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Dancing the Night Away with Bleachers

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MusicLive CoverageDancing the Night Away with Bleachers

Dancing the Night Away with Bleachers

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At every concert, Bleachers gives a speech along the lines of “we tell our fans we don’t do encores because we give you everything we have by the end of the show” and I have never heard a truer statement. Bleachers truly left it all on The Anthem stage on Friday, June 14 before a sold out audience.

Dancing the night away with Bleachers on the second to last date of their headlining tour at The Anthem in Washington, DC.

SAMIA

Long before the opener, Samia, came on the venue was packed with the pit nearly full over an hour before Bleachers were due to take the stage. The early-arriving crowd was in for a treat with Samia. I personally was incredibly excited to see Samia as I watched her perform at All Things Go Festival at Merriweather Post Pavilion last fall. I had high expectations from that previous performance, and she blew it out of the water.

Not only does she have stunning vocals, she has a stage presence that makes it hard to resist smiling during her performance. She interacts with her band to create a playful atmosphere including dancing with her guitarist and climbing behind her drummer to dance behind him eliciting laughs from the crowd. I am a firm believer that when an artist is having the time of their life on stage, that it is reflected in the audience’s experience. Another highlight of Samia’s performance was her choice to sit on the front of the stage for a song which brought her closer to the fans and made the six thousand cap venue feel much, much smaller and more intimate. And the fans were loving it!

Sometimes at large shows, the opener does not always have their diehard fans at the barricade because the headliner’s fans have camped out for that space (and more power to them! I love seeing the dedication fans have for getting the best spot on the barricade!). For Samia though, there were diehard fans front and center. The fans even brought signs wishing Samia’s backup singer a happy release day for her new music that had come out that day. I love when fans not only support an artist but also support the other musicians that help to uplift that artist on stage. Overall, Samia is an incredibly artist that I would recommend to anyone I meet! Even having now seen her twice, I will jump at any opportunity to see her again and especially any opportunity to capture her in the future!

Samia’s Setlist:
Pool
Fit N Full
Big Wheel
Triptych
Killer Her Freak Out
Bovine Excision
Honey
Stellate
Is There Something in the Movies?

BLEACHERS

With a forty-minute pause to reconfigure the stage before Bleachers took the stage, I had the opportunity to wander the venue and just take it all in. There are some shows where you can just feel it in the air. What ‘it’ is is so hard to define, but if you have felt it before, you know what I mean. There’s an indescribable buzz, an element of sheer, almost tangible excitement that permeates a space. And it makes sense for Bleachers. They are without a doubt one of the highest energy artists I have ever witnessed.

Dancing the night away with Bleachers on the second to last date of their headlining tour at The Anthem in Washington, DC.
Dancing the night away with Bleachers on the second to last date of their headlining tour at The Anthem in Washington, DC.
Dancing the night away with Bleachers on the second to last date of their headlining tour at The Anthem in Washington, DC.

How Jack Antonoff does what he does back to back to back with at most a couple days rest may just be one of life’s greatest unsolved mysteries. The second Bleachers took the stage, the entire band was moving and dancing, and the energy carried through their entire set. For example, Antonoff spent the first song climbing up and down the piano before moving out onto the boxes on the front of the stage, in a later song jumping from box to box guitar in hand, something I had personally never seen before at The Anthem!

Dancing the night away with Bleachers on the second to last date of their headlining tour at The Anthem in Washington, DC.
Dancing the night away with Bleachers on the second to last date of their headlining tour at The Anthem in Washington, DC.
Dancing the night away with Bleachers on the second to last date of their headlining tour at The Anthem in Washington, DC.

Bleachers brought out all the stops setlist-wise breaking out newer songs and old classics including an acoustic rendition of 45 at fan request. They also played some of my favorite songs including Wild Heart and Rollercoaster. During the set, Antonoff encouraged fans to climb atop each other’s shoulders and later proclaimed that once they were done with the slower songs, Bleachers would end the show with some high energy hits to tear the house down. The high energy ending to the show included I Wanna Get Better and Don’t Take the Money among other songs. I am normally not much of a dancing in the pit person, but I had to make an exception to experience I Wanna Get Better, camera gear and all! And as per Antonoff’s previous speech, there was no encore because by the time Bleachers left the stage, there was nothing they had not given to the fans who were there.

In my opinion, everyone at The Anthem that night got extra lucky. There’s something special about seeing (and in my case capturing) Bleachers in DC. Antonoff talks at length during the show about how special DC is to him. He shared his experiences driving to DC from his home in New Jersey for shows. He reminisced about going from dreaming to playing 9:30 Club (one of my personal favorite venues ever) to later headlining the venue. There is something so special about sharing such a special, memorable moments with an artist. While I am sure every show on tour is special to the artist for different reasons, to capture them in a venue they used to visit when they were younger is, at least to me, one of the most treasured opportunities a photographer can have. And likewise, to be a fan standing where an artist once stood in the pit while they are now onstage is an unbeatable feeling.

With DC’s show being the second to last on the tour, by the time you are reading this, Bleachers will be on a well-deserved break. They’ll return to Columbia, MD, just over an hour from The Anthem, to headline, along with Laufey, a sold out day one of All Things Go Festival in just a few short months. While tickets to the festival are ridiculously hard to come by even on the resale market, if you ever have the opportunity to see Bleachers live in concert, I cannot recommend the experience enough. The entire bands commitment to a high energy performance along with killer musical talent makes them a must-see artist!

Bleachers’ Setlist:
I Am Right on Time
Modern Girl
Jesus Is Dead
How Dare You Want More (with Ricky Antonoff)
Wake Me
Everybody Lost Somebody
Goodmorning
Call Me After Midnight (Acoustic)
Me Before You
Chinatown
Don’t Go Dark
Self Respect
Wild Heart
Rollercoaster (with Juno intro)
Let’s Get Married
All My Heroes/Reckless Love (Acoustic)
91 (Acoustic)
45 (Acoustic)
Ordinary Heaven
Tiny Moves
I Wanna Get Better
Don’t Take the Money
Stop Making This Hurt

Show Date: 06.14.24 // Washington, DC @ The Anthem // Dancing the Night Away with Bleachers
Photos & words by Liz Baummer

Liz Baummer
Liz Baummer
I'm a Washington, DC and Baltimore, MD based concert photographer! Fun fact: I learned most of what I know doing sports photography in college!

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Liz Baummer
Liz Baummer
I'm a Washington, DC and Baltimore, MD based concert photographer! Fun fact: I learned most of what I know doing sports photography in college!

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