Ryan Sterritt's picture
By Ryan Sterritt

Finch-What It Is To Burn Anniversary Tour Review

As a band, Finch haven't always had the most smooth of rides. They've released two albums in 11 years and have been on a number of hiatuses. This has upset many fans, but Finch has found a way to give back to their faithful audience: In celebration of 10 years (Technically it's 11, but I'm not going to complain), Finch announced a tour where they would perform their memorable, debut album, What It Is To Burn, from beginning to end. After a decade, one would worry that a band would lose some of the fun and talent that filled their earlier years. Could Finch live up to the hype created by their first album? 
You know an album is memorable when you can remember when you first bought it. My Middle School crush was raving on and on about Finch and said she couldn't wait until she bought their new CD, What It Is To Burn. Being the hopeless romantic I am, I went out and bought the album from the Target by my parents' house and planned on giving it to her as a present in our Science class the next day. As for that night, the mystery was killing me: I had to listen to it. I unwrapped it (keyword: HOPELESS romantic) and threw it into my 8-disc changer radio. It was different. Screaming. Soaring vocals. Catchy melodies. It's not often that a band, in an individual album, can experiment so much while sticking to their own genre. Of course, with it being middle school, the crush and I never lasted. Yet, that album stuck with me. It was one of the first albums I truly loved and couldn't forget.
Given my love for this album, my expectations to see it performed live were very high but understandably cautious. Somehow, the original members who crafted such a great genre record were able to bring their famed record to life with fantastic results. Kicking things off with New Beginnings, lead vocalist Nate debunked any theory that his voice was no longer up to par from their 2002 debut. Too often do bands play shows and treat them solely as cash grabs. Watching these five men on stage performing, it becomes clear that they all love WIITB just as much as every fan in the audience. Through Letters To You all the way to the title track hit, Nate and his crew took everyone for a nostalgic trip back to 2002, when times were easier and albums were more crafted than overtly produced.
Sadly, it's not 100% realistic to expect every song to transfer flawlessly from stereo to stage. Project Mayhem replaces the majority of the drums with electronic drums and heavy synthesized beats. With no electronic drum set on stage, drummer Alex Pappas was forced to do the best he can with a normal set. It was a valiant effort, but it left Project Mayhem as the sore spot of the night's set. 
But, one song out of 13 is a great track record and one any band would take on their best day. Finch may not be releasing material quite at the same level they used to, but hats off to them for being able to acknowledge their best work and celebrating it in a way that every fan can sing along with them. We may not get another album from Finch that is quite as great as What It Is To Burn, but at least we know the true spirit of this album is alive and well. Consider my ticket to the 20th (21st?) Anniversary purchased. 

Read our interview with Finch's Randy Strohmeyer.