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Thrice / Kevin Devine / Bad Veins: live in New Yorklive in New York (2010)
Reviewer Rating: 4
Contributed by: InaGreendaseBrian
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This was easily one of the longest drives to the city for me in years. 14 straight exits of delays on the LIE meant my cousin and I arrived just as the Dig were finishing their set. I didn't really watch enough of them to get a handle on what they were doing, but said cousin turned to me during that.
This was easily one of the longest drives to the city for me in years. 14 straight exits of delays on the LIE meant my cousin and I arrived just as the Dig were finishing their set. I didn't really watch enough of them to get a handle on what they were doing, but said cousin turned to me during that last song or so and muttered, "Uhhh...this sounds like Aerosmith." While the band's sound seemed a little more modest and down-to-earth than that, it may not have been far off in terms of rock bravado and scope. I can't really say.
I thought Thrice had peaked in popularity some years ago, but that was another perception shot sharply down when the packed-out audience exploded with a raucous response as the band came out onto the stage and the groovy bassline opening "All the World Is Mad" was fingered. From there the band played an opening salvo whose highlights included the excellently spacey yet driving "Of Dust and Nations," the complex heaviness of "The Earth Will Shake" and the similarly intense "Firebreather" and "The Messenger"--the latter sequenced just like on 2007's Fire EP.
A comment overheard from one particular fella in the crowd to another as Thrice played the opening twang to "Come All You Weary" highlighted the idea that the band's fanbase still has a very "bro" orientation despite their musical experimentation and progression: "Let's go to the back, they're playing all the pussy songs." The "pussy songs" were sequenced well during the set's second quarter, though, with Air's "A Song for Milly Michaelson" preceding two from Beggars: the breathy, beautiful "Circles" and the shimmy-to-soft snarl of "Double Speak."
I was relieved that the guy in charge of lighting for this show cooled it down with the strobe--at Taking Back Sunday the night before, it was fucking blinding. A better mix of soft blues, reds, whites and purples splashed down onto the band that complemented their sound at every turn.
The song choices spread across the band's discography fared well, though I felt the "deeper cuts" could have easily been swapped with stronger, better ones from the respective albums. Vocalist/guitarist Dustin Kensrue said they hadn't played this one in at least four or five years before they kicked into one of their highest-charting singles in "Image of the Invisible," with Devine coming out on stage to sing along with guitarist/keyboardist/vocalist Teppei Teranshini on his mic. It's an okay albeit needlessly repetitive song, but I'd have taken most anything else off Vheissu--what about "Red Sky" and its towering, gut-wrenching chorus, or the chilling, slow-moving spine tingles of "Atlantic"? And the one track from The Illusion of Safety, "To Awake and Avenge the Dead" (Kensrue sent it out to long-time fans) was cool, but the blistering intensity of "Kill Me Quickly" or "A Subtle Dagger" probably would have added a more unique element to the set.
Still, the band played absolutely solidly, and it was probably one of the better times I've seen 'em.
Set list (10:12-11:20):
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