Show Review:Thrice’s Farewell Tour at the Regency Ballroom, 6/12/12

by Summer Dos Santos on June 16, 2012

Thrice’s Farewell Tour was the last chance for all the devoted and die-hard fans to see the melodic hardcore outfit before their indefinite hiatus. I consider myself a newly minted Thrice fan, despite being introduced to them four years ago thanks to their tour with Rise Against. With the release of their new album Major/Minor, I found myself scrambling to buy a physical copy of the album and played it in heavy rotation for weeks afterwards. Although I am a newer Thrice fan, I was throughly elated to learn I had the honor of attending this concert.

An experimental rock group from Atlanta, Georgia named O’Brother opened the show for Thrice with their song “Lo”. From the balcony I could see that only a few heads were rapidly nodding back and forth. Not many people were showing much enthusiasm so I assumed many people came into the concert not familiar with O’Brother and their bass heavy tunes. Once they started playing “Machines Part 1” I, along with many others, gave them my full attention. The intensity of the heavy melodies took me by surprise and how quickly the speed of the song changed. “Sputnik” was a good example of this. About a minute into the song I was almost positive it was going to be a song more on the mellow side. I was soon proved wrong. Between the yells coming from the lead singer and the booming bass, I really enjoyed that they didn’t stick to one distinct speed. Towards the end of their short but sweet set, I began to see more heads nodding and even a few enthusiastic yells here and there. O’Brother set expectations very high for the next opener, Animals As Leaders.

Animals As Leaders is a heavy progressive metal band based in Washington D.C that can be compared to the likes of Obscura, Blotted Science, and Scale the Summit. Before this concert, I had no idea who they were or what they even remotely sounded like. This trio started their set by playing “Wave of Babies” and I was instantly shocked. No vocalist at all? I wondered if their music could hold its own with only a bass, guitars, and drums. It did more than just that, it entranced me. Accompanying the music were two screens on each side of the stage, projecting psychedelic visuals that seemed to move to the beat as the lights frantically flashed different colors every second. At one point, I was so concentrated on the music and the screens that I completely forgot that there were a thousand other people standing around me. I wasn’t the only one either. As I looked around, I saw everyone just completely focused on Animals As Leaders. By the end of their set, my mind was shattered. I was trying to comprehend and make sense of what just occurred. Animals As Leaders got the crowd even more visibly excited and ready for Thrice’s set (even though I seriously didn’t think that was possible).

During the break before Thrice’s set, everywhere I turned all I could hear was excitement over their upcoming set and speculations on how long their hiatus might be for. Moments before their set, you could feel the anticipation amongst the crowd. Everyone was readying themselves for a mind blowing set. Soon Thrice took the stage and began their 23 song set with “Yellow Belly” off Major/Minor. Yes, 23 incredible songs. Now that’s what I call going out with a bang. After “Yellow Belly”  they played two of their most popular songs: “The Image of the Invisible” and “The Artist in the Ambulance”. Thrice already had the crowd enthusiastically singing, moshing, and crowd surfing well into the second song. It was made very clear that everyone in the Regency was a Thrice fan. Once I left the pit, I raced upstairs to see the view from above. From wall to wall, the entire floor was crammed with fans except for the massive mosh pit in the center of the floor. As I peered down at the guys running around in the mosh pit, I could see them singing, with arms open wide, as if this was the last time they’d ever sing again. Thrice commanded the stage and the entire venue was at their mercy. Every song was greeted with a strong applause and sang passionately by fans both on the balcony and down below. I could definitely see the pain in some of the audience’s faces; Thrice was going to be missed without a doubt. After ending their set with “Beggars”, they came back on for an encore that consisted of “Come All You Weary” (a personal favorite), “Phoenix Ignition”, and “T&C”. They left the stage once more but returned for a second encore, something I’d never heard of nor seen before. They concluded the legendary night with “Anthology”, a song I found well suited for their last goodbye. Thrice connects with their fans in a way that is almost untouchable and anyone can tell that they truly do appreciate them with every fiber of their being.

Overall, I found the night to be a tremendous success. O’Brother and Animals As Leaders certainly garnered more fans and Thrice strengthened their bond with all their current ones.

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