An open letter to Geoff Rickly of Thursday:
I'm sorry you're sick. Again. I've seen your band now over half a dozen times over the years and I think there have been two shows where you've been healthy. Perhaps it's the same flu that made the drummer of We're.All.Broken to sit out the set. Don't worry, though, Tucker did an amazing job for filling in.
I guess I'll start with them. Tucker was probably the highlight of their set, and he learned the drums to their show in two hours. They weren't bad per se, just really lopsided. One minute they reminded me of Sunny Day Real Estate. The next minute they reminded me of the late `90s nü-metal wave that was shitting all over the radio. They had a great stage presence, don't get me wrong. But I tend to tune out a band that uses three guitars and still feels the need for pre-programmed sounds. For a band with such energy, it's a shame their music didn't really back it up. Also, you might want to talk to them about their name...I think it's We're.All.Broken, but when they announced themselves to the crowd, they said, "We're All Broken from New Jersey." Shouldn't it be, "We're We're.All.Broken from New Jersey?" It's just really confusing.
When I had heard you were bringing out the Number 12 Looks Like You on tour, I got pretty excited. On record they might be a tad generic as far as grindcore and excessive breakdowns are concerned, but sometimes it's nice to have a little bit of that to mix up a set. Unfortunately, I didn't realize that this band had two singers. See, I sort of alluded to the fact earlier that I don't like it when bands have too many of something... Three guitars seems like too much with another computerized soundtrack in the background. Two vocalists alternating the same tone scream and headbanging doesn't seem logical. There was absolutely no need to have two guys on stage, except so one could scream while the other was headbanging. I will say that the main guitarist was absolutely amazing and breathtaking to watch; his skills are far beyond that of what you might expect from a band such as this. Some of the crowd seemed to be in to it, specifically the kid next to me screaming along. For being 15 he pulled off that "I'm trying to sound like a bitter old grandma" scream really well.
Minus the Bear wasn't on this date, and that's a drag. What is even more of a drag is that the time allotted wasn't made up for -- you guys only played for an hour total, including the short break before the encore. It was nice to hear half the set taken from Full Collapse, but every song you played I've seen before. Why not mix it up, and play "I Am the Killer" or "Wind Up?" Instead of the obvious choices from War All the Time, why not "M. Shepard" or "Tomorrow I'll Be You?"
I guess this is the pitfalls of being a bigger band now. The band gets bigger and the fans get younger. I felt incredibly out of place being 23. Maybe it's just because you booked a show in a college town during Spring Break.
Don't get me wrong -- none of this reflects poorly on the band actually playing. In fact, this is the tightest I've ever seen Thursday play. You're at the top of your game. The drumming was outstanding. The guitars were perfectly in sync. Even your vocals were top notch, hitting every note right on. The new songs -- "The Other Side of the Crash" and "Counting 5-4-3-2-1" -- really tore shit up and made me excited for the new record.
Maybe I caught this tour on an off night. There seemed to be plenty of illness and the fact that half the crowd would have been 12 when Full Collapse came out caught me off guard. This is just what happens with bands. I still enjoyed myself, and was glad to give some money towards a tour with such a good cause, but I don't think I'll be making the nearly two-hour trek to Eugene again. To drive that far to hear the eleven-song set list and see two mediocre opening acts just isn't worth what they're charging for gas these days. I'd heard rumors of 18 or 19-song sets with 4 or 5 new songs, songs I've been waiting quite a long time to hear. Again, maybe it's just because you're sick, but it's pretty weak to have this nice small setting and not be exposed to many new or exciting things.
Bad shows are bound to happen, it's just the way things go. This won't detract me from seeing you again, because if the couple new songs I did hear are any indication, there is plenty good to look forward to.
Hope you're feeling better,
An open letter to Geoff Rickly of Thursday: