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Welcome Back Concert

There’s something about the up-tempo rhythms, harsh guitar riffs and airy vocals that keep an audience warm and satisfied through the cold weather.

Circa Survive warms up Kendall Hall. (Lianna Lazur/Photo Editor)

While it snowed on Friday, Jan. 25, bands Circa Survive and Maps & Atlases played for students at the College Union Board’s Welcome Back Concert.

Circa Survive, led by former Saosin vocalist Anthony Green, started off with a shrill, head-pounding bit off of their independently released album “Violent Waves” called “Birth of the Economic Hit Man.”

Green and band member Brendan Ekstrom opened up before the concert about what it meant to sell the record independently from their former record company. Pleasantly surprised by the immediate success of the album, Green attributed this achievement to their loyal fans.

“It’s a little bit of an anomaly,” he said, “In an age where you want to get everything right away, always searching for the next thing, we’ve managed to not get thrown away by the people that really care about us.”

Just a few minutes into the concert, it was clear how seamlessly Green’s poignant vocals meld with the band’s smooth guitar riffs and pounding percussion to reel the audience in.

Outside of his characteristically high-pitched voice, Green also sported a unique tattoo of a “hobo stamp,” which appears on much of the band’s merchandise. According to Green, these stamps are placed on buildings and signs across the country to warn the homeless of certain dangers — or, in this case, to welcome them.

“(It’s) supposed to be a cot and a table,” Green said of the tattoo displayed on his shaved scalp. “And if you see this you know you’re going to get food and you’ll be safe.”

It’s no wonder then why such a welcoming group, even through the process of changing record labels, was able to maintain a steady fan base.

Long-time Circa followers, sophomore math major Ryan Manheimer and junior mechanical engineering major Brandon Schiff, musicians themselves, explained what they like most about the band’s music — their progressive rock or “prog rock” style.

“I really like that they don’t use standard pop rock beats,” Manheimer said, explaining instead that the band’s compilations are “very intricate.”

The self-acclaimed “zesty” indie band wooed its audience with funky guitar-picking, elaborate percussion solos and dynamic sound bites.
But to both bands that performed last week, it is not all about the performance.

In fact, it seems that it is less about the pomp and circumstance and much more about the audience.

“A lot of it is about connecting with people,” said lead singer and guitarist of Maps & Atlases, Dave Davison, explaining that he found his aptitude for the musical arts when he discovered them to be “a means of communicating and connecting with people.”


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