Thrice / We Are the Ocean - live in Leeds (Cover Artwork)

Thrice / We Are the Ocean

Thrice / We Are the Ocean: live in Leedslive in Leeds (2010)
Vagrant Records

Reviewer Rating: 3

Contributed by: wearestillalivewearestillalive
(others by this writer | submit your own)

I'll admit this straight away: I only got into Thrice when the Alchemy Index EPs came out. I had originally written them off as a Taking Back Sunday-style band that I had no interest in, and it wasn't until I listened to The Alchemy Index that I saw the Thrice as they deserved to be seen: a group th.

I'll admit this straight away: I only got into Thrice when the Alchemy Index EPs came out. I had originally written them off as a Taking Back Sunday-style band that I had no interest in, and it wasn't until I listened to The Alchemy Index that I saw the Thrice as they deserved to be seen: a group that pushed themselves to do whatever they pleased in expanding their creative boundaries and growing as a band. Although I eventually came to enjoy their earlier records as well, the experimentation on Vheissu, the variation and mastery of multiple styles found on the Index, and the mature confidence of Beggars are Thrice's defining moments.

It is unfortunate, then, that they are sharing a stage on this tour with a band that sound like a crap version of their first few records. We Are the Ocean had more bad screaming in forced American accents and pseudo-hardcore breakdowns than you could possibly want, determined to ride the trend to its overdue death with one foot placed firmly on the monitors. I couldn't help but wish that the opening band would be someone who would help Thrice distance themselves from the ongoing emo stigmata in the same way that their developing sound now does, rather than going for a derivative band who only served to drag them back towards it.

But who cares, huh? The only thing that mattered, really, was that Thrice were about to hit the stage. As I worked my way to the middle of the crowd, though, I couldn't help but be concerned about the lack of keyboards on stage and remembered that Teppei Teranshini, who plays the majority of the band's keys, had dropped out of this tour. It was unfortunately obvious from before their set had even begun that I wouldn't be hearing a fair few of my favourite new songs.

Opening with "Of Dust and Nations" from Vheissu , "Silhouette" from The Artist in the Ambulance, a pair of songs from Beggars and a cover of "Helter Skelter" made for a great, varied opening to the set. A mosh pit immediately broke out as soon as the first note was played and I rushed to join it, although it understandably slowed to a halt for the songs from Beggars. Not from unfamiliarity, though -- a good chunk of the excitable crowd raised their fists in the air to yell every word back in Dustin Kensrue's face. It was just unfortunate that only the more standard of the songs from Vheiussu and Beggars could be played in Teppei's absence, and that the band had to continuously fall back on material from Artist to keep the crowd going as, despite singing along, many seemed to be losing interest after a stretch of slower songs.

"Deadbolt" was the only track from The Illusion of Safety on the set list, and the same Illusion track that appears on their 2008 live release. It's especially odd that they rely so heavily on the Artist, but at the same time seem to ignore Illusion when they are by far the band's two most similar albums. Especially disappointing, however, was the overwhelming lack of material from The Alchemy Index, with only one song from Air, "Song for Milly Michaelson," being played to what was probably the worst reception of the night. I thought that surely something from Fire would be played (I was hoping for "Firebreather"), as it contains the best of their more hardcore-leaning work and would surely get the crowd going, but no.

The obligatory encore saw Kensrue coming on stage alone with just an electric guitar. He gave the crowd the choice of either a song from Earth, or "Stare at the Sun," and the response was almost unanimously for the Artist in the Ambulance single, which was played beautifully before the band rejoined to close the show with the title track from Beggars.

This was definitely an odd show. Thrice were impressively tight on stage despite the loss of their regular guitarist, although almost completely motionless. Fortunately, the crowd more than made up for their lack of energy, at least until a slower song came on. An admittedly quite varied mix of songs gave the kids up front what they wanted, but I can't have been the only one who came as a fan of their more creative material and left a little disappointed. The support were also completely unable to pick up any of the slack, putting on one of the most uninspired performances I've seen in quite some time. Very good, but not great.


