It finally happened. After buying my tickets in June, I saw my favorite band, Balance and Composure, play a headlining set at the Heirloom Arts Theatre in Danbury.
I first saw the band open for Title Fight in October of last year and I thought that their live show was incredible, so hearing that they were doing a full US headliner, I lost it. My girlfriend and I snagged tickets as soon as possible and (not so) patiently waited for Oct. 3 to see our favorite band play without the half hour constraint of being an opener.
After driving for an hour or so out to Danbury, we arrived shortly before the show opened with Philadelphia’s Creepoid. Armed with some very odd instruments—I’ve never seen a bass like the one vocalist Anna Troxell wields—they showcased their unique brand of Psychadelc-shoegazey-grunge-pop to a generally positive response.
I found myself really enjoying their stage presence, especially considering the technical difficulties that plagued the beginning of their set. After replacing one of the vocalist’s microphones, the band finished their set without a problem. The band has been on the road nonstop for three tours—the equivalent of almost 80 shows—and they dealt with the issue like champs.
Seahaven played next, and though I’ve never really been a big fan of them, they blew me away with their live set. They played with a vigor that is too often given up by openers who just seem to be going through the motions, especially in cases like Friday, when it’s the second to last show of a tour. Vocalist Kyle Soto’s voice, which I have previously found annoying, was gloriously worn in, to the point where his voice had a Cobain-esque rasp to it. As a result of seeing them live, I’m in the process of revisiting Seahaven’s catalog and finding myself really, really liking it. That right there is the power of live music.
Finally, Balance and Composure took the stage, with a giant backdrop based on the ghost theme of their latest album, The Things We Think We’re Missing, and an oil lamp projection providing a cool lighting effect, the band ripped through a 15 song set (plus an encore) with the energy and finesse they’re now known for.
Vocalist Jon Simmons was on point the entire night, showing off his chops as frontman. Being a three-guitar band, Balance brought an absolute wall of sound which, I think, can only be rivaled by fellow PA rockers, Superheaven, whom I saw this summer opening for UK band Basement. Bailey Van Ellis, Balance and Composure’s drummer, kept the energy rolling through the entire set, never faltering or losing time, contributing to a stellar performance by the group as a whole. There was a fair amount of fan interaction, with a handful of stagedivers, a lot of finger-pointing and a very loud crowd.
While the band mostly skipped fan favorites such as “I Tore You Apart in my Head” off of 2011’s Separation, their set was a fantastic balance of old and new, and proved that this band is beyond worthy of headlining their own tours.