On January 18, The Almost stopped by The Shelter in Detroit as a part of their “If I Believed You” tour. The Almost hasn’t toured in 7 long years so I knew I had to attend a show when this tour was announced. Their frontman is Aaron Gillespie, who most probably know as the drummer for Underoath. I still remember the excitement of buying The Almost's first album, Southern Weather, in 2013 and how often I had it playing in my car. Although there were some different people onstage this tour, it still felt like the same band I remember. It was also pretty awesome to see them play in such small, intimate venue.
The first opener for The Almost was Rowdy, a country artist with just his acoustic guitar who also plays bass for The Almost. I actually had not heard of any of the opening bands prior to this tour, but Rowdy especially was a pleasant surprise. His set felt more like a conversation where he would tell stories about his life and his songs. At one point, Rowdy talked about how much he travels, and how he has found that people all across the world have one thing in common: they just want to be loved. Just by listening to him talk, you can tell he is a loving and genuine person and made sure to thank everyone for being there. Aside from just being a great human, Rowdy is also a super talented songwriter and performer. I really enjoyed Rowdy’s songs, especially one called "Revival" and especially loved getting to hear the stories of how he came to write them.
Up next was Ghost Atlas, who began their set with their backs turned to the audience and jumped right into an unexpectedly energetic set when they turned around. It was quite a big change from Rowdy’s laid back acoustic set but great nonetheless. Other than their music, I really enjoyed the stage presence of the band. The frontman, Jesse Cash, in particular, was very animated and fun to watch. He took time to thank those that were there and especially those that knew their music. At one point the band walked off and Jesse talked about their acoustic album, Sleep Therapy: An Acoustic Performance, and did a short acoustic set before the rest of the band joined him onstage again. Whether you know Ghost Atlas’ music or not, they are really enjoyable to listen to and even more fun to watch. With five people on such a small stage, you could definitely feel the energy!
Up next was All Get Out, who had an energetic set as well. After a few songs, their frontman, Nathan Hussey, talked about playing in Detroit years previously and that it didn’t go so well. And even after that when they played in Detroit again, someone approached him and said something along the lines of, “I’m surprised you came back!” The band was engaging with the audience, with the guitarist often close to the crowd trying to get people amped up and participating in their set. Something that stuck out to me with All Get Out was that their songs had a lot of the great dynamics and vocal parts from most members onstage, which can be heard in songs like "The Season." I enjoyed all three opening bands in different ways and would encourage anyone attending a date this tour to get there early to see them perform! Up next was The Almost.
The Almost came onstage and immediately jumped into "Southern Weather," the title track off of their first album. You could just feel the excitement build in the room, especially from a woman in the audience who said she had waited 13 years to see them in concert! Although I hadn’t seen The Almost perform in quite a few years, it still felt like the same band despite different members. Aaron is always so full of energy and fun to watch and the rest of the band was great as well.
There wasn’t much dialogue in between songs, but sometimes Aaron would quickly introduce a song. This tour was advertised as the band playing Southern Weather in it's entirety, and although unfortunately some songs were missing from the setlist, I of course enjoyed the songs off the album we did get to hear like “Drive There Now,” “I Mostly Copy Other People,” "Everyone Here Smells Like a Rat,” Say This Sooner,” “Dirty and Left Out,” and “Amazing Because It is.” In between the songs off of Southern Weather, they played a few songs off their newest album, Fear Caller, like "Tame a Lion" and "I Want It Real." At one point near the end of the set, Aaron started talking about his family and kids and how they are well fed and cared for, but many kids in the world are not. He transitioned to talking about sponsoring children and that his goal was to get 100 kids sponsored during the tour, and that they needed just 5 people to sponsor a child that night, giving you another reason to become a fan.
The last two songs of the set were just Aaron and his acoustic guitar that felt like a great ending to the night, even though it went by so quickly! The last song was “Amazing Because It Is,” that had many people singing along, which always makes for a cool moment. One of the last things Aaron said that really stuck out to me was was, “I don’t care what you believe, but find grace.” The Almost:
All Get Out:
Catch The Almost on one of their remaining date of their “If I Believed You Tour:”
1/28/20 - Scoot Inn - Austin, TX
1/29/20 - Cambridge Room @ House of Blues - Dallas, TX