Hot Water Music / Thursday / Paint It Black - live in New York (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Hot Water Music / Thursday / Paint It Black

live in New York (2008)

live show

When one of the best bills I've seen in a while was announced, I wasn't planning on missing it, regardless of the towering venue size Terminal 5 encompasses. Hot Water Music was set to co-headline with Thursday and openers Paint It Black, making for a show where having to sit through mediocre acts was not a worry at all -- plus, after all, I'd get to see another of HWM's sporadic reunion sets. Even if I was missing out on Circle Jerks / Dillinger Four and Alkaline Trio / Bayside / American Steel (both taking place in the same borough that night!), I still believe I made the best choice.

However, that large divide the barricade caused definitely took a bit from Paint It Black's set. "This barrier makes me want to kill myself," observed Dan Yemin from the unreachable stage. Yemin tried to fill the gap by often coming to the metal gate and leaning over it, mic outstretched and watching the pile-ons build in front of him. The complete lack of swarming and stage dives was a little off-putting, after all. The only other time I'd seen the band in a place so big was the Giants Stadium parking lot during Bamboozle 2006. Regarding stage banter, Yemin shit-talked AP a bit and elaborated on the political/personal overtones on certain songs but gave amusingly blunt answers for others ("CVA": "This song is about dying."). Still, dude was the gorilla he always is, limbs swinging from left to right and putting on a show while Andy Nelson and Josh Agran jumped around sufficiently. Even in 3000-cap places with two balconies, PIB manages to bring it -- to a certain extent.

Set list (mostly accurate -- may be missing a song or two towards end) (7:30-7:59):

  1. Past Tense, Future Perfect
  2. Pink Slip
  3. Womb Envy
  4. CVA
  5. Dead Precedents
  6. The Ledge
  7. Ghosts
  8. Atheists in Foxholes
  9. So Much for Honour Among Thieves
  10. Void (?)
  11. Cannibal
  12. White Kids Dying of Hunger
  13. We Will Not (?)
  14. Memorial Day
  15. Atticus Finch
Always with the dramatic flair to their sets, Thursday put on an emotional and theatrical show per usual. The set list was dominated by War All the Time songs, which I was pretty pleased about, but they threw in plenty of interesting things. "Dead Songs" sure tested Geoff Rickly's vocal stability a bit, but it came off swelling, emotional and driving; its bass was absolutely pulsing, shaking the venue and causing everyone in the crowd to numbly look at themselves as it rumbled in their respective chests. "Jet Black New Year" was a nice surprise. The simultaneously lulling and unsettling "Sugar in the Sacrament" was pretty gorgeous too, though the vocals really needed to be turned up here. The multi-part "Tomorrow I'll Be You" was laid down nicely, even though Rickly claimed the band never play it. All along, in the pit you could witness a mix of serious kickboxing and more dazed swaying for the slower songs; weird.

However, the highlight (for some, at least) may have been the new song played. "In Silence" (someone else noted it was actually "In Solace"; not quite sure who's right) came from the band's upcoming split LP with Envy, and was actually a budding, well-done instrumental song that built quickly to an effective climax, á la Mogwai / Explosions in the Sky. It sure makes sense for the LP, considering the last full-length from Envy.

Set list (8:19-9:20):
  1. For the Workforce, Drowning
  2. Between Rupture and Rapture
  3. Dead Songs
  4. Paris in Flames
  5. The Other Side of the Crash / Over and Out (Of Control)
  6. Understanding in a Car Crash
  7. Signals Over the Air
  8. Sugar in the Sacrament
  9. At This Velocity
  10. Division St.
  11. In Silence (new)
  12. Jet Black New Year
  13. Tomorrow I'll Be You
  14. Autobiography of a Nation
By the time Hot Water Music came on (after an introductory acoustic number on the PA), I was comfortably intoxicated and ready to join lots of excited metro neckbeards for gruff sing-alongs. While the set list for the Jersey show earlier this year may have been better (no "I Was on a Mountain"? C'moooon) and longer (by about 23 minutes or so), the crowd was way better here; maybe that could be attributed to having way more space and room to move in the more open Terminal 5, and the fact that those other aforementioned shows may have hurt the draw a bit. Either way, you could just tell people were having fun; instead of the claustrophobic battles for stage proximity, everyone was jumping around and throwing fists (in the air, not at each other) on the open floor.

And hey, the set list wasn't half-bad. They played just about all their "singles," inspiring shout-alongs from everyone. Ragan and Wollard sounded great playing off each other, and the middle of the set found the band simply rolling through without hesitation. They played the songs tightly (from the incredible "Trusty Chords" to the bass plucks of "Moonpies for Misfits") and seemed to have a good time themselves, as they've attested in multiple interviews and as they did on stage that night.

Set list (mostly accurate) (9:45-10:47):
  1. Remedy
  2. ?
  3. Rooftops
  4. Trusty Chords
  5. ?
  6. ?
  7. Paper Thin
  8. Jack of All Trades
  9. It's Hard to Know
  10. All Heads Down
  11. Moonpies for Misfits
  12. Wayfarer
  13. A Flight and a Crash
  14. Giver
  15. ?
  16. The Sense
  17. At the End of a Gun
  18. Turnstile
Though I see a lot of people complain about the sound at Terminal 5, it didn't seem entirely bad to me. The show was fantastic as expected, and one only hopes more lineups like this can happen. Hey, if you gotta see a show at a big venue, it may as well be with nothing but great bands.