Venue: TAB @ Orchard, Singapore
Date: 12th September 2014
Promoter: Upsurge Productions
Review by: Maisha G.
Special Thanks: Mae, and the Upsurge Productions team
Photos by Dawn Chua, Muhd Haziq, and Aloysius Lim, courtesy of Upsurge Productions

Like many say, all good or great things must come to an end someday, somehow. But this year, it has been especially hard to fathom the news of such a great band going their separate ways. Unlike many, they wanted to create a mutual understanding between the fans as to why they made the decision, and not leave any fans hanging. Anberlin, the well spoken band of the night, gave us a a perfect last performance before finally calling it a day and Singapore had that chance, all thanks to Upsurge Productions for bringing them over.

I remember 2009, the year when I was taking my major exams and was pretty much stressed out of my head and a group of my friends called me out to catch an international band that was playing at Baybeats that time so I said, why not? I recalled having to stand near the river, circling around the Esplanade Outdoor Stage. That was the first time I came to know about Anberlin and even since then, “Paperthin Hymn” became a daily ritual song; I can’t go a day without listening to that number. I never really kept up with Anberlin throughout the years until I was slammed with the news of their breakup and I was taken into a flashback ride of the yesteryears.

Anberlin by Aloysius Lim for Upsurge Productions
Photo by Aloysius Lim/Upsurge Productions

So I thought maybe catching them this last time would bring back all the good memories from the past five years, and true enough, it did. And the night started with a blast as all of us were greeted with the ever so welcoming song; “Paperthin Hymn”. I found myself singing along to it subconsciously and there was this sudden pang through my heart, like a jolt of memories which came rushing in my head. I was singing to every last bit of the lyrics of the song. It felt surreal. I felt 19 all over again and it felt like I was right at where I stood five years ago at the Esplanade Outdoor Stage, watching them killing it on stage.

Anberlin by Dawn Chua for Upsurge Productions
Photo by Dawn Chua/Upsurge Productions

Echoes of voices were heard across the venue as the band played song after song,with the crowd roaring louder and louder as the night transpired. It became very hard to take it all in, that we’d might never hear from this band ever again. That this band, is finally going their separate ways. We were graced with “Feel Good Drag”, “Time and Confusion”, and the crowd’s favourite of “The Unwinding Cable Car”. The crowd went almost mental as we sang word for word to the song without tripping and Stephen, the frontman of the band was in awe from what I could see from where I was standing.

Anberlin by Muhd Haziq for Upsurge Productions
Photo by Muhd Haziq/Upsurge Productions

The song that took the cake for the night was “(*Fin)”. It was a perfect yet painful ending as you hear the crowd sobbing and choking in tears. Hands were raised up in the air as we bade farewell to the band we had the pleasure to spend the night with. Some may have spent all throughout their years with Anberlin, growing up with this band as their songs represent the different phases of lives that the fans went through. The song that hit me hard was “Never Take Friendship Personal”, though. It was a great takeaway for the night that definitely will be remembered for a long time to come.

Anberlin by Aloysius Lim for Upsurge Productions
Photo by Aloysius Lim/Upsurge Productions

The show wasn’t over just then. The band was surprised with a video tribute put together by Upsurge Productions and a couple of familiar faces in the crowd, and the video consisted of covers of the band’s song as well as messages by fellow fans. A particular message that graced the occasion came from Phillip Elisha who is friends with the band himself. He spoke of many great things about the band and how they have helped him through his toughest times. The band stood on stage as they tried to swallow the surprise, one breath at the time as it was made known to them how much their music has impacted these different individuals.

Thank you Anberlin, for your songs and your presence and for gracing us a night to remember. Thank you for saving us from things that we wanted to do on impulse and the cure of many heartaches and lifting our spirits high with your wonderful lyrics and rhythms.

This is *fin.