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
thirtyseconds (January 24, 2010)

Saw this in Nottingham, can't say I enjoyed it. Good review; especially the bit on We Are The Ocean.

chrisafi (January 24, 2010)

I am uk (london) but didn't catch them this tour as they were playing the london date with Glassjaw and Brand New at wembley arena (10,000 people) I intensly dislike arena gigs so gave it a miss.

Still_Alive (January 24, 2010)

This band has never and will never sound like Taking Back Sunday, there is no connection. Identity Crisis was awesome, Illusion of Safety was awesome, and Artist in the Ambulance was pretty awesome. I will recognize their talent and ability, but what they play now is not something I am interested in haha I guess I'll just keep listening my records with boring screaming and hardcore breakdowns.....you know, stuff similar to and including the first three thrice records. That is what Thrice will always be to me........I'll pass on the ambient jam sessions for now.

paulsilence (January 24, 2010)

I will always be that guy who loves TIOS and TAITA more than anything that has come since. Beggars is a solid album that isn't very exciting, and at least half of The Alchemy Index doesn't interest me.

I've never seen Thrice live, but I did purchase the House of Blues double album, and one of the things that struck me as odd was the way Thrice didn't seem to want to improvise. Dustin makes a comment about not being able to escape the playlist because of the lighting. I don't know... Felt too strict for my tastes, like a going through the motions, we know what the fans want better than they do sort of thing.

And there really needs to be a little more respect for fans wanting to hear a bit more from TIOS and even IC. Why in the world would you ignore their wishes?

Blackjaw_ (January 24, 2010)

Funny, I actually think old Taking Back Sunday is much better than old Thrice. Where Thrice had horrible screaming, TBS had gruff, shouty gang vocals.

Eelsupinsideya (January 24, 2010)

Oh and I agree with the comments about the support band. How fucking boring is it to still be finding new bands that are doing the hardcore, agressive shouting in the verse and then have the melodic singer take over the chorus. You'd have to be pretty spectacular to make this interesting. We are the Ocean are neither interesting or spectacular.

Eelsupinsideya (January 24, 2010)

Saw them at Cardiff on thursday night . I actually thought they were brilliant, although it sounds as though the energy was reversed as the crowd seemed fairly subdued but the band not. Was surprised a bit by the set list although I guess it made sense as if they couldn't play the more experimental stuff then it seems logical to pick Artist tracks to replace them as it is definately the popular album (well, certainly amongst the people I know). I would have preferred more from Beggars but didn't leave disappointed in any way. They are a brilliant band, whatever they play.

Read more: http://www.punknews.org/reviews#ixzz0dXNiwi3P

wearestillalive (January 23, 2010)

chris you're a uk chap, are you not? did you see them on this tour?

chrisafi (January 23, 2010)

my experience of thrice live is similar. weird setlists with nowhere near enough alchemy index and big lulls in energy,

wearestillalive (January 23, 2010)

Well, come on, when I first listened to Artist when I was 14 or so, I didn't give it much of a thought. I was more concerned with listening to Swing Kids than listening to stuff like the kinds at school were calling emo. And you have to admit, Thrice are more like Taking Back Sunday than it is like 'real' emo. I didn't really like Thursday much back then, either. But then I grew out of my pretensions a little bit. Not too much.

And yeah, I'm sure if Teppei had been there, it would have been a better show. Hence only three stars.

wearestillalive (January 23, 2010)

Just a side note that I didn't find out until after I submitted the review: the guest guitarist is apparently Nate from Receiving End Of Sirens.

TheChemist (January 23, 2010)

What in the fuck were you thinking when you thought they were anything like Taking Back Sunday? At no point did either band sound very similar.

Anyway, I experienced a similar show when I saw them in SF. The reason you didn't see some of your favorite songs was obviously because Teppei wasn't there. The set they played in SF and the set they played in Texas months before were completely different. Wasn't Beggars an awesome live song? I felt like my life was changed after.

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