*This review was composed by Brandon Allin and edited by Erik van Rheenen
Every act’s time must come to an end. Some bands meet their untimely demise without ever scratching the surface of their potential, while others fade away without so much as a whimper. Some bands leave behind a legacy. Throughout their much-adored shelf life, California-based post-hardcore outfit Finch cemented themselves as not only a must-see act, but also a band seemingly begging to pulsate through the headphones of legions of fans worldwide.
Finch was, to the surprise of many, a special breed. A band unwilling to pigeonhole themselves within the confines of a single genre, but instead a group of musicians hell-bent on breaking the mold, as evident on their acclaimed 2002 full-length, What It Is To Burn. Fluctuating between pop-punk sing-alongs, alternative rock anthems, and chaotic post-hardcore offerings, What It Is To Burn was a collection of thirteen masterful cuts that, to this date, remain entrenched in the hearts of rabid onlookers across the globe.
Now, more than ten years later, Finch have returned, rejuvenated and hungry, to celebrate the legacy left behind by the record that defined their careers. The five-piece, whole again just as they were a decade prior, announced that the album would be performed in full in select cities across the world, a tour that would serve as a thank you to fans unwilling to relinquish their passion for an album that inspired so many.
On March 9, Finch made their seventh stop in support of What It Is To Burn at Toronto’s Sound Academy, a venue nestled on the edge of Lake Ontario. Fans waited with baited breath as the quintet took the stage, some on the tips of their toes in hopes of a better view, others with a look in their eye only previously seen on Christmas morning. Anticipation was in the air as loyal fans stood shoulder-to-shoulder, all here for the same reason; to relive one more night of adolescent adrenaline and teenage angst.
As the opening notes of “New Beginnings” rang out, it felt as if the last ten years had simply been a fallacy. Could a band, largely inactive for such a prolonged length of time, really reform without ever missing a beat? The answer, evidenced by vocalist Nate Baraclow’s commanding stage presence, as well as his supporting cast’s supreme ability to replicate a decade-old studio recording, was a resounding yes. These were five musicians meant to play together, both ten years prior and today in 2013.