LIVE REVIEW: Circa Survive make a memorable, rare appearance in Newcastle, U.K.

Circa Survive by Kelly Hamilton

“We only come around here once every 10 years or so. We’ll take what we can get,” Circa Survive vocalist Anthony Green announces to the crowd a few songs into their 10-song set.

The turnout is somewhat smaller than the average that graces Newcastle, England’s O2 Academy 2 venue. Rather than audience members being squashed together as if packed into a sardine can, they’re dispersed with plenty of room to breathe around the room. However, those who are there are in full spirits for long-standing alt rock veterans Circa Survive. Though that may have something to do with the beers in their hands.

Onstage, the band work seamlessly together. Years of performances under their belts have made them pros at working a stage and keeping a crowd hooked. One fan in particular can’t get enough—Green calls him out mid-set for his erratic dancing throughout the first portion of tracks, and he finds out that his name is Tom. All the while people interrupt, yelling out every Circa track they can think to name, which is followed by a laugh from the stage.

“This is my worst nightmare,” Green says, shaking his head at the crowd below. “A crowd naming every single track that we’re… not going to play tonight.”

It begins a back-and-forth with the crowd, who laugh. The intimacy in number makes the show entirely more personal and allows for conversation to flow better. Easier. It’s more than just a live performance; it’s interaction that makes every single person feel like they are a part of the show rather than just a spectator.

Of course, the show must go on, and the band move through their set with revitalized renditions of old tracks like “In The Morning and Amazing…” and “Holding Someone’s Hair Back.” They also have a chance to showcase some songs from their most recent 2014 release, Descensus, with the likes of “Schema” and “Only The Sun.” Everything is well put together, like a machine they power through in stages, from laid back to controlled chaos. Though they admittedly don’t seem to come by that often, when they do come, they put on the best possible show.

Even as the band leave the stage after final track “Get Out”—no encore planned for the night at all—fans yell “one more song” because it’s something they genuinely want, not because it’s something they have to do. It’s an effect not many bands can have on their audience and also why it’s a shame Circa don’t visit as often as the audience in Newcastle would seemingly like. Regardless, the atmosphere they create and performance they give will leave a lasting effect on all who attend, making a satisfying and all-around memorable experience.