The Moon Is Down – A Reaction To Further Seems Forever Live at BreakFest 3 – 05.26.2022

March 27, 2001. The Moon Is Down by Further Seems Forever is released on Tooth & Nail Records. At the time no one knew how special and important this album would become to the “emo” community. Some would even contribute it to being one of the earliest releases to usher in a phenomena that would continue to this day. However, the path traveled by the band from this point forward was anything but an easy one.

A brief recap for those who are unaware. FSF forms with frontman Chris Carrabba and they recorded The Moon Is Down (2001). Carrabba leaves FSF and forms Dashboard Confessional. Jason Gleason replaces Carrabba and the band records How To Start A Fire (2003). Gleason leaves and is replaced by Jon Bunch (Sense Field) and the band records Hide Nothing (2004). FSF disbands in 2006, but reunites in 2010 with Carrabba back on vocals and they record Penny Black (2012). Gleason rejoins the band in 2015. Bunch passed away in 2016. September 2021 the Gleason era lineup plays Furnace Fest. February 2022 it is announced that the original lineup (Carrabba) would reunite to play The Moon Is Down to celebrate the 20th (21st) anniversary.

May 26, 2022. The room goes dark and a familiar sound clip fills the room. The crowd is brewing with anticipation that as soon as the clip ends things will be full force with “The Moon Is Down.” However, Further Seems Forever throws everyone for a surprise and plays the album in a different order than we have all known for so long. They open with “Just Until Sundown” which is an odd choice in a live setting as it was a remarkable closing track on the album. With this being the kickoff to their set one would think they would bust out something fast with a lot of energy. However, with the change up they create an atmosphere that is for sure going to set the tone for a night that many FSF fans, both old and new, will remember for a lifetime. The set picks up the pace and moves forward with “A New Desert Life” and “Wearing Thin” played back to back.

They then move in to “Pictures of Shorelines” which keeps the pace going and the crowd moving and singing along. This is followed by “Monachetti” and “The Bradley” which served as a slight wind down to move in to the final four tracks. “Snowbirds and Townies” brings in the final act of the set and is probable the most notable track from the album. It was truly a highlight to hear the crowd singing along word for word. Next was “Madison Prep” picks the tempo back up and gets the crowd moving once more.

All of the atmosphere building with the track rearranging has led to this point where the set begins to close out with “New Year’s Project” followed by “The Moon Is Down.” “New Year’s Project” while slower is nature was the perfect build up for the close of the set with it’s dynamic vocal and musical abstracts throughout. Things closed out with “The Moon Is Down” and it may have served much better as a closer than a opener like most were expecting it to be.

Some huge takeaways from the whole set. This night was huge for me as it provided the opportunity to see one of my most beloved bands play for the first time. Additionally, this was my first live show since the summer of 2019 prior to everything being shut down due to the pandemic. To finally get to experience live music again was therapeutic and the fact that it was FSF only made it that much more memorable. It’s hard to believe that these songs are 20+ years old as they all still seem fresh and original. It was also great to see that Steve Kleisath (drums) and Chad Neptune (bass) are still playing at a level where you can see and feel the passion they continuously put in to whatever they do. Sometimes after years of playing it can become easy to “go through the motions,” but that is simply not the case for either one of these guys. It’s obvious that the rest of the band is still very much having the time of their lives, but there’s just something about Kleisath and Neptune that just seems to be on a whole other level. The only thing I would have added to the overall performance would have been to add a bonus song from How To Start A Fire as Jason Gleason was present in the crowd and would have been a nice potential preview of what could be to come still for FSF.

Photo Credit: Phil Hawkins
Photo Credit: Phil Hawkins

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