By: Chase Bauduin (Photos by: Kayla Surico)
As soccer fans trickled out from the Orlando City Stadium and into the bars of Orange Ave, a different crowd was forming a line from the door of The Social. Going down the block, around the corner onto Washington, and then some. These were fans of The Dear Hunter, a band touring on their still recent release of Act V: Hymns with the Devil in Confessional, the latest musical installment of the musical story that began 10 years ago. Visiting Orlando for the 2nd headlining event on a tour predominantly spent sharing the stage with Coheed & Cambria, The Social had totally sold-out.
The Dear Hunter performs to a sold-out crowd at The Social.
The Dear Hunter is rock, indie, folk, progressive, and/or whatever labels might be attached to what their artistic spearhead, Casey Crescenzo, decides to write into music. With over 100 hundred songs spanning across so many styles and genres, the band displays technicality, sensibility, and influence from so many dimensions that it’s hard to believe it’s always the same artist. It’s not bold to say there is usually something for everybody with The Dear Hunter catalog, and their musical flexibility is a common reference by their die-hard fans, which made up much of the night’s attendance.
The band ran their sound check and headed backstage, and then the heads rolled in. The lone local opener, Pathos, Pathos, played to good reception and walked off stage leaving the sold-out crowd packed deep into the venue buzzing in anticipation.
Pathos, Pathos bringing the groove to downtown Orlando.
When the lights went down the eagerness of the fans was palpable. Murmurs broke into applause as the musicians walked onto the stage, and yells smoothed into silence moments before the band began Regress, the vocally-driven prologue to Act V, lush with harmony and void of percussion, a perfect harbinger, seamlessly transitioning into The Moon / Awake, track 2 of the album, a beautiful and epic performance spanning an incredible emotional and sonic breadth.
The following two songs and much of the set remained from Act V, lending a cinematic feel to the set, but also a hat-tip to the fans who were present to hear the newer music. A short step backwards is taken to Act IV: Rebirth in Reprise in performing its single Waves, a sing-along with melancholy strings and Nick Crescenzo’s triumphant and powerful drumming. The set continued with memorable songs from the album such as Is There Anybody Here? and Old Haunt. A cover each of No Doubt and Hall & Oates were performed as a pleasant surprise, breaking up the set, and gems such as Filth And Squalor, This Body and Echo were pulled from The Color Spectrum, the bands own 36-song experimental album on the inspiration of color within music.
The Dear Hunter playing to a packed house in downtown Orlando.
Moving between soft, sullen lullaby songs to moments of dissonant cacophony, Casey Crescenzo expressed gracious and honest thanks to the bands patrons for showing out and supporting the band. The full hour and a half passed rather quickly, completing with a performance of The Beatles’ I Want You (She’s So Heavy) that sounded like only The Dear Hunter could sound, and then they left, leaving only one question: “How long until Act VI?”.
The Dear Hunter closing out the night with love and music.
The Dear Hunter:
The Dear Hunter leaves everyone speechless after their set at The Social.
The Dear Hunter really bringing down the house!
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Pathos, Pathos really showing Orlando locals how it’s done.
Pathos, Pathos gettin’ everyone to feel the music and dance to their silky smooth tunes.
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