It’s hard to believe that I’ve been a fan of Anthony Green for 12 years now and have never gone to any of his solo shows. I’ve seen Circa Survive a ton of times, and even Saosin and the Sound of Animals Fighting. But never just Anthony.
Henry and I actually had a mild argument over this when he was driving me to Mr. Small’s last Thursday, because even he was like, “No, that’s ridiculous and you must be wrong.”
But then he remembered how relieved he was to be depositing me on a curb and then driving off into the sunset (wait, what direction does the sun set…) with Chooch. I think they went to Taco Bell and then probably back home where they sat around in their underwear until it was time to come back to Millvale and pick me up.
The rest of the evening was full of beautiful music, but very little drama, so I’m afraid that this recap might be a little bland. I didn’t hate anyone there! No one made me angry! I had very little interactions with anyone other than the fancy-shirted bartender from whom I bought my obligatory nerve-numbing Angry Orchard and a few shared smiles with the other Solo Girl who was standing next to me for the entire show.
I considered talking to her at one point but then remembered how lame I sound in these moments.
Anyway, only three bands for this show! Secret Space started a few minutes after I arrived. I took my favorite spot along the right side of the stage and then did that thing where I pretend to be invisible.
I’ve never listened to Secret Space before and didn’t get a change to even give their bio a cursory glance before Thursday. So, they ended up being great! Just a really nice, pop-rock experience. The singer was pretty entertaining between songs, and I wonder how much of that affected my overall opinion. I feel like the music didn’t really grab me until the banter got my attention, but in any case — I thought they were great….
…just not as great as Mat Kerekes, who was next! Full disclosure, when I saw that he was one of the openers for this show, that was when I really knew I needed to get a ticket. Mat is the singer of Citizen, and I love Citizen so much, I wish I could squish them against my chest until their eyes bulge.
Oh shit, Mat was so personable and I wasn’t expecting that! He doesn’t talk much at Citizen shows so I guess I thought this was going to be some serious, somber shit, I don’t know, but he is so hilarious and irreverent!
He played one of my favorite Citizen songs, “Sleep,” and then Anthony came out and joined at one point too and of course everyone, even the boys, screamed their faces off, like we weren’t about to see Anthony later for 90 minutes straight.
I kept sending Henry pictures and videos in between sets and he was like, “I don’t care. That’s why I’m not there.”
Boo, Henry. Just boo.
Anthony came out around 9:30 and we all just went nuts. He has got to be, out of every band I’m into, the most charismatic musician I’ve ever seen in person. I have left Circa Survive shows feeling like I just worshiped in the coolest fucking church this side of SAINT GERMAIN AND THE VIOLET FLAME. (Seriously, I’m obsessed with this now thanks to GAYLE.)
I wept, I laughed, I cried. It was wonderful. Anthony is such a fucking delight. And he has overcome so much to be able to still take these stages and heal us.
He said the last time he performed solo in Pittsburgh was four years ago when he was touring in support of his Young Legs album, and that the show he played there at Mr. Small’s was the most fucked up he’s ever been.
Of course, there were people who cheered about this.
“No, don’t applaud that! That’s not cool!” Anthony said. “I was such an asshole that night! I spent the whole time talking in a Bane voice and then I got in a fight with some kid and stormed off the stage. If you were at that show, I’m sorry. And thank you for still coming out to see me.”
I was pretty much choking on tears by this point, because his struggle with heroin has been ongoing since I started listening to Circa Survive all those years ago, and his wife has stuck by him through it all. His album Pixie Queen is about that.
I remember seeing Circa Survive once in 2008 (when they opened for Thrice, coincidentally!) and Anthony just seemed like a mess. I think he was laying on the stage through their whole set and at one point I turned to Henry and said, “OMG is he going to die? I don’t want him to die.”
It felt good to stand there and scream. And to laugh. And to cry. But mostly it felt good to just smile because that’s something that I hadn’t been doing much last week.
Thank you for being you, Anthony.
Recently, I was thinking about how sad I was when I was unable to go to very many shows. Like, I’d see the announcements for bands I liked and then sigh when I saw it was a week night and I couldn’t go because I worked until 9pm & it was a lot more difficult for me to take a day off then.
Or before that when I wasn’t working at all and we just couldn’t afford it. I was lucky if I went to three shows a year then. And I didn’t realize until recently how much of a negative impact that had on me, to love music so much but have to miss out on so many of those experiences.
My mom texted me a link the other night about how people who go to a lot of concerts generally have happier lives and I started to laugh because I had literally just left the Thrice show when I got her text. And it’s true – I can promise you that Henry and I fight a lot less and I don’t feel like I’m sinking in a pit of burning quicksand.
Well, not as much as I used to, anyway.
That being said, I was almost unable to go to the Anthony Green solo show on Thursday because of a last minute shift change and I was ready to raise hell but then everything was fine and I made it to the show and I felt like a thousand pounds of suck had been lifted from my dumb, slumped shoulders.
It was a good reminder not to take these things for granted. To keep going to as many shows as I can because who knows how much longer this will last.
I want to be able to keep paying for concert tickets, not therapy bills.
It was pouring down rain by the time the show ended, and that felt kind of perfect. I found Henry and Chooch, sitting down the street in the parked car, looking like creeps, and I rambled the whole way home about how magical Anthony is.
They didn’t care.
I finally managed to get to a point where I can not just tolerate going to shows alone, but I actually enjoy it (don’t think too much into that, Henry!). However, I like when Henry goes with me and then for weeks, I can say things like, “REMEMBER WHEN WE SAW BASEMENT AND ALEX LOOKED SO ADORABLE?!” and Henry will just mumble, “….I guess.”