It's raining, so I decided to sit up at the bar and grab a whiskey and coke and relive what just happened only a few hours ago - a few minutes ago.
The night started unfortunate, as learning that The Builders and the Butchers would not be performing for the evening. Sure, this seemed to mean longer sets by both Thrice and Brand New, but I can't say enough good things about this band, and my excitement to be able to seem them. The best way to describe their music is that it sounds like a sinister, southern version of The Decemberists.
Thirce's tour manager Damon Atkinson said Builders are not off the tour, but simply fixing van problems, and hope to be at the next show in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
That aside, Thrice took the stage to blue backing lights and "All the World is Mad." Their first set of the tour, it was a solid mix of songs, mostly weighted in Beggars material. The band played "The Arsonist," for which they said they've only tried once before - maybe - and cuts from Vheissu ("Like Months to Flame" "Of Dust and Nations"). The band played their cover of "Helter Skelter." To be honest, it's a toss up between them and seeing Portugal. The Man's live off-the-cuff version, but I'll keep my mouth tight as too which I liked more live...it was a close race, I'll say that. The band ended with "Beggars," which may just be one of the best songs the band has ever created. On every level - energy, feel, lyrics, etc. - it is a winner.
Brand New took the stage to low lights, and with about an hour and half ahead of them. With a small intro, the band crept their way into "You Won't Know," everyone sharp and energetic.
Playing into earlier hits ("Degausser" "I Believe You, But My Tommy Gun Don't" and "The No Seatbelt Song"), the band sound like they were deconstructing their previous works in a devious way: frontman Jesse Lacey creating guitar bursts and feedback during the bridge to "Sic Transit Gloria...Glory Fades" to the heavy ending of "The No Seatbelt Song," either the band was having fun over boredom of their older songs, are they were meticulously deconstructing what they created. Another laugh amongst the band was held when Lacey seemed to purposely drag on his part of the "Jesus" outro. Guitarist Vin Accardi thought this was hilarious.
The band launched into "Vices," guitarist Derrick Sherman rattling his guitar against his amp while violently shaking the amp against his stomach. Lacey then sang something to start "Gasoline," but launched into it thereafter, drummer Brian Lane and bassist Garrett Tierney steady on rhythm.
The night ended with Lacey, guitar, and an Indian-style sitting Accardi backing vocals on "Play Crack the Sky." That was it. No encore.
Though I missed As Tall As Lions play an off show over at Stubb's just hours later, I would say the show I saw was great. Two bands I have the utmost respect for as musicians: one who continue to challenge themselves and their fans, and one who continue to devilishly deconstruct themselves and give their fans something new every show, whether those fans like it or not.