My memories surrounding Anberlin’s fifth studio album, Dark is the Way, Light is a Place is kind of a mixed bag of emotions. While on one hand, I found the aggressive and darker tones to the music presented here as a nice change of pace from the brighter material that came before this, I couldn’t help but feel like some of the lyrics on this record were a tad too repetitive to connect with me on a deeper level. Anberlin worked on this record with veteran hit-maker Brendan O’Brien, and under his watchful eye, the band was able to create some of their best material as well. From the brilliant first single “Impossible” to the thoughtfully-crafted “Take Me (As You Found Me),” the band appeared to be hitting the right groove in the latter stages of their career. While some fans of the band regard this album as a rare misstep in the band’s evolution, I feel like Anberlin were at the cusp of something incredible during this moment in time. When asked about the possible impact of this record, Stephen Christian replied in one interview, “I feel like we’re on the brink of something…either world domination or destruction, but either way we’re on the brink.” By pushing themselves to the brink of creativity, the band have made an album that fits nicely into their storied discography.Read More “Anberlin – Dark Is the Way, Light Is a Place”
Chain Fest’s 2020 lineup has been announced. Jimmy Eat World and Taking Back Sunday are headlining and Circa Survive, Saves the Day, Anberlin, Glassjaw, Cartel, and Acceptance are also playing. The show will take place on May 23rd at the Fivepoint Amphitheater.
Christian is elated to return to Anberlin “with a revived passion.” This is on their terms with nobody breathing down their neck. “This feels so liberating,” he exclaims. “For the first time in probably eight years, I’m actually looking forward to a tour. We have already talked about quality of life. Sometimes you need to walk away and take time out or a break or a vacation so that life can talk to you. I think that money has a way of slaughtering the muse. It’s not just money – it’s responsibilities and mouths to feed. So many different dynamics are such a quick killer to the muse. And once she feels betrayed, it’s not easily accessible for some time. I just feel that sense of energy and electricity back in the air. That’s something that I haven’t felt in a long, long time.”
I’m honestly shocked. I remember reading this and everything else the band said when they did their final tour, and thinking they’d be one of the bands to never come back:
Honestly, we as Anberlin will never play another show. It would have to be such grandiose circumstances to change that, somebody sick, or something that’s just overwhelming that we couldn’t say no to. But I think it would take away from the legacy that we built, or tried to build anyway, as Anberlin, and I think it would take away from these shows if we were like “2018 we’re going to do a reunion!”
I think it’s kinda funny in hindsight that he mentioned 2018 specifically. Still, bring on more Anberlin! Guess it’s time to break out that discography again.
Update: Here’s a quote from the Underoath press release about this show:
“We’ve been playing shows in the Tampa area with Anberlin since we were basically kids,” Underoath said.”We knew them coming back to play this hometown show with us was a big ask — but it just felt right. We have said we couldn’t be more pumped to close out the ‘Erase Me’ tour with this show in our hometown. But we’ve been proven wrong.”
“All the Anberlin dudes reconnected over this last year, hung on the beach together, and then, when we got asked to play this show with Underoath, in our hometown, the answer was ‘yeah!,'” said Anberlin drummer Nathan Young. “I mean why wouldn’t we do that? Life is short and we should almost always say ‘yes’ to rad stuff. Plus, we’ve been homies with Underoath for 15-plus years. [Guitarist] Tim [McTague] is my brother-in-law and we’ve never played a proper show together. It’s just way overdue.”