photos by Amanda Hatfield

Kansas indie rock vets The Anniversary are officially reunited this year after breaking up in 2004, and they're on tour now. The tour hit NYC over the weekend for shows at Bowery Ballroom (9/10) and The Bell House (9/11).

We caught the Bowery show, which really felt like a triumphant return for this band. A lot of bands in this realm have been returning lately, and more often than not, they tend to humbly get up on stage and play like it's still a basement or a VFW Hall. It's a cool approach for sure, but it's not the one The Anniversary took. They played like rock stars. The stage had a huge, vivid Anniversary banner hanging in the back, and it was lit up by carnival-esque light poles. Josh Berwanger ran around the stage with a huge presence, and really had the crowd in the palm of his hand from the first song. (He also donned a backwards cap and a Metallica tee shirt and looked about half his age.) They kicked off the set with Designing A Nervous Breakdown opener "The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter" and had the sold-out crowd bouncing around and yelling every word, which happened during just about every song. It very much looked like a crowd of people who loved the band during their initial run and have been waiting 12 years to see them, and I'd say just about everyone left feeling very satisfied.

The show went on for just over an hour and felt like it flew by, and we got just about all the fan favorites like "All Things Ordinary," "The D In Detroit," "Hart Crane," "Sweet Marie," "Crooked Crown," and more. We also got a cover of The Rolling Stones' "Dead Flowers," which the band had done back in the day too. Josh, co-vocalist Adrianne Verhoeven and the rest of the crew looked genuinely happy to be back, which is a very good thing, because hopefully it means they're here to say. (Josh did tell us in a recent interview that they're toying with the idea of new music.)

The show was opened by Adrianne's other band Extra Classic and Laura Stevenson. Pictures are in the gallery above.