LOL Gallery:

Who: Mike Herrera, Anberlin
What: The Final Tour
When & Where: 11/12/14, House of Blues; Boston, MA
ByEric Riley

For full gallery, click here!

Show Review:: Anberlin: The Final Tour.

Anberlin: The Final Tour
Anberlin, Mike Herrera
Boston, Massachusetts
November 12th, 2014.

I’m still having a bit of difficulty with starting this off, so I’m just going to start, and we’ll see where it goes from there.

I was a junior in high school when New Surrender was released. And I remember having my mother drive me to Wal-Mart that Tuesday so I could pick up my copy. I also remember that, up to this point, I had only ever purchased two albums from Wal-Mart (because my older brother had always warned me against doing so because of how harmful it was to artists etc. etc.) The first was Linkin Park’s Reanimation when I was eleven with some of my birthday money, and the other was when I found a copy of Ludo’s You’re Awful, I Love You in the $5 bin. BUT, to get back to my point, I bought New Surrender from Wal-Mart because the sticker said it came with bonus tracks. Which I obviously wanted. I’m only human.

Wednesday morning, as I woke up and packed up my camera bag and threw together an outfit, I packed that copy, along with a few others, into my bag for the ride into Boston. About a three-hour drive from my house to the House of Blues, it would have been a bit of an insult to not include it. After a trip down the MassPike, which doubled as a Cities/NS-soundtracked trip down Memory Lane, I parked and made my way over to Lansdowne Street. And an hour and a half before doors opened, the line stretched the entirety of the street, packed with fans whose love ranged from a decade old to those who were Lowborn newborns. The pair of girls standing behind me were one of each – the one on the right unsure if she should have come, worried that she wouldn’t know how to participate, with her friend assuring her that she’d be treated to a show she wouldn’t regret. I strongly sided with the latter.

So, to quickly retreat to my earlier rambling, for about a decade or so, there’s been a place in my heart for Anberlin. I won’t go as far as saying that they’ve been amongst my list of my diehard favorite bands, but they have always been in the top tier of artists. They were a band you rarely heard a bad word about. Their music was always consistently better than most, their live show was dominant and powerful, and, as I was lucky enough to find out last fall, they’re extremely nice guys, which is always a plus. And even now, on their way out, they leave on top.

The pair of opening acts, USA USA USA and Mike Herrera, were as varied as you could get. As this tour drew nearer and nearer, the openers started getting announced. A few shows (enviously) had Copeland as support, but aside from those nights, I didn’t see any openers listed for other nights, including this show. So, as the lights dimmed and I walked into the photo pit, preparing myself both emotionally and equipment-wise, I was a bit puzzled when only four people came onstage. Turns out there was support for the show, and it was treacherous. The first band, the aforementioned USA USA USA, was a very peculiar choice. In most aspects, they varied greatly from Anberlin – music style, performance, stage presence, and so on. Each song, including a cheap cover of “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” was a hormone-soaked homage to various women, with every break between filled with constant attempts to (I quote) “serenade and seduce” the females in attendance.  Though their set only clocked in at around 25-30 minutes, it was a torturous chunk of time to sit through – not only having to sit through an opener when you had believed that there wouldn’t be one, but to be subjected to one of this caliber. It was unexpected, odd, a bit uncomfortable and borderline creepy.


Luckily, the second surprise opener swiftly erased all of that. Mike Herrera, of MxPx fame, played a short acoustic set before Anberlin took the stage. Casual and playful, Herrera poked fun at himself a few times rather than taking himself too seriously, which proved a fatal error for the previous act. He jokingly apologized for being there, saying that even if he wasn’t playing, Anberlin still wouldn’t be onstage until 9:00 anyway. He focused on playing music rather than making a spectacle out of it. Though he did pause to talk to the crowd, his stories were short and upbeat and playful. He left the stage with a gracious “thank you” and a wave, rebuilding the energy in the room as the lights came back up.

So I’m aware that we’re pretty far into this and I haven’t even talked about Anberlin performing yet, and I’m pretty sorry for that. But, if you stuck it out this far, I appreciate it. Anyway.

At a little past 9:15, the chants started to grow while the crowd started pushing closer to the barricade. AN-BER-LIN, AN-BER-LIN, AN-BER-LIN. The room fell dark and the stage glowed blue. The band strolled on to the stage, with Christian following close behind. The end of the band became irrelevant for the next hour, because for the next hour, they were still there.


