UTG PHOTOS: Circa Survive in New York City (10/23/15)

Under The Gun Review sent photographer MJ Rawls to Playstation Theater in NYC to shoot Circa Survive on their ‘Juturna’ 10-year anniversary tour with RX Bandits and Citizen.

There’s something about your first album. It’s the grit, the unbridled passion, and the uneasy feeling of looking down the road to see if it’s going to be the start of a following; a fulfillment of a dream, and if like-minded people will get it. My first encounter with Circa Survive was actually through an ex-girlfriend (no, this isn’t going to turn into one of those stories). It was the first song I heard from them, “Get Out,” when I understood the passion that all my friends around me had for the band. Juturna, Circa Survive’s first full-length is where I first heard the band in its rawest form, finding its footing in its infancy ten years ago. Sure, maybe there were some bands who were making similar music, but now it’s ten years later and Circa Survive is still alive and kicking.

That night in New York at Playstation Theater was a little bit more packed than usual. In reality, the show had been sold out for months and the fans were a little bit older. Every Circa show feels like a reunion of sorts. Citizen was the first band who performed where the fans slowly filed in to their dimly-lit set. I had previously seen the band at Warped Tour this year and they performed some songs from their recently released album, Everybody Is Going To Heaven.

For the record, RX Bandits are a really great live band [Editor’s note: A great band in general. Like, really great]. A fellow photographer friend of mine declared his love for the band which piqued my curiosity a bit. Their style of progressive rock, intelligent and full of melodic groove, was a great segue into the Circa Survive set. It even prompted me to check out their catalog when I got home, and I’m glad I did.

Here’s the thing about Circa Survive: Their stage presence is undeniable and it’s virtually impossible to not be mesmerized by it. The phones took a night off for a bit which I was happy to see. The moment that “Holding Someone’s Hair Back” and “Act Appalled” rang through, it was like a quiet calm that exploded in a big ball of energy. The lights that ranged from red to blue acted to accentuate the music. Drawing back to my previous point about a band’s first record — Circa played as if the fans in the crowd were seeing them for the first time. Many I talked to were actually seeing them upwards of their eleventh time. It almost became like a badge of honor.

“Ten years, man, we thank you so much for staying with us for ten years,” frontman Anthony Green expressed to the crowd. It’s a symbiotic relationship, really. For the fans, it’s a band that pours their heart and soul into every live performance and record that they are able to permeate throughout the world. For Green, it’s the battles with addiction and the triumphs over his demons with the people that stuck by him through every twist and turn.




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