BY JESS BECK | Go Venue Magazine
The air was humid and heavy awaiting entrance to The Truman in Kansas City, Missouri on 27 June 2019, but nothing was heavier than the anticipation of the hundreds of fans lined up around the block. From t-shirts to tattoos, it was easy to tell that this dedicated fan base was ready for glory. And really that’s the thing about reunion tours – they can be a blessing or a bust depending on the act, so the level of anticipation was reasonable provided this was Anberlin’s first showing in five years. “I hope they play ‘Godspeed’ tonight!” one fan said with excitement.
Kicking off the show was I The Mighty, a progressive rock band hailing from San Francisco. “Who here is seeing us for the first time?” Brent Walsh asked the crowd after taking a break between songs. Almost the entire crowd lit up with hands in the air. The energy they brought indeed might have been a moniker on its own. Playing a few tracks from their new album, “Where the Mind Wants to Go/Where you Let It Go” the crowd began to sway and head-bob in like fashion, the melodic vocals and smooth guitar riffs prompting the type of motion you wouldn’t normally anticipate from an opening act playing on a final tour. You can bet it won’t be the last time anyone in this crowd gives them an ear.
After a brief interlude, the lights darkened. Stage lights began to slowly illuminate the Anberlin banner draped behind the drums. The audience erupted in chants of “ANBERLIN! ANBERLIN! ANBERLIN!” as one by one the members of the band took their places in the darkness. Moments later, Stephen Christian entered the stage to thunderous applause and led the audience through their mega hit single “Godspeed,” unwittingly granting the wish of the hopeful fan from earlier. The band demonstrated for the anticipatory crowd a high-energy performance, showing almost no signs of having taken any time off from touring at all. And that’s how it was the whole night – an exhilarating display of high-energy, visible enjoyment for the art.
20 songs in total – equaling almost two solid hours of ear candy – Anberlin proved that the anticipation was worth it. Five years of fans yearning for a reunion tour culminated in one epic show of lights and passion. It was fitting that they ended the show on an encore, playing (*Fin) – a song dedicated to lost causes, with high melodic notes that echoed through the building, providing a Cathedral of hollowed chords. Fans lifted their crossed fingers in solidarity, a symbol of the band, and for a moment, it felt as though perhaps we weren’t as lost as we all assumed we were.
I The MightyAll images © Jess Beck
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