Photography: Armor for Sleep, The Early November, and Spill Canvas at House of Blues

Posted: by The Editor

Earlier this year, New Jersey’s emo rock legends Armor For Sleep announced a headlining tour to celebrate 20 years of their debut album, Dream To Make Believe, and it became an immediate must to attend one of the shows. Lucky for us O.C. and L.A. fans, the tour included a stop at House of Blues in Anaheim on December 7th. Joining Armor For Sleep for the party were iconic bands The Early November, out of New Jersey and The Spill Canvas, out of South Dakota.


The Spill Canvas kicked off the night at the SOLD OUT show by playing a 30 minute set, which included fan favorites such as “Staplegunned”, “All Over You”, and “All Hail the Heartbreaker”. After warming up the crowd, The Early November came through to deliver a memorable performance that won’t soon be forgotten as the band played their debut album, The Room’s Too Cold, in its entirety from BACK TO FRONT. In addition to hearing songs off the album such as “Baby Blue”, “Something That Produces Results”, and “Ever So Sweet”, the band couldn’t end their set without playing a fan favorite, “I Want To Hear You Sad” off their first EP, For All of This. For anyone wondering if 30-something year olds are still up for crowdsurfing during that song as they sing it loud, the answer is an absolute YES. The Early November left the crowd hyped up and prepared for the performance that was to come from Armor For Sleep.

The quartet almost played Dream To Make Believe from front to back. As soon as the band took the stage, the faces of fans against the barricade lit up. The band kicked off their set with “Dream To Make Believe”, “All Warm,” and “Being You Walls”, the first three tracks off the album. They continued on with the order of the tracklist as they played “My Town”, “The Wanderers Guild”, “Frost and Front Steps”, and “Phantoms Now”. Before playing the rest of the album, Armor For Sleep sprinkled in a couple of tunes from their second album, What To Do When You Are Dead and played “The Truth About Heaven” and “Awkward Last Words”. Every song the band played until that point, was filled with almost 2,000 souls serving as backup singers. The band took care of business and went back to Dream To Make Believe as they played the remaining songs off the album: “Raindrops”, “Kind of Perfect”, and “Slip Like Space”. With the band playing their first album in its entirety and many of us in attendance being fans of What To Do When You Are Dead, the band played more fan favorites off their second album, which included “Remember To Feel Real”, “The More You Talk the Less I Hear”, “Basement Ghost Singing”, “Stay On The Ground”, and to end the night, super fan favorite, “Car Underwater”.


Had I been told 20 years ago when I was just learning about these bands that we’d hear Dream To Make Believe and The Room’s Too Cold in their entirety, I honestly would’ve said that I couldn’t even see that far into the future. We constantly hear at shows from bands that play anniversary shows that it’s an honor to be able to do that. To see all these bands come together to play our favorite music all these years later is an honor FOR US to be able to witness. Thank you The Spill Canvas. Thank you The Early November. Thank you Armor For Sleep.

Photos by Jazmin Lemus

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