The first (and only) disappointment of the night was walking in the doors of Irving Plaza Oct. 16 to find out that I had just missed O'Brother's set. That disappointment was set aside the next moment, in which I was reminded that Moving Mountains were about to take the stage.
Lifting the curtain to a mostly full Irving Plaza a bit after 7:30 p.m., MovMou opened up with the opener off their recent release Waves, "My Life Is A Chase Dream (And I'm Still Having Chase Dreams)". With their solid stage presence and booming sound, it became almost immediately clear that this band was a natural opener for the tour. A friend even commented on how the Thrice influences abound in their newer material. After playing through nearly the entire first half of Waves, MovMou broke out into "Cover the Roots, Lower the Stems", which promptly reminded me why bands with three guitarists can be so damn awesome; the depth of the sound was rich as could be. Anyone in the crowd waiting to hear something off their Foreward EP would have to wait until the end of their set, when they played "With One's Heart in One's Mouth." With the cry of "All is lost!," the crowd, which had been relatively reserved for most of the set, reared its collective teeth, bringing a new passion and energy to the end of a sharp set.
Only having heard one of La Dispute's songs prior to their set, I was only somewhat aware of what to expect. Opening with "A Departure," the first song off their recent album Wildlife, the raspy, fast-paced, spoken word vocal stylings seemed reminiscent of At The Drive-In and Hot Cross, while a dance-y beat drove the song. After playing "The Most Beautiful Bitter Fruit," they jumped into some older songs, like "New Storms for Older Lovers" and "Sad Prayers for Guilty Bodies." The newer "Harder Harmonies" got Irving Plaza shaking with its huge ending, with energy akin to Glassjaw's more intense material. The crowd's energy started to climax with "Said the King to the River," and ended with "You and I in Unison" and a four-person drum circle on stage.
Just after 9:45, Thrice raised the curtain to an anxious crowd. They jumped right into "Yellow Belly," helping to answer any questions fans might have had about how new material off Major/Minor would sound live. In fact, these songs sounded better live than they did on the album. The nail in the coffin came with "Call It In The Air," which may not have been deemed a standout track on the album, but was certainly a standout live. As the song played out its course, with its back and forth between its majestic chorus and its breakouts of angry, fast paced parts, it became clear that the song very closely resembled the elements of air and fire. The set consisted of a great blend of songs off their discography, playing a few extra off Major/Minor, which is a good thing for any Thrice fan who has seen them play before. One of the best songs of the set had to be "Of Dust and Nations," which apparently had an extra dose of passion thrown in this time around. The crowd was as passionate through the set as Thrice was, singing along with every word as if this was their favorite band playing.
For all those fans, the night ended with a treat none had seen in years. After closing the set with "Anthology," Thrice came back to the cheering Plaza and took the stage once more. As soon as the first acoustic chords of "Pheonix Ignition" were played, the crowd realized what was actually happening: Thrice was reaching back into their catologue to their first album, Identity Crisis. After that wild surprise came another in the form of "To Awake and Avenge The Dead," off of The Illusion of Safety. The crowd rabidly sung along as Thrice concluded the set, on which they had touched on every one of their albums.
As Thrice's fanbase has matured, Thrice has kept up every step of the way. Through their earlier albums to the experimentation of The Alchemy Index to the recombination of those elements on Beggars and Major/Minor, Thrice has remained both consistent and ever-changing. This set was the best example of this duality, feeling both seamless and varied at the same time, offering great new songs live and also throwing back to earlier material not heard live in years. If you've been putting off seeing Thrice live, it is time to stop and treat yourself.
1. My Life Is A Chase Dream (And I'm Still Having Chase Dreams)
2. Where Two Bodies Lie
3. Tired Tiger
4. Always Only For Me
5. The Cascade
6. Cover the Roots, Lower the Stems
7. With One's Heart in One's Mouth
1. a Departure
2. The Most Beautiful Bitter Fruit
3. New Storms for Older Lovers
4. Sad Prayers for Guilty Bodies
5. Harder Harmonies
6. Why It Scares Me
7. Said the King to the River
9. You and I in Unison
1. Yellow Belly
2. The Weight
4. All The World is Mad
5. In Exile
6. Call It In The Air
8. Cold Cash and Colder Hearts
10. Treading Paper
11. Words in the Water
12. Of Dust and Nations
15. The Earth Will Shake
17. Phoenix Ignition
18. To Awake and Avenge the Dead