Much like they have been doing recently, there wasn’t much attention paid to Lowborn on Wednesday. The album’s introductory track “We Are Destroyer” was the only song from the album that found its way into the setlist, and it came relatively early on. Cities was the highest-represented, taking up 4 of the last 6 songs, including a gorgeous encore of (*Fin) that left the room in awe.

On a night packed with highlights, the band still managed to outdo themselves during “Godspeed,” “Breaking,” and a soft rendition of “The Unwinding Cable Car.” Early on, Christian found himself diving into the audience during “Paperthin Hymn,” only the third song of the night. “The Resistance” dipped in to the heavier side of the group’s catalog, while closer “Feel Good Drag” left fans voiceless. It was near the end of the night, during “Dismantle.Repair.,” when the band delivered arguably their best performance. After a handful of their fastest, loudest songs, bringing the show to a close with the 9-minute (*Fin) was not only a chance to catch our collective breath, but it was a way to say goodbye with one of the longest, biggest, most atmospheric and ambitious songs of Anberlin’s career.

I have been thinking about this write-up thing for a long time. Now, even with six months’ worth of warning, it still took me actually being there to come up with something. When the tour was first announced, I knew that it was going to be something different. I’ve seen plenty of bands who aren’t together anymore. But, it was always one of a couple of scenarios – sometimes it was a band I had never seen, which left me bothered that I missed out. Or it was a band I had seen, and called it quits later on, leaving me glad that I saw them when I had the chance. The splits were always announced after I had seen them, so I was always left with the feeling of “oh, well at least I saw them beforehand” rather than the anxious “this is the last I am seeing them” feeling that the farewell tour brought.

But, despite the uneasiness that came with the announcement of the group’s mortality, there was a sense of mutual understanding within the room throughout the evening. There was an endtime, and each person there knew it. The fans savored every second of the band’s set, channeling the mixed emotions of the evening to sing back each word with watery eyes and sore voices. Meanwhile, the band chose to speak sparingly. Addressing the audience at quick intervals throughout, it was clear the devotion and respect the fans gave were reciprocated and thorough. They made sure their thanks were brief, using their time to give the crowd everything they could, one last time.

We’ll miss you, Anberlin.
Thank you.
– er.


– Never Take Friendship Personal
– We Owe This to Ourselves
– Paperthin Hymn
– Self-Starter
– Glass to the Arson
– We Are Destroyer
– Someone Anyone
– Other Side
– (The Symphony of) Blasé
– Take Me (As You Found Me)
– The Unwinding Cable Car
– Impossible
– Breaking
– A Day Late
– Dismantle.Repair.
– Alexithymia
– The Resistance
– Godspeed
– Feel Good Drag 

– (*Fin)

Written by Eric Riley

Anberlin Releases New Track Off Upcoming Album, Lowborn

Anberlin has released their new track, “Hearing Voices,” which is available on iTunes now and can be purchased here! Last month, the band premiered the debut track off the album, “Stranger Ways,” which is currently being featured on

The bands upcoming and final album, Lowborn, will be released on July 22nd, and is available for pre-order on or

Anberlin To Release Last Album on June 23rd

After 12 years and six studio albums, Anberlin will be releasing their last album, lowborn, on June 23rd. The album is different from others since the band did not record it together. Instead, the musicians did their parts with separate producers they each selected. To make things even more interesting, this album brings the band full circle as lowborn will be released on Tooth & Nail, the first record label to which they were signed. 

The band recently released an exclusive track off the album, “Stranger Ways,” on which you can check out here!

Below you can find the album art and track listing for lowborn.

Track Listing:
1. We Are Destroyer
2. Armageddon
3. Stranger Ways
4. Velvet Covered Brick
5. Atonement
6. Birds Of Prey
7. Dissenter
8. Losing It All
9. Hearing Voices
10. Harbinger

Interview With:: Lydia

imagePhoto by Dirk Mai.

It’s mid-March – the 18th, a Tuesday, to be exact. 

I’m sitting in Providence, nearing the tail-end of a very hectic working vacation. I have an interview slot with the guys from Lydia in Boston in a few hours, set to talk all about their current Illuminate tour. As I sit in the living room of my brother’s apartment, packing my camera bag and tying up loose ends, I unexplainably fell sick and asleep. And that, I mean in the most literal forms – I got sick and fell, I ended up asleep, and I have no explanation. But things happen. So, being the great guys that they are, what was meant to be an in-person chat turned into a phone call.

So, now it’s near the end of March – the 25th, the next Tuesday, to be exact.

