Circa Waves sparks passion, dancing at the Chapel

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On Thursday, U.K. band Circa Waves played at the Chapel in San Francisco for the third stop on its first U.S. headlining tour. The tour follows the band’s most recent album release, Young Chasers, which has seen critical acclaim, both in its home country and abroad.

The venue was small and intimate, bordered by a balcony, bar and adjacent restaurant. The crowd was a mixture of die-hard fans and the random passersby simply happening through. Luckily, it seemed everyone there had the same goal in mind: to have a good time.

After the crew finished prepping the stage for the headliners, the lights abruptly came back on. Circa Waves walked onstage, its members clad in T-shirts and jeans, and a trickle of active anticipation permeated the atmosphere.

Circa Waves is one of those bands that is fantastic at evoking nostalgia. Even at first glance, it’s clear that it embodies youth well, instantly filling the stage with boyish charm and quick, nervous smiles.

Lead singer Kieran Shudall stepped up to the mic, flashed the audience a grin and gave a quick introduction — “San Francisco!” — before cutting right to the chase.

Almost immediately, Circa Waves got to business. The crowd’s energy, previously quite relaxed, shot through the roof, infusing electricity into the space. Every member of the band had the audience dancing and jumping around with nothing more than pure, unbridled passion and excitement. The boys inspired the show’s attendees with nothing more than pure rock ‘n’ roll guitar strums and driving rhythms in the drums. A mosh pit began to form as many passionate teenagers found physical release in the music.

Throughout the show, the band played through Young Chasers, which just saw its U.S. release Friday. The two guitarists bounced off each other’s energies; their faces were so close that they could’ve kissed multiple times throughout the night. Although seemingly spontaneous movement, this small detail created inexplicably high levels of tension during the most intense of tracks played throughout the show.

As the show began to wind down, Circa Waves pulled out its most popular single, “T-Shirt Weather.” Drummer Colin Jones yelled, “Sing it!”

He encouraged the crowd to clap in time with the beat for the last song of the night. Almost everyone present participated, unable to resist the band’s infectious energy, and sang back, “I remember T-shirt weather” — whether the audience members knew the lyrics or not.

Circa Waves has just begun to gain traction in the last couple of years. But with such a charming combination of youth, energy and passion in its live work, the band will be sure to pop up again soon.

Contact Eda Yu at[email protected].