This is the show that got me fired up for Shaky Knees 2018. I was able to stop by the main festival for a little bit to catch some of Jimmy Eat World, Waxahatchee and Courtney Barnett, but this is what really set it off for me. I’ve been a huge fan of Circa Survive for the past 10+ years, falling in love with them the first time I heard their sophomore LP On Letting Go (sorry Juturna fans). That being said, as with many things in life, the fire can fade as we get older, find new interests or just forget what made us fall in love in the first place. When I first saw that Circa Survive was playing I was a little surprised, thinking the band was a little too out there for what I perceived as the target demographic for Shaky. This along with other bands that made up the 2018 lineup seemed like bands that would have been more likely to appear on the hopefully-to-be-resurrected-at-some-point Wrecking Ball festival hosted by The Masquerade. Although seeming slightly out of place I couldn’t have been more excited to have a wider range of my musical tastes represented by a larger festival.
When I got to the Late Night show on that Friday night hosted in the Hell room of The Masquerade’s relatively new location at Underground Atlanta, I was pleasantly surprised to see a PACKED room eagerly anticipating the start of Circa Survive’s performance. The audience politely responded and many thoroughly enjoyed The Sherlock’s opening performance, though some like myself were mostly just counting down the minutes. Finally the band came on stage, fronted by the ever enthusiastic and wild Anthony Green.
Within the first song the crowd had transformed from a densely packed group of people into a sea of bodies that were churning and roiling with activity. It had been a while (years) since I found myself at the center of such an active crowd, half shoving / half surfing across everyone who was pushing closer and closer to the stage. For a brief moment I was able to grasp Anthony’s hand and time seemed to stop.
Anthony himself was blown away by the enthusiasm and positive energy the room was full of, commenting on it several times throughout the night. They played a wide range of songs coming from On Letting Go, Blue Sky Noise and many off of their most recent release The Amulet. A personal favorite of mine, “Lustration” was performed with such accuracy and passion I could swear they’d been playing it for years.
Taken by @ashtonavocado
I know that a Juturna track or two made an appearance during their daytime performance on Saturday, but I can’t quite recall the full set-list from the amazing blur of energy and music from that Friday night. Not only did Circa Survive put on one of the best performances of the festival, but as a die-hard fan I believe it was one of the best performances and audience reactions of their career. It was a powerful reminder of the ability for music to connect people; to light a fire that pushes us to do and be a part of incredible things.
Taken by @colinboddyiam
Words and Photos (unless otherwise noted) by Jason Murray