For touring purposes, Crescenzo put together a full-band version of the Dear Hunter with guitarist Erick Serna, additional keyboardist Luke Dent, and drummer Sam Dent. The lineup was used to record an even more dynamic and symphonic second album in 2007 titled Act II: The Meaning Of, And All Things Regarding Ms. Leading, which chronicled the death of the Dear Hunter's mother and his subsequent search for love at the brothel where she was employed.
In 2009, the band released the third installment of the series, Act III: Life and Death (a dramatic arc that brought him to the frontlines of World War I -- mustard gas and all -- where he found both his father and half-brother on the battlefield). Crescenzo took a break from the narrative in 2011 with the release of The Color Spectrum, a nine-EP, three-hour concept based on the colors of the rainbow and black and white.
In 2013, the band further delayed the Dear Hunter's return with another LP, Migrant, and continued a steady schedule of live shows, which also featured a string quartet (these shows were recorded for a surprise release of The Dear Hunter Live album in early 2015, which Crescenzo stated was a “thank you” for the band’s dedicated fan base). Before the release of Act IV in 2015, Crescenzo composed his debut symphony, Amour & Attrition, which was influenced by Debussy and Gershwin and thematically focused on a male protagonist and his journey through a cast of lovers.
In September 2015, the band released Act IV: Rebirth in Reprise. Mirroring Crescenzo’s own place in life at that time, Act IV continued the Dear Hunter's saga, focusing on the protagonist’s return to familiar places where he picked up the pieces as a different person. A year later, Act V: Hymns with the Devil in Confessional arrived. The penultimate installment in the series was recorded at the same time as Act IV, lending a familiar tone to the album, which focused on the protagonist's regression into vice and sin before an ultimate rebirth that had been hinted at as early as Act II. The band hit the road in support of the record, teasingly dubbing it "The Final Act Tour." ~ Stewart Mason & Neil Z. Yeung