Circa Survive / Minus the Bear / As Tall as Lions / others, live at the Santa Monica Pier 06/19/10 [Pac Sun Beach Ballyhoo]
Worth it. All I gotta say. Earlier in the week, my buddy Kevdo told me about a free Minus the Bear show in Santa Monica. Never one to turn down a free show (did I mention free?), I got stoked on it. Then it got better. Almost as an afterthought, he mentioned that he had picked up our tickets and oh, I almost forgot, Circa is playing too. In case you wanted to know. My jaw dropped. Not only was it free, but it was two of my all-time favorite bands who also happened to put out, far and away, two of 2010′s best albums. And so it began. We ended up getting there early (apparently, As Tall as Lions was playing at 2:15 and Kevin’s brother Douglas (a fantastic human being), wanted to see them. It just kept getting better.
Anyway, As Tall as Lions played admirably, but if you know their material, it doesn’t exactly translate well into beachside party fare without a lot of help. They tried, and Cliff was a madman on the drums. In between sets he was breaking sticks going into John Bonham–esque drum solos accompanied by some bass jams courtesy of Julio…it was fun, but otherwise they sorta fell flat. Nothing against them, they played great, and their material is awesome, but the vibe didn’t match up. Probably be a better fit on a cold winter night in Central Park rather than the beach. In any case, here’s some decent quality videos from the event!
And I’m not entirely familiar with ATAL’s discog to properly list a setlist. Ha, sorry. But there are videos on the Tube o’ You, so look that up if you want.
Then it was time to enjoy the booths and whatnot..and at about 5:30, Minus the Bear came on. Problem was, we got stuck outside because the venue was at capacity (free show, who’da guessed it?). We managed to wrangle a spot in the sand where we could relax and see most of the band…but having just seen MtB at the Fox Theatre, I was sorta unimpressed. They played a great mix of songs (though Kevin’s roommate Connor might have thought otherwise), only thing is Jake was a little flat. Sad since I’d seen him kill it just three weeks ago. But it was fun nonetheless, and they played great for the most part, and their setlist spanned everything from Highly Refined Pirates to Omni (of course).
Rough setlist (out of order):
Hold Me Down
Absinthe Party at the Fly Honey Warehouse
Sounds about right for a ~30min. Set. No videos, sorry. Check the previous post for some more Polyphyly MtB lovin’.
Anyway, Circa Survive came on last and totally kileld it. Anthony was perfectly on point as per the usual, and the rest of the band always kicks ass. What impressed me was that they went into so many jam sessions (maybe I just haven’t seen Circa in a long time), but they turned Stop the Fuckin’ Car into this beefy, jazzy number before spilling into the chorus as planned. Plus the end was drawn out and Anthony-ified, if you know what I mean. I was stuck outside the gate (super sad-face), but I was still enthralled by this band. Ever-amazing.
Glass Arrows (PERFECT TRANSITION)
Stop the Fuckin’ Car
Through the Desert Alone
Always Getting What You Want (WHAT? Yeah, it was that good).
In the Morning and Amazing
and they finished with In Fear and Faith.
Needless to say, as a diehard Circa Survive fan, this was a fan-fuckin-tastic setlist (pardon my French, I rarely swear on this blog, but Circa Survive put on an amazing show). They’re consistently amazing, and yall should recognize!
Here’s a video from about where I was standing at this event:
[actual song starts at about 5:03, ha]
Yeah, outside. But still totally stoked. It was marvelous.
Another! Always Getting What You Want, a super deep cut. It was great to see live.
I think I might just do a write-up on Juturna tomorrow just because it’s far and away my favorite record ever penned.