A musical potpourri of alternative, punk, and pop rock, Anberlin has been a band for over a decade. Naturally, when they revealed that they were breaking up, many fans were heartbroken. “It’s just time, when you know that time has come you just gotta go with it,” the band proclaimed in their announcement video on YouTube earlier this year. Being a fan of theirs for a little over six years, I was devastated. But after some contemplation, I was able to understand their reasoning. This was the setting when Anberlin took the stage at the House of Blues last Wednesday night.
A frigid and windy night opened with the warm and nostalgic sound produced by the opening act, Mike Herrera, formerly of MxPx. He enthusiastically engaged the crowd with his witty lyrics and acoustic sound - a signature sound that leans on americana, punk, and pop. After concluding with a cover of the Rancid song “Olympia W.A.,” he proceeded stage left to well-deserved applause.
Anberlin took the stage to raucous applause and hysterical yelling to plunge into their second single “Paperthin Hymn” from their 2006 masterpiece album, Never Take Friendship Personal. As always their crowd was engaged throughout the entire performance yelling out every lyric and moving around with joyful abandon. A night of laughter, love, and happiness included singing Happy Birthday to Eddie Reyes of Taking Back Sunday,who, according to Stephen Christian, was somewhere in the crowd. Midset, Mike Herrera took over the stage for a rendition of the MxPx song, “Responsibility,” with songs throughout their entire discography.
However, even considering all that had taken place, the pinnacle of the night would have to be when Anberlin performed one of my all-time favorite songs, “The Unwinding Cable Car,” in the middle of their set. After the bridge, Stephen turned the microphone to the audience and asked us to sing the final chorus ourselves. After considering how much Anberlin has meant to all of us throughout the years, I couldn’t help but notice a few teary eyes in the crowd. The night was brought to an end with the inclusion of rarely played gems such as “A Day Late” and “The Resistence” and the ultimate culmination of the set with Cities’ “(*Fin).”
Just like that, Anberlin’s history in Cleveland was brought to a close. In their wake, they left many grateful fans and dear memories that will stay with me for the rest of my life. Anberlin truly was a rare breed – a band that refused to be pigeon-holed in one genre and gave listeners the feel good experience of a lifetime. Gone, but not forgotten, Anberlin will live on in our hearts for eternity.