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Live Review: Circa Survive, PVRIS

21 September 2015 | 11:23 am | Upasana Chatterjee

"Anthony Green prefaces the show with a chuckle and a 'this is gonna be fun' before his piercing vocals lead us into their first song."

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Breaking into a thumping intro for Fire, PVRIS plus a touring guitarist have their crowd in a frenzy already — this scribe wasn't aware the band had this level of sway Down Under at this early stage of their career. Ripping through Mirrors, Holy and Smoke, their groove-heavy alt-rock has the crowd moshing and singing along at all the right times and Lynn Gunn's voice is nothing short of big, brassy and compelling. When she's not tethered to her mic stand with her guitar, she ventures out to the edge of the stage to clasp hands with stoked fans. Going out with a bang, they invite Jenna McDougall of Tonight Alive, now with long blue-green braids, out to provide a second helping of female lead vocals for My House.

Despite what looks like a mass exodus after PVRIS, the Metro has packed out to nearly its former state. Circa Survive's Anthony Green prefaces the show with a chuckle and a "this is gonna be fun" before his piercing vocals lead us into their first song. Its atmospheric first half fails to incite anything but vague movement in the crowd, but once the song peaks a mosh breaks out and the five members are suddenly full of life. Echoing the spirituality he showed us during our interview with him, Green commands us to "let the rhythm take control", breaking into Holding Someone's Hair Back which effortlessly leads into In The Morning And Amazing.... In a stupor, Green constantly seems to motion for invisible musical notes to emit from his microphone, looking more like a witch doctor at times than a lead singer. He repeats "yes, indeed" at nothing in particular between songs, like some odd human cousin of Poe's Raven. Songs like Living Together and Schema go off with a venue-wide singalong, the former which Green explains is the band fulfilling a request from a fan, though he cheekily admits it was on the setlist already. The four-piece backing Green are focused and not privy to the banter Green's getting into (he serenades and proclaims his love for the "little handsome bearded boy in the second row"), but the wall of progressive sound they create is more than enough. In Fear And Faith is an oldie but a goodie, stirring many in the room to clap their hands and clamber up onto their neighbours' shoulders. For the beginning of their encore, Green picks up the lead guitar while Colin Frangicetto has his beer for a song Green calls "A Bouquet Of Rubbish", but it's Nesting Dolls — a total banger and the highlight of the set.