Anberlin Final Tour – Tab, Singapore
After twelve years of making music for all the angsty/heartbroken teenagers generations past and present, Anberlin are finally disbanding. To bid farewell, they’re in the midst of their final tour, and Something You Said’s Desmond Chan could hardly contain his excitement when he found out that they’d be playing on Singapore’s shores one last time:
Mixed in with the immense excitement was a heavy dose of nostalgia and teary-eyed joy. It was a strange concert because in so many ways, it would make you so happy and so sad all at once. And the hardest breakup must be breaking up with the band who wrote the soundtrack of so many breakups and teenage heartaches.
The night began in pretty epic fashion: as Anberlin launched into their very first track, guitarist Christian McAlhaney cut his nose on his mic and had a pretty massive gash. But that did not stop him nor the band, in the same way the crowd never stopped in their incessant love and adoration for the band.
As they powered through their old classics, I was transported back in time, back to when I was 14, young, foolish and without a care in the world. Anberlin soundtracked so much of my formative years being angsty and emo, and it felt so surreal to be listening to these songs again. An early highlight for me was Naive Orleans, a song i did not expect to hear. Throughout the set, too many times did I exclaim: “gosh it feels like i’m fourteen all over again”.
However, the truth is that watching Anberlin at 24 years of age is an undeniably strange experience. I’ve of course grown up since then, and have lost touch with their newer material, and this sort of music in general. The songs don’t resonate the way they used to. It was then slightly unnerving to hear (and see) a much younger generation of kids singing and bobbing. Thankfully I had a flask of whiskey to tide through some of these less familiar songs.
And the crowd was quite typical of many Singaporean gigs, with too many people there who know too few of the band’s songs. Personally, it was such a liberating experience to be in the middle of the mosh pit (albeit a really tiny group of maybe 12 of us – hardcore classic Anberlin fans). We must have looked like such insolent fools, getting all sorts of strange looks moshing out to A Day Late, Feel Good Drag and some of the older songs. But i didnt care. None of us did. We were there to mosh, to rock out, and I suspect we were all having too much fun reliving the good ol times.
It was a night of inevitable end, and both the band and the crowd knew it. The set was peppered with heartfelt thank you, sincere dedications and an endless outpouring of love and sorrow. And at this point it is only too appropriate that the song that best describes this is an Anberlin song, Inevitable:
I wanna break every clock The hands of time could never move again We could stay in this moment (stay in this moment) For the rest of our lives
I am sure that was how every single person in that small venue was feeling. Fitting too that the band ended the gig with *(fin), a song laden with heartbreaking lyrics and emotional melodies. After the set ended, the organisers had prepared and thus screened a really heartwarming video of local fans paying their tributes to the band and expressing what Anberlin’s music meant to their lives. But the concert came to its inevitable close, and so did many a chapter in all our various lives.
A day later (geddit, geddit), my ears are still spinning, my head still pounding and my heart still melting. Thank you Anberlin for this farewell tour, for an amazing concert and for bringing back so many memories. This was their finally hurrah, and it was everything I wanted and more. The band may no longer be together, but their music will always live on, if only in my rose-tinted memories of my teenage years.
Review by Desmond Chan