Twelve years and seven albums. Let that sink in for a moment.
Twelve years ago, where were you? What were you doing? Just to give you an idea of where I was at: I was 11-years-old, living in small town Kansas as a 5th grader; a complete goober with big, BIG glasses and in need of braces (I got those a few years later, thanks mom!). I had never ever heard of Anberlin. It wasn’t until I stumbled across their sophomore record, Never Take Friendship Personal in 2005, that I completely fell in love with Stephen Christian’s unmatchable voice and the power behind his lyrics and those drums, those guitars. From that record on, I was hooked. And thinking back, I’m not sure who introduced the band to me or if I found them on MySpace or PureVolume or something but I’m so happy I caught on sooner than later.
The band that has been with me through middle and high school, in my teen and adult years, with me on long road-trips, restless nights, the band that my friends and I bonded over in college…That band is now saying, “Goodbye.” It’s sad, it’s bittersweet, not only for the fans but for each and every member of that band I saw kill it on stage tonight. The look in their eyes, their sincerity and gratefulness were pulling at my heartstrings (I wonder how many tears have been shed on this tour?).
Tonight, seeing this band one last time, was a moment all fans who have and will see this show will hold dear. As I stood off to the side, I looked back, out at the few thousand fans who were singing along to every word of every song, hands up high and grins ear-to-ear. Such a magical moment. Anberlin has been a part of all our lives in some way, shape or form and that’s why we were all in that room together, and watching the past 12 years, that chapter, close.. Saying, “farewell,” to Anberlin may seem devastating but we are left with dozens upon dozens of songs on records we can go back and play over and over again, for as long as we live. That is what’s beautiful. The bands we love can leave and we can still listen.
Anberlin, thanks for all the memories, the company your songs gave me and thanks for one hell of a final performance.