The year is 2003 and around this time that year, I was wrapping up 8th grade and getting ready to start high school. I was becoming obsessed with music and learning about different bands because of band shirts kids wore at school. Radio also influenced my taste. When it came to music videos, I didn’t have cable so I couldn’t watch MTV or Fuse. One band I didn’t know about was Finch. However, a few weeks after I started high school, I learned about the post-hardcore band and it’s all thanks to One Tree Hill.
For those of us that watched One Tree Hill throughout the 9 years of the show’s existence, you know that music was a huge part of the show. Peyton Sawyer is a character that many can relate to as she was the visual artist that could be found browsing through records at the record store or booking a band to play the local all ages club, but it wasn’t because of her character that I learned about Finch. I learned about Finch because of the pilot episode of One Tree Hill as “What It Is To Burn,” the title track off their 2002 release, was part of a pivotal scene in that episode. I became a fan of the show. I became a fan of the band and I knew I had to get my hands on their music. I eventually ended up with a copy of What It Is To Burn.
There is something about anniversary shows that take you back to specific time periods in your life even if you never stopped listening to the band. Almost 20 years after hearing Finch for the first time, I found myself attending one of two SOLD OUT 20th year anniversary shows of What It Is To Burn at House of Blues Anaheim this past Friday. As expected, Finch kicked off their set with “New Beginnings,” the opening track of the album. No hesitation was in sight as they proceeded with one of the hits and fan favorite, “Letters To You” followed by “Post Script.” When the band played “Without You Here,” they included a snippet of Smashing Pumpkins’ “Mayonnaise.” As the band wrapped up “Ender,” the second to the last track of the album, they proceeded to exit the stage and then returned for an encore.
Finch’s encore included “Insomniatic Meat” off their second album, Say Hello to Sunshine, a cover of “Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away)” by Deftones, and finally “What It Is To Burn.” When that first note dropped during the song, we all knew that would be it. As soon as fans had their chance to crowd surf, they went for it whilst singing their hearts out.
No matter what song Finch played throughout the night, fans were all in, including the youngest ones in the crowd. To think that children present weren’t alive when this album was released really reminds you that time goes by fast. A lot of us were teenagers when this album was released. 20 years have passed, we haven’t let go of our youth, and it doesn’t look like we ever will.
Before the show ended, vocalist Nate Barcalow expressed the band’s gratitude. “Thank you all for coming,” said Barcalow. “There is no us without you. 20 years go by fast… thank you from the bottom of our hearts. You mean everything to us.”
Times flies, but when you have an opportunity to go see one of your favorite bands play an album in its entirety for its 20th year anniversary, time doesn’t exist. THANK YOU FINCH.