Last spring, we saw one of our favorite bands, Anathallo, play a show at the Billiken Club in St. Louis. At the time, we were impressed with the way the band incorporated the energy of the crowd into their set and invited everybody to participate in their performance by clapping, dancing, or singing along. This past weekend we saw them play again, this time at Schuba’s in Chicago. The venue was packed and Anathallo played well, but we weren’t thoroughly impressed with the overall show. Anathallo always puts on an amazing live concert, and this time was no exception, but we’ve found (especially with Anathallo) that audience participation is integral for a great show. We did our part by grooving, stomping and shouting, but besides our little group of friends at the back of the room, the crowd seemed dead. Perhaps it was because the band played so many songs off their forthcoming album “Canopy Glow” and few people knew the words, or maybe it was just because there were too many hipsters there who were too cool to dance. In any case, despite Anathallo’s epic songs utilizing full-band vocals, obscure instrumentation, and auxiliary percussion, the rest of the crowd failed to do their part. After discussing the show over bottomless coffee and greasy diner food the next morning, we concluded that Anathallo’s performance was great but the crowd was no good. It’s upsetting that something like that could lead to such disappointment, but it’s a good reminder that the best shows are the ones where everybody is dancing because they can’t help it. We were excited to hear that Anathallo is planning a full U.S. tour for the spring, so if they come anywhere remotely close to Greenville, we hope to see you there. Hopefully, next time they’ll engage the crowd beyond the point of just listening, but I guess that’s partly up to us.
-Dav Timm, Dave Laws, Sophomore