Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Circa Survive in St. George
Circa Survive's performance at The Electric Theatre in St. George on July 31. O' Brother and The Deer Hunter also performed.
Over the summer, I got the prime opportunity to see my two favorite bands, Circa Survive and Alexisonfire, as they made some sort of pilgrimage to Utah.
Each played incredible and memorable shows; Alexisonfire’s in Salt Lake City on May 15 and Circa Survive travelled to The Electric Theater in St. George on July 31, and now each have released awesome live performance EPs this week.
You better believe I’m excited.
Circa Survive released its EP Monday via daytrotter.com, a site devoted to offering free downloads of four songs performed by any artist at its studio. The Philadelphia-based psychedelic rock band shines in its performance, too.
The only thing better than free music is good free music. Trust me this EP is worth the opportunity cost associated from actually listening to it.
Frontman Anthony Green’s impressive falsetto voices stands out in each of the tracks and the acoustic work behind him is just as remarkable.
With only four tracks on the EP, the band members of Circa Survive went with “I Felt Free,” “Strange Terrain,” and “Spirit of the Stairwell” from the band’s latest release, Blue Sky Noise, as well as “Every Way” off the deluxe version of that CD.
“Spirit of the Stairwell,” an originally soft-paced, acoustic track off Blue Sky Noise, is the first song to play on the Daytrotter Sessions EP.
The song remains acoustic, but with its pace picked up and a less studio-altered feeling to the song. In the end, the EP version of this song sounds better than the original.
“Strange Terrain” is probably the most impressive track on the Daytrotter Sessions EP.
Lyrically, the song is about the band’s wild journey from indie rock to its major label debut earlier this year and about creating its own way of making music.
The original version has an epic guitar intro and spectacular guitar riffs, which they were able to recreate acoustically in the Daytotter Sessions.
Circa Survive’s “I Felt Free” and “Every Way” were each acoustically available on the deluxe version of Blue Sky Noise. However, each version sounds more like Anthony Green’s solo work with the pace and a little less than the version off Blue Sky Noise.
You can only download the EP off daytrotter.com, so I was a little iffy at first, expecting the university Gestapo to stop me, thinking it was an illegal download, but don’t worry. Circa Survive wants you to listen and I suggest you should, bestowing this EP with the highest honor given by me: most excellent.
As awesome as Daytrotter Sessions EP was, Alexisonfire’s iTunes Exclusive EP hit iTunes Tuesday and it lived up to all my expectations and then some.
Alexisonfire plays live shows with more energy than any band in its genre out there; yet, they found a way to pack that energy into this EP.
The band plays live performances of “You Burn First,” “Boiled Frogs,” and “This Could Be Anywhere in the World” off 2006 release Crisis, as well as “No Transitory,” “Waterwings” and the eight-minute extended version of “Happiness By The Kilowatt” from other previous albums.
The iTunes Exclusive also adds several of the band’s latest work from Old Crows/Young Cardinals and various clips from an interview with the band.
In all, 10 bucks gets you 24 tracks of post-hardcore awesomeness and artist insight.
Some of the topics discussed include the band’s reasoning for switching from “screamo” to a more old school punk-derived sound, touring, songwriting and guitarist Dallas Green’s balance of Alexisonfire and his critically acclaimed folk side project — City and Colour.
The two tracks that stand out most are “You Burn First” and “Happiness By The Kilowatt.”
The newer version of “You Burn First” uses Dallas Green’s remarkable vocals instead of Alexisonfire’s other guitarist, Wade MacNiel. The beginning of the song also becomes diluted through different distortion pedals before climbing into the dark and heavy riffs that play throughout the song.
The remake of “Happiness By The Kilowatt” adds a long instrumental session halfway through the song, extending a four-minute song into an eight-minute masterpiece.
It’s one of the only songs I can think of where you can feel the energy of the band through the sound waves.
The other four live tracks also provide strong amounts of intenseness.
This is another EP I strongly endorse because of its large amounts of awesomeness. It’s only available on iTunes, so I suggest checking it out.
Carter Williams is the sports editor for the University Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.