Finch at Warehouse Live, 10/23/2013
Photos by Cory Garcia
Warehouse Live - Studio
October 23, 2013
Nostalgia is a funny thing.
As someone who writes about music, I'm inclined to believe that the trend of bands going out and playing their big records live is a bad one. Not that I don't want fans to get what they want, just my brain thinks these tours are lazy cash-grabs. As a fan, I love them, and the only thing my heart wants to know is when The Get Up Kids will give in and do a Something to Write Home About tour.
So if the idea of a band as small as Finch hitting the road to play an album that peaked at No. 99 on the Billboard 200 sounds ludicrous to you, I understand. I wouldn't even call you a cynic for wondering if the show would be any good.
The thing is, What It Is to Burn is an easy album to fall in love with if you like that style of sad-sack post-hardcore. It's got songs that stick with you, even if you haven't listened to them in years.
They're also really fun to scream out loud, especially when you're on a nostalgia high.
Playing an album live takes the guesswork out of the live music enjoyment equation. Fans don't have to worry if the band is going to play certain songs, and they don't have to go through those odd lulls waiting to find out what's next on the set list. They know the songs, they know what order they're coming in, and as such they can stop wondering and give in to the music.
And give in they did. "New Beginnings" starts off the album and therefore started off the show, and right from the start the fans were in to it, arms raised up, words sung out loud.
To their credit, the band was in good form. They perform like a band that hasn't played the exact same show dozens of times, one that seems happy to be playing the songs and not burdened by them. That excitement wasn't just limited to the stage; more than just the standard "front man gets on the barrier to get close to the crowd" move. At one point guitarist Randy Strohmeyer ended up in the mosh pit with the fans, rocking out alongside them.
So "mosh pit" isn't a phrase I've had to use in a review in forever (if ever), but in the spirit of nostalgia a group of fans went all in, digging up their best old-school moves and putting them out on the dance floor. There were windmills and circle pits, a giant four-man slow dance during "Ender," one brave soul who did a handstand into the crowd, and a few people doing what I believe was a variation of the Russian flower dance from Fantasia.
It was a fun crowd, one that was willing to fully embrace getting to hear the songs that had worked a way in to their heart. They screamed right back at singer Nate Barcalow, who ten years later still has the vocal chops to pull off the melodies and the screams the album features.
It was a late show, but the fans who sat through all three opening acts were with the band until the very end. The band delivered, from the opening guitar lines of "New Beginnings" to the final cathartic screams of "What It Is to Burn." If you're a fan, it's a dream type of show.
Review continues on the next page.