Circle Takes the Square played their 1st NYC show in ages at Saint Vitus w/ B. Dolan & United Nations (pics & review)
words and photos by Caroline Harrison
Circle Takes the Square
Circle Takes the Square's long-awaited comeback tour with rapper B. Dolan hit Saint Vitus Bar last Sunday (11/10), with local support from BK supergroup United Nations. We've got a set of pictures from the show over at Invisible Oranges, plus a writeup:
Saint Vitus played host to an interesting crowd on Sunday. The venue hosts a variety of shows, but as readers of this site are certainly aware, it tends to lean towards metal and harsher rock music. Sunday's show hosted the NYC date of Circle Takes the Square's national tour with rapper B. Dolan (with live band) and local support from screamo/metal supergroup United Nations. Circle Takes the Square had not played New York in recent memory, so it was no surprise that the venue sold out.
The whole night was a mix of genre-blending music -- not that many artists fit neatly inside one category these days. I think we've all seen enough permutations of "blackened crusty doomcore sludge," or, as our own Wyatt Marshall summed it up, "the works/supreme pizza", to agree. CTTS and United Nations both get the screamo/post-hardcore labels. United Nations' most noticeable influences come from Geoff Rickly, former singer for Thursday, but Ben Koller's (Converge) brief stint in the band around 2009 left a lasting imprint. Current drummer David Haik of Pianos Become Teeth plays with a skill and jaw-dropping intensity that recalls but does not simply mimic Koller's style. Rapper (yes, you read that correctly.) B. Dolan is signed to Sage Francis's label Strange Famous Records. Much like the Minnesotan label Rhymesayers, SFR is a hip-hop outfit that encourages genre-blending from its roster of artists. B. Dolan was definitely the odd man out on Sunday, but played to a receptive crowd regardless.
Circle Takes the Square is like nothing else that's out there. Sure, it's easy to point to certain obvious influences that shaped their sound -- some -cores (hard-, emotional hard-, metal-, noise-), some jazzier, proggier strains, and some blisteringly technical metal. Lots of things with the word "post" in them. A lot of people just call them screamo. Given all these variables, it's understandable that Sunday's crowd was equally diverse.
The group gave it everything they had from the word "go." They tore through the incredibly complex compositions with furious energy, hitting every transition with clock-like precision. While CTTS's unique genre-blending is definitely one of the key differentiators for the band, it's always been Kathleen Stubelek's voice that has pushed them from being really good to being truly memorable. The band was rewarded with an elated audience, many who had been waiting for years to see them. I overheard more than one conversation about how people had been waiting since they were teenagers to see CTTS. It was well worth the wait.
Head to Invisible Oranges for the pictures, and check out more in this post.
Also, at Invisible Oranges, we're giving away a 180-gram vinyl copy of CTTS' 2012 album, Decompositions: Volume One, and a t-shirt in the size of your choice. Details on how to enter to win are at IO.
More pictures from Saint Vitus and a stream of Decompositions: Volume One below...
Circle Takes The Square