This Town," "Peter Pan," and another which I did not catch the name of. After Yesterday Is Waiting's set, Lancaster, PA's one and only Texas In July performed on the LBC stage. This was my second time seeing them live, and they definitely know how to give the crowd a show worth paying for! The set was great, and there was an older lady, probably in her late 60's, that was behind the stage, dancing and jumping all around during their set! I assume that it must have been one of the band members' grandmother, but either way, she knew how to rock! Texas In July played "Magnolia," "Hook, Line and Sinner," "Aurora," "It's Not My First Rodeo," and one or two more.

The final show that I got to see on Friday night was from The Chariot, and I have never seen a show like this one. It's kind of hard to explain. They have so much energy on stage, it's unreal. Now before I saw them that night, I heard that they like to throw instruments around, and mosh with the crowd. It's safe to say that what I heard was 100% correct. I was in the press pit for their whole set, and when I was not snapping shots of them, I was standing there frozen with my mouth open, completely dumbfounded. Trying to remember the song's they played is hard, because their set was more chaos than about songs! However, I could make out the songs "Evan Perks," "Calvin Makenzie," and "Daggers."


Saturday, I arrived at Purple Door a little after 12:00 PM to a bit of rainy clouds, but that was not gonna stop me from enjoying the day. I started off by looking around at the merch tables, before walking down to the LBC stage to see my first band on my to-see list.

Before I saw As Hell Retreats, I had only actually heard of them, but never any of their songs. The band was definitely nothing special, but they were pretty good, none the less, and put on a great show. I honestly could not tell you what songs they played, since i ever heard a song by them until that day, but I am certainly going to look into them. After As Hell Retreats, it was I, The Breather's turn to rock the expo center, and they sure did that. I heard the band's album These Are My Sins when it first came out, and was impressed, but I never really listened to them after that. After their set though, I am definitely a fan.

From there, I went to the Come&Live! Lounge to see Aaron Gillespie's interview, and it was totally worth it. Aaron Gillespie is by far my favorite musician, ever since Underoath's The Changing of Times, and especially since I play drums as well. He spoke about God and read some scripture from the Bible for a few minutes, and what he said definitely spoke to me! After that, I ran right back over to the LBC stage to see For Today, another band I did not know much about. I listened to their album Breaker a few weeks before, and loved it, but did not own it. They are for sure one of my favorite bands right now however. Not only did they put on a fantastic show, but Mattie Montgomery, their vocalist, talked about God for a few minutes, and man, can he preach! A few songs I recognized were "Devastator" and "Seraphim."

From there, I went to the Relevant stage to see Aaron Gillespie perform. It was definitely a worship experience, and it was awesome! After his set, we were told by Purple Door staff that they were going to be moving Project 86 and Underoath to the LBC stage, because of incoming rain. Shortly after Aaron's set, it did start raining pretty bad, so everyone made their way to camp in the expo center, in front of the LBC stage doors. We probably sat outside the doors for about an hour and 45 minutes until they let people into the building, but it was totally worth it.

This was my second time seeing Project 86, and they are awesome live. You can definitely tell that they give it their all on stage. I only wish I could have sat in on Andrew Schwab's interview at the Come&Live! Lounge. They played so many good songs, including "Me Against Me," and I cannot wait to see them next year at Purple Door!

The best were saved for last this year at Purple Door, Underoath, who were great as usual. This was my fifth time seeing them live, and they never disappoint. I was really wondering how their live show would go without Aaron Gillespie, and I was wrong to ever doubt them. Their light and screen show was pretty neat, and for certain songs that they performed that originally had a music video for, they played it on screen as a distorted clip. They played "Paper Lung," "Writing On The Walls," "In Regards To Myself," "It's Dangerous Business Walking Out Your Front Door," "In Division," "Emergency Broadcast: The End Is Near," and a few more to end the festival.

All in all, Purple Door was a blast this year. Who's ready for Purple Door 2012?

- Kendall Moore

Purple Door 2011 Photo Gallery (© 2011

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