It has been a very long time since I first saw Thrice in Scranton PA. USA, as they headlined at the touring punk festival institution that is the Warped Tour 05. I’ll be the first to admit that I had no idea who they were and we only stopped to watch because they were on the stage closest to the exit. A came away that evening screaming their names from the highest towers as they were simply brilliant. Couldn’t tell you why, or what they sounded like, it was just great aggressive rock music.
It’s an easy observations, but 7 years later on we have matured. Thrice have gone from angry punked youths to methodical prog tinged rockers. both veins given a run out this evening, the latter style kicking off the night with tunes from their latest album Major/Minor which showed their more restrained noise, but most expressive melodies. There is no questioning the quality and scope of tonight’s setlist, mainly because it was informally selected from by an online fan poll. Taking songs from each of their albums they covered angry riff driven metal/punk of early day albums Identity Crisis, The Illusion of Safety and The Artist in The Ambulance on numbers such as Phoenix Ignition and To Wake And Avenge The Dead and set highpoint eponymous The Artist In The Ambulance.
The crowd were at their most moshiest during these tunes, especially during some huge breakdowns (prime suspect Silhouette) which had even the most recently converted fans heads a wagging. The fans tonight were truly awesome, each opening chord, note or vocal this evening was met with a huge roar of “yeeeeeeeeees!!!”, followed by manic leaping and mouthing of each and every word. There was a sense of reverence and unhinged emotion in the air, for this was possibly the last time Thrice would ever set foot on a UK stage again.
Musically the band played their part too. Vocalist/guitarist Dustin Kensrue was on top form who in combo with lead axeman Teppei Teranishi created a glorious racket of clashing riffs , mellow atmospherics and angst fuelled thunderous power chords. When they decided sharpen their the progressive edge and revisit albums Vheissu and their Alchemy Indices I-IV, beautiful brutality and caressing sound scapes were never far behind. Tracks such as the dreamy Red Sky and the cataclysmic Firebreather showcasing the best efforts.
Thrice played on through an epic length of time extending the track list to 24 songs in just under 2 hours, returning for not 1 but 2 encores, the latter where they played their first ever single T&C’s. A brilliantly palm muted duelling guitar riffed melody which launched into a full-on energy and thrust that extracted the final reserves of the fans long exhausted voices providing the final chance to dance (I say dance, I mean bounce/clash).
Taking a collective bow Thrice bowed out of the UK on a high, when/if they return is a question for another day. Tonight all that mattered is, we were there!