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The Dear Hunter have established themselves as being one of the more ambitious bands currently in rock music. Their style blends elements of indie, alternative, and progressive rock while touching open virtually every other style of music in the process. They are also known for their ambitious concept albums, such as The Color Spectrum, which was a 9 EP album consisting of 4 songs for each color in the spectrum. The music tackled a different musical style to elicit the feeling of those colors. But the concept that helped get them famous was their ongoing Act series. They have released 3 albums which tell the story of a character known as “The Dear Hunter”, and the band is anticipating Act IV this summer. To help promote that, the band embarked on a mini tour where certain venues got to see Act II or Act III in its entirety. Luckily, Los Angeles was one of those areas that got both, and I was able to attend back to back Dear Hunter shows to see some of my favorite albums live.


The first night took place at The Glasshouse in Pomona. I had previously seen The Dear Hunter at this venue before, so I got a brief feeling of deja vu. The line started to form an hour before doors opened (with some people getting in line 3 hours early) and the excitement could be felt by the people who associate Act II as their favorite album by the band. People were friendly and had no problem talking to strangers in the line.


The doors opened and the venue filled as people secured their spots for the show. The first band to go on should be a familiar face for any fan of The Dear Hunter. That band was Naive Thieves. Aside from the involvement of lead singer Cameron on The Color Spectrum, The Dear Hunter takes them out on tour any chance they get. This was going to be my third time seeing them, both previous times were opening for The Dear Hunter as well. They took the stage and played an 8 song set. Their music is a nostalgic blend that is reminiscent to music from the 1950s. It consists of elements of doo-wop with current indie rock. It is the perfect music to listen to on a beach and drive around in your car with the windows down. It seemed like most people were already familiar with them and knew what to expect. The crowd was filled with people singing along, bobbing their heads, or swaying side to side. In between, Cameron made chit chat with the audience and even made jokes about how they’re not used to a quiet and respectful audience because they mostly play in bars. The set consisted of some of their standard songs, as well as a couple of new songs that have yet to be released.






Up next was Brian Marquis. Originally, Northern Faces was supposed to take this spot, but they had van trouble in Utah and were stuck there for the night. Luckily, The Dear Hunter asked their good friend Brian to fill in for night, and he seemed more than ready for the challenge. He was a solo musician who played guitar and sang by himself. He also played harmonica for certain songs. What stood out most was his incredibly powerful voice. The style was indie based singer/songwriter style, reminding me of when Casey of The Dear Hunter plays solo shows as well as popular bands such as Mumford and Sons or The Lumineers. For certain sections, he would not sing into the microphone, but he could still be heard throughout the venue which is a more than decent sized room. Songs like “Drink You Up” seemed to touch the hearts of the audience, while songs like “From Boston” had them laughing the whole time. He told stories in between and even poked fun at the upcoming Dear Hunter album. It was a great set, and it was great to see a bill where all three bands were friends.

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Finally, it was the time that everyone was waiting for. The Dear Hunter took the stage, and began their epic album, Act II: The Meaning of, and All Things Regarding Ms. Leading. The band walked out to the intro music from the album and went straight into “The Procession”. The band has always been extremely tight live, and I have always admired the ability to jam between songs. This gives their concerts a flowing feeling instead of awkwardly stopping to talk to the audience. However, seeing the band play an album in its entirety took that to a whole new level. They were all focused on getting ready for the next track, and used the ambient or jam sessions to tune. There were only a handful of breaks where Casey would ask the audience how they were doing and mention that Act IV would see a summer release. The band flowed through favorites such as “The Oracles on the Delphi Express”, “The Church and the Dime”, “Smiling Swine”, and “Red Hands”. But it was the epic tracks like “The Lake and the River” and the entire “The Bitter Suite” which showed the strength of the songwriting. The technicality with the engaging melodies really transcended well live, and helped create an atmosphere like no other. The fans sang every lyric throughout the album, and would get excited as every knew song started. Many fans were excited to hear songs that have never been played live before such as “Dear Ms. Leading”, but I was extremely excited to hear one of my favorite songs by them, “Black Sandy Beaches”, performed as a full band, something I had never seen before. But the time the albums closer, “Vital Vessie Vindicates”, was played, I couldn’t believe that the journey had been complete. I was feeling content, but luckily the band came back out for some encores. The first one was “Bring You Down” from their most recent release, Migrant. The second one was “Home” from the White EP of The Color Spectrum. Casey acknowledged that it wasn’t the obvious choice for an encore, but he felt that it was the most fitting. I have to agree with him. It left me feeling really good, and left me feeling really excited about seeing them all over again the next day. Casey asked how many people would be at the next show and it seemed like the whole room. In conclusion, leading up to this show, I was more excited to see Act 3 than Act 2 cause I liked that album more. But this show really made me fall in love with Act 2, and now it is a much harder decision to say which album I like more.







Act II: The Meaning of, & All Things Regarding Ms. Leading

  1. The Death and the Berth
  2. The Procession
  3. The Lake and the River
  4. The Oracles on The Delphi Express
  5. The Church and the Dime
  6. The Bitter Suite 1 and 2: Meeting Ms. Leading and Through the Dime
  7. The Bitter Suite 3: Embrace
  8. Smiling Swine
  9. Evicted
  10. Blood of the Rose
  11. Red Hands
  12. Where the Road Parts
  13. Dear Ms. Leading
  14. Black Sandy Beaches
  15. Vital Vessle Vindicates


  16. Bring You Down
  17. Home