Photos By: Charlie Spadone
By: Corey McComb
Southern California’s post-hardcore, experimental powerhouse Thrice rolled through House of Blues and fired off nostalgic riffs and newly written sing-alongs for a sold-out crowd.
After announcing an indefinite hiatus and a farewell tour in 2011, the quartet has become a white whale for the bleeding heart fans whom have followed the group’s genre-defying career since 1998. But, this year Thrice surprised us with To Be Everywhere Is To Be Nowhere and have reunited for an international tour.
Setting the expectation for a night that will mix both the new with the old, the performance opened with “Hurricane”, the first song off their latest album. Older songs like “Silhouette” and “Hold Fast Hope” were mixed in and met with fist pumping relief. The mosh pit in front of the stage expended decades worth of bottled up energy as Thrice continued with songs from 2003’s Artist In The Ambulance and 2005’s Vheissu. Soft spoken frontman Dustin Kensrue took a break from his hardcore howl to offer gentle encouragement to the revved up audience, “It’s a tight space, let’s all take care of each other out there.”
Even with the prolific discography that Thrice has, the first 20 minutes of the set managed to span their career. With 9 studio albums under their belt, Thrice has the dilemma of too much material to please everyone in one night. It’s not long before the audience gets restless, shouting “Play Deadbolt!!! (fan favorite off 2002’s Illusion of Safety)” at the stage.
Thrice calmed the culling cries for the past by shuffling in old aggressors like “Cold Cash and Colder Hearts”, but the night’s set was balanced on the band’s own terms. In many ways, Thrice is used to be a part time balancing act. They’ve had to reckon with fans’ expectations during their departure from “hardcore” on experimental records Vheissu and The Alchemy Index. Their decision to create the music they want over what their fans want to hear has resulted in mixed reviews on every album since. Still, Thrice has continued to stay true to themselves. Eighteen years after starting the band, the balancing act includes being grown men with families. Seeing an original line-up of any band that’s been around for almost twenty years is a rare thing, but here they are; Eddie Breckenridge stands in the pocket, swaying his body to heavy bass lines while Teppei Teranishi’s fingers danced up and down the neck of his guitar.
The colliding worlds of home life and personal preferences may continue to shift, but Thrice stands strong in a brotherhood forged in twenty years of friendship and musical loyalty to each other. The result has been the band becoming one of the most dynamic and ever-evolving groups to make it out of the early 2000’s.
“The Artist and The Ambulance” and “The Earth Will Shake” were played as the encore before Thrice said goodnight to an exhausted crowd that never stopped moving.
“Deadbolt” was never played.