Finch w/ The Almost
When: March 7th, 2013
Grade: 4.5 out of 5 meatballs
Reviewed and photographed by: Neil Miller, Jr.
Ten years ago, Finch released an album that seemed poised to rearrange the face of rock music whether we were ready for it or not. What It Is to Burn is one of those albums that changed lives: it was extremely well produced, the relatable lyrics hit home to anyone susceptible to feeling a connection with music, and the band couldn’t be pigeonholed no matter how hard critics would try. But this was also to the band’s detriment; Finch were too hardcore for the emo or alternative rock snobs and too melodic for the hardcore "scene" kids. After another impressive album and a few one-off single and EP releases, Finch sadly fizzled out... only to return to the road for the 10-year anniversary of that memorable album.
As a rock music fanatic, I was just as excited to see Aaron Gillespie’s The Almost as I was to see the temporarily reunited Finch... but alas, traffic prevented me from seeing most of their opening set. With that said, the last few songs were all I needed to form a solid opinion of The Almost in a live format: if you’re looking for a tried-and-true, no frills rock band with solid hooks and adrenaline-charged vocals, look no further. These guys sounded so good and had such a rich, multi-layered guitar sound that even Billy Corgan should be taking notes from them. Thankfully, we just may get to see The Almost onstage again in the near future as their new album, Fear Inside Our Bones, is due out on April 7th (check out the video for the first single, “Ghosts,” here).
photo by Neil Miller Jr.
Once Finch took the stage, the anticipation in the room grew so thick, you could’ve cut it with a knife. We all knew what the setlist was going to be since they’re performing What It Is to Burn to honor its 10th anniversary, but none of us knew just how tight the band was going to sound. If ever I’ve heard a band that time has been kind to, it’s undoubtedly Finch. The guys sounded like they’d been touring nonstop for the last 10 years, and this set was a piece of cake (with the exception of one false start when a guitar cable had to be replaced). To call this show bittersweet would simply be selling the band short. It’s safe to say that the world would be better off with a new Finch record with a tour to follow. The band certainly has maintained itself well enough over the years, even through being defunct, to handle such an undertaking.
photo by Neil Miller Jr.
The band performed the entirety of What It Is to Burn with a few other fan favorites (like my personal favorite Finch cut, “Worms of the Earth”) and were in absolute top form, especially vocalist Nate Barcalow, who sounded as if he was ready to kick Finch back into high gear. He may have his own projects going on (check out Reverend Crow if you have a minute), and it may have been a poignant evening, but with a lineup featuring The Almost AND Finch, how could you not have a good time? Both bands didn’t disappoint, and if I could, I’d see the show 10 more times — yes, one for each year that’s passed since the release of What It Is to Burn. Hopefully this tour knocks enough sense into Finch that they’ll stay together and make that a possibility, but my ears will be planted to the ground for another chance to see The Almost live until then.