It was Boston’s turn to say goodbye to Anberlin on Nov. 12.
Anberlin, a Christian alternative rock band, performed at House of Blues as part of their final tour, and they didn’t disappoint. The band came out to a roaring crowd that had followed them for twelve years.
While it is the front-man’s job to engage the audience and sing every note with clarity and beauty – which singer Stephen Christian accomplished flawlessly – the other group members seemed to have the same strong presence on stage. Lead guitarist Joseph Milligan had charisma on stage, as well as rhythm guitarist Cristian McAlhaney. Bassist Deon Rexroat sang along with every song and seemed the most energetic from beginning to end of the performance. Drummer Nathan Young, sans shirt, executed his job with great precision and force.
Christian thanked the audience repeatedly between songs, garnering screams, whistling, and impatient anticipation for the next song on the set list. Despite releasing their last album, Lowborn, on July 22, 2014, the band avoided all ten songs on the album. Instead, Anberlin gave their fans the “greatest hits” as their farewell, starting the show off with “Never Take Friendship Personal” from their 2005 album.
When Christian let the crowd sing the chorus of “The Unwinding Cable Car,” everyone chanted the lyrics in unison, creating a rich atmosphere of community and friendship with a band that is already surely missed. After hearing the band’s most adored songs, like “Impossible,” “Glass to the Arson,” and “Feel Good Drag,” the audience seemed to have no complaints, with the exception of wanting even more songs.
The most befitting part of the whole concert came at the encore, when the band played “(*Fin),” the last track on one of their most popular albums, Cities. The audience lifted their hands together to display Anberlin’s emblem: one finger crossed under the other. Shivers raced up everyone’s spines when the song came to an end, not only signifying the end of the concert, but the end of Anberlin.
The concert openers were Mike Herrera (who played a little bit longer than the antsy audience wanted) and U.S.A. U.S.A. U.S.A. The warm-up bands were enjoyable, but definitely overshadowed by the incredible hype of the main act, as most warm-up bands are.
That Wednesday night, a family congregated together for one last time. There was an impressive mosh pit and everyone sang aloud to every song. Nostalgia was in the air, as well as a sense of sadness despite how happy Anberlin was the entire show. Gratitude is the best word to describe how the band felt on their final night in Boston, and the same goes for the fans seeing them out.