The band, made up of vocalist Leighton Antelman, bassist Matt Keller, and lead guitarist Justin Camacho, is in southern Florida, preparing for another sold-out night. Their 30-date headline run has made stops nationwide with fans coming out to celebrate the five-year anniversary of the acclaimed Illuminate. Though the tour was initially planned for the previous fall, Antelman told us that they chose to push it until early 2014, so both the tour and the music could get the attention they deserve.

“It’s an album that, to us, deserves special attention. It’s been nuts – the fans are so passionate about this record, and the openers have been great, too, and the whole tour itself has just been crazy,” he adds.

While the songs may be the same, the story is different this time around for Lydia. In the time since the album’s initial release in 2008, the band has endured significant lineup changes and took a substantial hiatus in 2010. Though there had been bumps along the road before, that hasn’t slowed their pace in recent months.

“We’ve always had the same rotating lineup that we’ve toured with from the start,” Antelman says, prompted with the question about if the members felt any uncertainty before bringing the band back from the dead. And by keeping the same members around, it’s given them a chance to breathe new life into old songs.

In order to solidify their new, current identity brought about with 2013’s return, Devil, the band has been taking a second look to update parts of Illuminate. “We’ve been playing the record as what the band is now – we aren’t trying to just regurgitate the same record. It’s still mostly the same, but we’re taking a few different approaches.” With this comes the potential of going too far, however. “Maybe we’ll add something here, extend this part there, play this part a bit differently, but we make sure to stay true to the original pieces, because that’s what the fans know and love. We don’t want kids coming out thinking we’ve changed everything on them.”

Changes or no changes, that doesn’t seem to be impeding fans’ interest, with the majority of the shows easily selling out. And when they show up, they’re being treated to a more prepared, refined Lydia. After spending the fall on the road opening for The Maine and Anberlin (on what would turn out to be one of the latter’s last tour runs, though Antelman assures that there was “nothing but positivity” coming from the Anberlin guys), Lydia gave 110% in preparing for their headlining anniversary, starting practices earlier than they would for a normal tour and practicing stricter, making sure to get everything right and give Illuminate the treatment it deserves. With some songs having not been played for a while (including “Sleep Well,” which he says has been great to play again), it makes sense to be paying extra attention to rehearsals.

So, with proven support from the fanbase, what can we expect next from Lydia?

“There’s been a lot of writing going on,” Antelman laughs, “we’re always writing, so we’ll take a few months off and really dive into the new music. We’re going to work on finishing up a new album, and hopefully we can get it out by the fall.”

And as if new music wasn’t good enough news, after a lengthy struggle over recording rights, the band recently revealed that Illuminate will finally be given a wax treatment in the near future.

After spending some time away, Lydia came back in full force and have been steadily regaining their footing within the music world. Since their return, it’s been a stretch of successful opening spots, a new record, a massive headlining tour in support of their definitive record, and the promise of even more new music on the horizon.

Just making up for time lost, I suppose.

Interview and article by Eric Riley.

Review:: New Again | The Press War

There are a handful of things that I really enjoy. Music, for starters. Obviously. And writing. And then there’s always that little place in my heart for good pop-punk. And I love Boston.
And now there’s this – The Press War; a pop-punk band from Boston with a brand new EP. Rad.
We added The Press War to our most recent compilation back in June, and rightfully so – their sound is a perfect fit for a playlist meant for summertime. And that sound, which combines the likenesses of The Starting Line, Motion City Soundtrack, and Anberlin into one, is present throughout the EP.

The first taste on the release, the sprint-paced “Pandering” is quick, bitter, and lashes out. The theme and tone follow through into “New Again.” The angst-y side ends quickly, as the positively-longing “Only You” begins abruptly and hugely – filled with soaring vocals surrounding a chugging bassline, clap-along drums, and trio of swirled guitars.
“Fault Lines” (which is track #5 on our compilation, just saying, for those who haven’t gotten it *cough* for free yet) is a fast-paced piece of pop/punk by the textbooks. Three and a half minutes, full of gang-vocal whoa-oh-ohs and the leftover story of someone leaving.
New Again concludes with the slowed “The End of the World Party,” a fitting finale for the EP. It starts calmly, and steadily builds throughout. It’s a safe bet to say that this is the band’s best performance on the release – it sounds very good, has a serious tone to it that pleasantly contrasts the feel and topics of the other tracks, and is an all-around good listen, finishing the EP with a plus.
Rating: 3/5
Runtime: 14:57
1. Pandering
2. New Again
3. Only You
4. Fault Lines
5. The End of the World Party
James Moody – Bass
Pat McDonald – Drums
Cedric Wager – Guitar
Chris Kinney – Guitar
Anthony Rainville – Vocals/Guitar

Written By: Eric Riley