Circles Around The Sun Bring the Healing Power of Music to Portland, Oregon’s Wonder Ballroom (SHOW REVIEW/PHOTOS)

Circles Around The Sun is currently on tour, in spite of the recent tragic death of founding guitarist Neal Casal. One of Casal’s final wishes was that Circles Around The Sun go through with this tour and the release of their EP Circles Around The Sun Meets Joe Russo, which came out on last Friday.

For this tour, Eric Krasno agreed to do his part in honoring his friend’s wishes, and stepped up to play guitar with the group. He, along with keyboardist Adam MacDougall, bassist Dan Horne, and drummer Mark Levy played Portland, Oregon’s Wonder Ballroom on Thursday night, October 17th.

Circles Around The Sun (CATS) opened the show with “Scarlotta’s Magnolias,” easing into the track from Interludes For The Dead, and finding their footing during an extended jam. All of CATS songs leave plenty of exploratory elbow room, and the quartet’s set, including encore, consisted of just 8 songs. After “Scarlotta’s,” CATS played “Hallucinate a Solution,” the opening track on Interludes, before playing the expansive “Halicarnassus,” from their 2018 studio album Let It Wander. “Gilbert’s Groove” followed, then “Immovable Object,” then the only song of the night from the new four-song EP, the eerily titled “When I Was At Peace.” CATS played the Let It Wander opening track “On My Mind,” then, after an encore break, the Chuck D approved “One For Chuck” closed the show. After a raucous round of applause, Horne issued a “We love you Neal” before leaving the stage.

A fan that had been at the tour opener in Seattle the night before — the first headlining show since Casal’s passing — said that the prior night had felt a little heavier. In Portland, there were many tears shed as people surrendered to their sadness at the loss of CATS’ beloved founding guitarist. It’s hard to imagine the emotions the band must be going through as they play this tour. I think I can speak for most everyone when I thank MacDougall, Horne, Levy, and Krasno for fighting through their own pain of loss, and sharing with their fans the healing power of music.

Circles Around The Sun, Wonder Ballroom, Portland, Oregon, 10.17.19

Scarlotta’s Magnolias, Hallucinate a Solution, Halicarnassus, Gilbert’s Groove, Immovable Object, When I Was At Peace, On My Mind

Encore: One For Chuck

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