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Against The Current performs at the Roxy Live: Past Lives Tour in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Photo credit: Sancho Zho

There are 30 minutes left on the clock for Against The Current to make their debut in Argentina. One can feel the adrenaline begin to increase among the crowd (of no more than 100) in the back of the bar, La Viola, better known as the Roxy Live, in Buenos Aires. After waiting over a year since the original date was canceled, the excitement can be observed in the fans who do not stop dancing, shouting and begging for the minutes to pass faster. 

The lights diminish as the first notes of their most recent single, “Personal,” begin to bounce around the corners of the room. Even though the song has a sad connotation since it was written for a friend of Chrissy Costanza (the lead singer of the band), who died last year, you could only feel the exaltation and joy of the audience and the band.

Following a similar sentiment, they continued with “Voices” which talks about the struggle one may have with their own demons. It shows the great influence of rock bands over pop, keeping a mysterious sound that manages to have you on the edge of your chair, but with meaningful lyrics that leave you thinking.

From there, the energy would only begin to increase with songs from their debut album, In Our Bones. They start with “Runaway,” which mixes both rock and pop elements, leaning more toward the latter with its catchy “summer song” melody. “Talk” was the song in which Costanza began to interact with the audience, asking them to join her toward the end of the chorus, shouting “Talk, talk, talk.” The audience did so without reproach, fully energetic, jumping and stretching their arms up to the rhythm of the song. In an interview with Upset Magazine, Costanza mentioned that “Talk” is about “being inexplicably and irrationally addicted to someone (…) It’s about breaking the cycle and pointing out all the things they thought you did not care about.”

When finalizing this song, the band answered a tradition, something very typical of the Argentinean crowds: Cancha’s songs (Like “Against The Current, a feeling, a passion” or the classic “Olé, Olé”) which were originally confusing for the band. After it was explained, you could see their admiration toward the public for wanting to share it with them. “That’s so sweet, I feel honored,” Costanza said with a slight pink tint on her cheeks.

They continued with the song “Running With The Wild Things” which raised the energy of everyone in the room even more. The song talks about the pressures and expectations of society. Chrissy sings about societal standards and how they do not usually accommodate creativity or the breaking of the mold. The goal of the song is empowerment—to encourage the audience to reject the pressure instead of giving in to it. It is the song that introduced the band in their debut album and one of their strongest. It mixes two elements that are seen separately in their other songs—the acoustic and the electronic, creating a massive track, full of atmosphere and giant guitar punches.

“One More Weekend” creates a feeling of nostalgia. It almost turns out to be a proper party track that develops at a subtle rhythm until it explodes in pure pop.

The band shifted to a quieter sound, with more sentimental lyrics in “Almost Forgot”. Starting with the chords of a guitar and a much softer tone, the song continues to pick up, and as more layers are added, the electro-pop feel of the track is amplified.

“Chasing Ghosts” is next, slowing down the rhythm slightly, using guitar lines and electronic percussion while referring to two people who meet for a short period of time but eventually, and unwillingly, separate.

They close the melancholic narration with “Brighter”. Constanza asserts that she does not need an excuse to set the world on fire, while the subtle but rhythmic synthesizer chains intertwine under her soft vocal tone.

During a brief pause, the band members converse and laugh with the people who went to see them. From trying to remember the correct way to pronounce a word that Constanza vaguely remembers from her high school Spanish class to the name of a meat and mashed potato meal that Ferri (the drummer), prepared in 5th grade for a school project. They finish the break by asking the crowd to tweet them lunch recommendations.

The next thing you hear is the first notes from “Come Alive” as the adrenaline increases again in a matter of seconds. The song had not been released officially yet, but that does not prevent those present from knowing every word. It follows a similar theme as other songs from the band, talking about the internal demons that one carries.

Photo credit: Sancho Zho

The familiar electro-pop sound makes another appearance with “Strangers Again,” the last song off the new album they played that night. It tells the story of leaving behind young love, a theme that contrasts with the joyful energy of the simple rhythm. They followed with “Gravity,” one of their most popular songs. They use the metaphor of gravity to show how the person you sing about is your all, but now that they’re gone, you feel completely lost.

“Demons” was presented as the last song of the night. It starts subtle and quietly, focusing on a very close combination of percussion and synthesizers before finally exploding into a surge of hope—one that is hard to find when listening to Constanza talk about her demons. The lights go out, but the curtains do not close after the band leaves the stage, giving hope to those who pray that it is not over yet. The eyes of the audience light up when Costanza comes back raising two fingers in the air. The first chords of “Blood Like Gasoline” are heard loudly on the speakers and the screams become deafening as everything is accelerated by pulsating rhythms and sharp guitar strikes.

The ending really comes in the form of “Wasteland” and an electronic beat that places Costanza on a mix of guitars and precise percussion. In front of the choir, an artificial accumulation leads to what almost looks like a fall, but eventually goes out and introduces the next verse. The band says a subtle goodbye and leaves the stage for the final time. The lights turn on and the security guards try to direct the audience out of the venue while they shout “one more and we will be gone”. 

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