Photos + Review: ’68, Copeland, and Anberlin at The Ritz Ybor (Tampa, FL)

68 (Atlanta, GA), Copeland (Lakeland, FL), and Anberlin (FL)
November 25th, 2014
The Ritz Ybor in Tampa, Florida

Anberlin’s Final Tour came to an end in their home state of Florida last night folks.  Fans from all over the place (myself included) made the trip out to catch the band one last time.  I caught their 2nd to last show out in Tampa at The Ritz Ybor and nobody not even all of that rain could place a damper on the incredible night.  For starters, the lineup was impeccable.  I mean they had ’68 and Copeland as support, COME ON.

If you haven’t heard of ’68 you’re dropping the ball, seriously.  These guys are better than your new favorite band, I promise.  The duo comprised of Josh Scogin (yup!) and Michael McClellan are a force to be reckoned with, especially on stage.  Within seconds these guys are in your face and all over the place jamming out in the best way.  It’s not just rad music you get with ’68 you get a hell of a show too.  Scogin’s guitar got some crazy air during the show as well as some interesting play time when McClellan used it as a percussion instrument too.  If that doesn’t spark your interest, there’s also the comedic aspect to the show.   These guys are hilarious, the banter is on point and they even took the time to mess with some of the photographers in the pit. I haven’t enjoyed seeing a band this much in a while.  ’68 is a breath of fresh air in a scene that at times is all too similar. I cannot wait to catch these guys again on my own CA turf.  Also, please enjoy this GIF I  made of Josh Scogin from the show.

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I was anxiously awaiting Copeland’s set.  After catching their album release show in Orlando on Sunday I was super stoked to get to see them one last time before heading home.   I didn’t cry like I did on Sunday so I was proud of myself for that already.  They started their set with “I Can Make You Feel Young Again” off the gem that is Ixora.  Then they went straight into “Chin Up” and “The Grey Man” off of You Are My Sunshine.  The crowd’s singing filled the room and it was so so nice. The rest of their set list went way back for those Copeland die hard fans and included “You Have My Attention,” “Coffee,” and “I’m A Sucker For a Kind Word” among others before hitting a few more songs off of Ixora.  I’m still pinching myself over how excellent their set was.  I am just so happy that they’re back.

Finally Anberlin, the band of the hour hit the stage running and full of energy as always.  They went straight into “Paperthin Hymn” and the crowd went wild.  Even though I was in a different state with a room full of different people it’s really awesome that some things don’t change at an Anberlin show regardless of location.  Their crowds are always crazy lively.  They always perform extremely well.  Their shows are always farewell-status great.  It’s like they play each show like it’s their last every time.  The crowd stayed in motion throughout the night and it seemed Anberlin’s setlist was catered to do just that.  The crowd and the band matched each other’s energy the entire night, it was beautiful.  Even in the slower songs like “(The Symphone of) Blase” the crowd swayed and sang even when frontman Stephen Christian wasn’t holding the mic out into the crowd.  I totally thought that Aaaron Marsh would come out and sing on “The Unwinding Cable Car” but it didn’t happen and it hardly mattered, the crowd filled in beautifully.  Eventually the “this is the last time I’m ever going to experience this” thought runs through your head.  With farewell shows it’s always so hard to choose between savoring each moment and letting the music carry you away, you know, more than usual.  It seemed the majority of the room (myself included) chose the latter.  Anberlin had been announcing their departure for a while now so technically we all had plenty of time to process and prepare for the situation.  But I wasn’t ready to hear their songs live for the last time.  Anberlin has been such a huge staple in so many people’s lives that it truly feels like a huge loss.  However, it is understandable.  For years these guys gave us so many good times, songs, and memories it’s hard to be anything but grateful after a show like theirs.  They are brilliant.  Thank you Anberlin, for everything.

Setlist:

Paperthin Hymn
We Owe This To Ourselves
Never Take Friendship Personal
Self-Starter
Glass to the Arson
We Are Destroyer
Someone Anyone
Other Side
(The Symphony of) Blase
Take Me (As You Found Me)
The Unwinding Cable Car
Inevitable
Dance, Dance Christa Paffgen
Impossible
A Day Late
Time & Confusion
A Whisper & A Clamor
Dismantle.Repair.
The Resistance
Godspeed
Feel Good Drag
———————-
(*Fin)

Thoughts?

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