Gig Review and Photography by Sophie Jones

Aberlin 1

In January 2014 Anberlin announced that they would be going there separate ways and recording their final album ‘Lowborn’. There’s no doubt, the band who have had such a presence in the music scene for the past 12 years will be going out on a high note, with an album so impressive, it will be remembered for years to come along with their legacy.

Tonight, here in Manchester they will be performing their 2nd date of their final UK tour here at the Manchester Club Academy along with support from Fort Hope and Natives.

Upon early arrival to the venue there are a mixture of fans all huddled into the same queue outside, going to see Anberlin and Kingston Road who were also playing at the venue. The Academy is not your usual gig venue. It is very clean and has a mixture of bars inside – not dissimilar to the student-learning hub. It has a very chilled laid back atmosphere.

Fort Hope 1

Fort Hope kicked the night off coming out on stage playing their latest track The Rapture off their latest album Courage.

400px x 400px - Fort Hope

Their set was very energetic and full of smiles from all the band members. They had the crowd singing along, and interacting with them all the way through, which created a great atmosphere.

Fort Hope

Even though they didn’t seem to have much of a following in the room everyone reacted positively towards them and personally I felt that their set wasn’t long enough and I would of like to of heard some more from these guys.

Natives 1

Natives got a great response from the crowd with their up beat catchy melodies. They really got people moving and at one point bizarrely had the whole room crouching down on the floor for them to then leap up when the beat dropped back in.

Natives 2

Throughout their whole set they held great interaction with the crowd getting them to create a point (triangular shape) as one which is featured on their album cover, so they could take a polaroid picture. After this Jim Thomas said whom ever got dancing would receive the Polaroid and surely enough after the next song they gave it to a member of the audience.

Natives 3

Overall their set was a mixture of catchy beats and a chilled acoustic track, which set a good pace for the evening, and afterwards the band came out and mingled amongst the fans and joined the rest of us to watch Anberlin.

Anberlin 2

Anberlin made their introduction at 9:45 with the crowd erupting into cheers and screams as they presented themselves on the stage. They started their set off with classic fan favourites Paperthin Hymm, King and Self Starter. After Self Starter a piece of paper came flying forward into the photo pit while Stephen spoke with the fans. One excitable fan screamed “look on the floor”. The piece of paper was filled with notes and Stephen joked with the crowd reading out a mobile number.

Anberlin 3

After the fast paced opening tracks Anberlin slowed things down mid set playing tracks like Symphony Of Biase, The Unwinding Cable Car and Other Side with the crowd singing every single word and pausing in all the right places. You could feel the emotion. It was evident that the fans didn’t want it to end and in return the band were overwhelmed with the response and the atmosphere in the room.

Anberlin 4

Stephen took the time to speak with the crowd and asked “is anyone in a band?” He then proceed to talk about not giving up and that one day your band could be the next Anberlin.

Finally it came to the end of their set, the band had gone off and the fans started cheering for the encore, with people chanting “ Anberlin Anberlin Anberlin”, “Don’t Go! Don’t Go!” Accompanied by clapping, stomping and all manners of noise.

Anberlin 5

The band took to the stage for what would be the final time in Manchester, The fans wanted to hear *Fin and had asked on Anberlin’s social sites for this to be their last song, as it was fitting for the end of there legacy. The band didn’t disappoint and gave thee fans what they wanted playing *Fin in full. After leaving the stage to even more chants of “please don’t go” this really was the end and a emotional bittersweet evening for all that attended.


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