We Are the Lost Ones – by Phil Hawkins
In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic many of us have been left with the question of when will music in the live setting return. Venues closed. Some bands postponed dates while others cancelled whole tours. Anberlin were set to embark on a tour beginning July 10th but were forced to cancel their tour plans like many others. However, they made the decision to hold a livestream and perform songs spanning their entire career. Obviously, it was a success, as they then decided to perform their debut album Blueprints for The Black Market in its entirety.
On July 10th, the night they were supposed to embark on their tour, they took the stage for their second livestream. From the opening note of “Ready Fuels” it was clear that this would be a performance to remember. Prior to this night Anberlin had only played two albums in their entirety with both being on their “farewell” tour back in 2014 when they played Never Take Friendship Personal and Cities over the course of two nights in New York City. It was evident that a lot of hard work went into the evening as many of these songs had not been played live in several years (if ever). The only downfall is that in playing from only a single album it can often minimize the run time.
Throughout the course of the evening it seemed as though the guys never took the five-year break after the “farewell” tour and were truly in their element hitting every note with precision. Since the setlist was for a specific album, it didn’t allow for any surprises regarding song diversity, but it was nice to see some of the deep cuts like “Cadence” and “Love Song” performed, since they typically would get overlooked for tracks that were released as singles or have more notoriety. Probably, the biggest highlight of the evening was the mention of the possibility of doing another livestream with another album being played in its entirety (my vote is for Lowborn).
From a technical aspect the production quality was great. The smaller venue setting was perfect, given the circumstances and restrictions on gatherings of a larger size. There was no light show, but that wasn’t a downfall by any means. Keeping the house lights at a constant level provided a closeness and vulnerability to the overall performance. The sound mix was very well done, allowing you to really take in each instrument in their respective intricate parts, and I am excited to see how it all sounds on the vinyl pressing.
Overall, it was a memorable performance full of music, nostalgia, some mild comedic banter (can someone get “Dijon” a mic?), and hopes of more to come. If you were not able to catch the livestream, they are having the performance pressed on vinyl (this was one of many pre-order items that could be purchased with the ticket for the stream), and hopefully there might be some extras available after all pre-orders are fulfilled. If you’re a fan of Anberlin, be on the lookout for any announcements of future streams as you will not be disappointed.