New Haven Survives Circa Survive

Circa Survive, Balance and Composure, and CHON
May 1, 2015
Toad’s Place-New Haven, CT

      The Lions Balls Tour made its way to New Haven, Connecticut last Friday night to a little venue called Toad’s Place, right in the middle of the Yale University dormitories, rock fans gathered before the show. San Diego band CHON played first and brought a psychedelic rock sound to the stage. The band’s name is an acronym for the four most common elements in living things: carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen. CHON boasted bouts of instrumentals with less frequent vocals throughout their songs. Their first full-length album, Grow, was released on March 24th, just eight days before this tour began. Fans had just enough time to familiarize themselves with the new album before hearing any of the songs live. Crowd members were really into their set, and sad to see them walk off the stage.
CHON (4)It seemed like the velocity of the music picked up with each sequential act. Balance and Composure’s pace was a bit quicker than CHON’s, and Circa Survive was even faster. Balance & Composure’s sound moved slowly from tranquil and composed, to explosive, perfectly balancing the sound out. The name Balance and Composure suits the band well, their sound living up to that title.  A quiet energy was brewing in the audience as they played their first song, later increasing with a lot more movement and the first crowd surfers of the show. More to Me was played as well as Tiny Raindrop and a crowd favorite, Reflection. Both Tiny Raindrop and Reflection are off the 2011 alum, Separation, while More to Me is from 2013’s The Things we Think We’re Missing. Balance and Composure recently performed at Coachella, and just wrapped up the tour with Circa Survive and CHON on May 3rd.
Beside the music, the energy on stage and connections made with fans was enough of a show in itself. Circa Survive opened with Child of the Desert, not saving any energy for later on as they let it all out right away. The five band members jumped, stomped, swayed, and rocked out throughout the set, their movements sometimes in unison. Lead vocalist Anthony Greene was all over the stage, and bantering with other band members and fans alike. Early in their set, Glass Arrows, Schema and Morning were played.
Greene involved fans throughout the set whether individually or as a whole. Upon taking the stage, he gestured for them to come closer to the front, and waved at several crowd members while smiling wide. He climbed onto the barricade more than once during the first two songs, allowing fans to sing into the microphone. In the middle of the second song, he threw the mic into the crowd, fans going wild and singing their hearts out into it. After talking a brief stroll around the stage, feeling the intensity around him, he took it back and picked up where the fans had left off. Plenty of audience members received a high five, a lengthy handshake, or a handhold from him. Someone in the front row waved a business card at Greene, who squinted his eyes to look at it. He then motioned for the fan to give him the card. After taking it, he read it over intently and handed it back laughing, though no one knew why. After the third song, Greene looked over to family members Circa (18)standing side stage. He made the motion of napping with his two hands on the side of his head, trying to ask them if his son was sleeping, to which they nodded yes. Earlier, one of his sons had made an appearance to the delight of the fans that called out his name and waved to him.
A trend of crowd surfing selfies began after one girl attempted, likely unsuccessfully, to take a video of the crowd while she was crowd surfing. One by one, surfers fumbled for their cell phones with one hand, while trying to stay afloat atop the sea of people with the other hand. It certainly didn’t look very safe, images of cell phones flying out of their hands coming to mind. Since the space between the stage and the crowd was so small, security didn’t take crowd surfers over the barricade. Instead, they were pushed back into the crowd creating a hectic scene in the first few rows of fans. When the set was nearing an end, one audience member held out his wallet to Greene, who took it, looking intrigued. He opened the wallet and called out to the fan by name before stating, “It’s your lucky day. It’s your lucky day fucker.” Perhaps there was a note in the wallet asking Greene to play a certain song. The audience wasn’t exactly sure, but it exploded upon hearing the first guitar strum leading into another song. Greene soon stopped again to point out one crowd member who he noticed had gotten hit with a shoe. The man being a pretty big guy, Greene said, “This dude is a monster, but he’s probably a teddy bear at heart.” Greene hoped he was ok, and told him he would never hit him with a shoe. The latter portion of Circa’s set included Only the Sun, Phantom, and Fear. When Circa left the stage, many fans quickly walked out of the venue to beat the mob of people, but everyone still inside knew better. Circa came back on for an encore and played the last song of the night, Nesting Dolls. The crowd gave it one last go until the next time Circa Survive comes to town.
Review by: Ashley Rodriguez 

Circa Survive

Balance and Composure