Sunday, November 16, 2008

Anberlin returns to DC at the 9:30 Club

By Angelyn Thornton

On November 2nd, a quartet of alternative indie rock bands took Washington, DC by storm at the 9:30 Club. The first of the lineup was the Orlando based band, There For Tomorrow, making their first appearance in DC as a group. The four-man ensemble opened with the crowd favorite “No More Room to Breathe” whose video, along with the band itself, is nominated in the Breaking Woodie category for best emerging artist at this year’s MTVU Woodie Awards.

Each member is only 19 or 20 years in age, but appearances can be deceiving. These boys each carried the stage presence with that of a seasoned rock veteran, lending itself to their polished performance. Throughout the set, There For Tomorrow demanded audience reaction and made a point to engage the crowd whenever possible.

For an up-and-coming band, there was a surprising number of vocal fans present to enthusiastically sing along with each number. The Floridian band wrapped up its set with their favorite, “Pages.” Before exiting stage Maika Maile, the band’s lead vocalist and guitarist, bid the crowd farewell with a “good night and stay real.” A very appropriate send-off for these down-to-earth, hard-working musicians.

Next to the stage was Straylight Run. The Long Island-based trio brought a completely different sound to the club with its heartbreaking lyrics and gravely yet emotional voice of lead vocalist, John Nolan. With a full length album released in 2007 and a new EP just released in September, Straylight Run has been keeping busy in and out of the studio. Nolan decided to forgo any excessive amounts of crowd interaction and the band just plugged away with song after song. The group’s set included standouts such as “Mistakes We Knew We Were Making”, “Existentialism on Prom Night” and “Try.”

The third group of the night was Scary Kids Scaring Kids, six hardcore rockers out of Arizona. With high-octane adrenaline sounds, SKSK brought the momentum up to head-banging level and was the first of the night to induce crowd surfing among the fans. Scary Kids Scaring Kids got the crowd going with hits such as “Deep End”, “My Darkest Hour” and “The City Sleeps In Flames.” Their performance at 9:30 club was their last in the U.S. before the band embarks on a 6-month tour overseas while working on their upcoming third full-length album.

The headliner of the show was Anberlin. These five Floridians took the stage to a venue packed to capacity with shoulder-to-shoulder fans. Stephen Christian, the band’s lead vocalist, took the initiative and repeatedly urged the crowd jump around and move with every song. With a bass line that shook you from the soles of your shoes to the top of your head, Anberlin played a larger-than-life set that included “Paperthin Hymn”, “Godspeed” and “The Unwinding Cable Car.” Though this Washington performance was one of the last few dates on the tour, Anberlin still had the pleasure of enjoying the success of their fourth studio album New Surrender, which was released September 30th.

For more information on these bands, please visit their official websites:

Official Website for There For Tomorrow
Official Website of Straylight Run
Official Website of Scary Kids Scaring Kids
Official Website of Anberlin