“Oh, you know me and oh, I know you.” Were the last words sang and shared by both Dustin Kensrue of Thrice and the enamored crowd that came to see the band play what could possibly their last show ever in Salt Lake City. These lyrics from “Anthology” the last track from the band’s latest release Major/Minor could not ring any more true. While members of Thrice have often been quoted saying that they are a band who makes music for themselves and the sheer love they have for music, Thrice is still truly the ultimate fan’s band.
Thrice has been a band that I have listened to for the majority of their 14 year existence. I have every single record, I know their entire catalogue by heart and have seen them play live more than any other band I can think of. If you have never seen them in concert, let me be the first to assure you that they kill it every single time they take the stage. Let me also urge you to go to one of the remaining stops on their farewell tour before it’s too late.
While Thrice has definitely gained a strong and loyal following throughout the years, they are in my opinion one of the most underrated bands in music currently. While their music started in Punk/Metal roots, they have matured and grown into a band that has versed themselves well in countless genres and influences. It is evident, that with the release of every album the band has pushed themselves to expand their music abilities and limitations. In doing so they have taken their fans on the same journey and expanded the listener’s palate and tastes in music. And so it is now that after nearly a decade and a half, the members of Thrice have decided to take an indefinite hiatus and spend time with their respective families.
The show was opened by one of my absolute favorite bands at the moment, O’Brother, who is tremendous live. Their sound is heavy, dark and ominous yet melodic and somewhat theatrical. Think Torche, and Deftones meets Explosions In The Sky with a hint of Queens of the Stone Age. When the show was over I got tbe chance to meet all the members of O’Brother as they were standing around selling their merch. I am sure that I came off as a giddy fanboy telling them how awesome they were and how they are currently my favorite band. However, they couldn’t have been more humble and gracious, taking the time to ask me my name and thank me for my support. If you haven’t listened to these guys yet be sure to check out their latest record Beneath Your Garden Window, as well as their outstanding EP The Death Of Day. Both of which you can buy here.
Thrice also invited the prog/math/metal outfit Animals As Leaders to open as well. This band’s music is simply mind-bending. Animals As Leaders consists of founding member Tosin Abasi as well as Javier Reyes, both shredding on 8-string guitars backed by the incredible percussion of Matt Garstka. While I would never deny the band’s talent or technical abilities, I am the type of listener who believes that this band would benefit by the addition of some unique vocals (something that is not a typical metal growl) as well as a touch more traditional song structure. By the end of their set I felt that I had heard the same song repeatedly and felt that their technicality had become a bit of a novelty. However, as I said these guys are awesome and definitely worth a listen. You can purchase their music here.
As the road crew finished setting up Thrice’s stage set, a wave of emotions rattled through me. I couldn’t help but feel a little sad looking at the empty stage in realization that this could realistically be the last time I saw this band. A band which I have held so dearly throughout most of my adolescent and adult life. I was also grateful for the opportunity to watch them perform and experience the power of their music one last time. I would have been severely disappointed in myself if I had missed this show.
Thrice took to the stage and did what they do best, play incredible music to a dazzled crowd. Kicking off their set with Major/Minor‘s “Yellow Belly,” Thrice powered through favorites from the band’s entire repertoire. The crowd gladly and enthusiastically sang along to every song, such as “Deadbolt,” “Image of the Invisible,” and “Silhouette.” A couple highlight’s in the set for me were when the band stopped to slow things down for a moment and played a couple song’s that were chosen by the fans in a poll the band had put out to help select song’s for the set. These included the beautiful “Daedalus’” and “Red Sky.” Another highlight being when the Thrice played the incredibly powerful “Firebreather,” followed immediately by Veissu‘s “Earth Will Shake,” (in which they were accompanied by member’s of O’Brother.) Both song’s are hands down my favorite song’s to hear live. The show eventually came to a close with not just one encore that included song’s from the band’s first album Identity Crisis, as well as another of my favorites “Come All You Weary,” but Thrice also took the stage for a second encore. Ending the show (where this review began) with the very fitting “Anthology.”
As the band exited the stage, the crowd (myself included) remained in awe and chanted “Thank you Thrice!” with the most sincere gratitude. I can’t help but feel with that last moment I closed a big chapter in my life. I personally wish Dustin Kensrue, Teppei Tarenishi, and Riley and Eddie Breckenridge of Thrice luck in all their coming endeavors and hope that sometime in the future, I have the privilege to see them play live together again.
Here are some more vids from the show. Be sure to check out Bearded Gentlemen’s YouTube channel for more great concert footage from this show as well as others!