I do always forget how good Thrice is live, though. I wasn't looking forward to seeing them, and I was mostly there to see Say Anything, yet the moment they took the stage I remembered just how much I like seeing them live.
They always play such solid sets, in terms of songs and quality. I've been unable to find their set list online and I can't remember most of it, but it was really, really long and contained a very healthy amount of old songs, which was nice. They encored with a new song from the second installment of the Alchemy Index, which I thought was brilliant and really enjoyed, and The Earth Will Shake.
Plus they just play so well every time I see them. Dustin Kensrue's voice is always clear, loud, powerful and unrestrained, and that can be so rare for live shows that it's just a joy to listen to. I've seen them at random times throughout the years - late 2005, 2006, late 2007 and now early 2008 - and it seems that he never has an off day. He just has a quality set of lungs on him, I guess. And an awesome name to boot. Kensrue? That's badass, man.
Really, say what you will about Thrice, but I have never been disappointed with their live performance. Even when I didn't know who they were, even when I got over my infatuation with Vheissu and didn't quite care for them so much anymore, I have never regretted standing through their set and watching them play.
They're a good group of talented guys, and watching them play, it's undeniable that they're really into what they're doing and that they really genuinely love it - though rare, Dustin and Teppei shared a few candid moments, and I caught them smiling at each other and just in general as they started the opening notes of another song several times. . They don't thrash around on stage or go crazy like some bands - that's not to say that they stand stock-still, but that kind of energy is not why they're so good. They just pour forth talent, quiet enthusiasm and intensity when they play. It's nice to see, and I admire them for continuing to get bigger yet refusing to sell out or stray from their message.
They don't make awkward eye-contact with members of the crowd, yet I always feel so connected to them when they play. They don't say anything or do anything besides play their music and sing their lyrics, yet I feel as if I instantly understand what they're trying to say, what message they're trying to bring across, and what they're hoping to achieve with their music.
Call me crazy, but I do feel that Thrice is one of those bands that plays for more than just the enjoyment of music itself. And whenever I see them live, I always come away feeling like I understand. Feeling a connection.
I just felt that Friday finally gave me a good chance to see what they were all about and really appreciate them.
Anyway! After a lot of running around downtown Toronto trying to get two tickets off of craiglists people because ticketmaster, being the usual endearingly cute corporation that they are, decided to stick an extra $5 on the ticket price because it was a "Day of Show" ticket. Fuck that.
We got in after Attack In Black started their set, and as a result I didn't really pay attention to the rest of it. The crowd didn't seem to be too into them, which I felt kind of bad for, because this was technically their home crowd. Except for when they played Young Leaves - "hey, I've heard this song on the radio a billion times! oh yeah, these guys!" Sorry, AiB.
Say Anything were really good, though. I didn't know any of their new songs, but they played about four of those and also Belt, Woe, Every Man Has a Molly (which was great - so energetic and the entire crowd got way into it, especially when Max yelled, "get off the fucking ground!" and most of the crowd complied), and Alive With the Glory of Love. No Admit It!, though I suppose that was because it would apply to most of the people in that room hah.
Anyway, they were very energetic and just awesome to watch. Max Bemis, while an asshole, is still one of those people that you kind of can't help but like... unless you wrong him and then he writes a song about it. Hah. I guess you gotta admire that kind of honesty and lack of fear when it comes to taking shots at people, as tactless as it may be. I guess.
Thrice I've already talked about, so I'll skip past that. Forward to after the show, when Lisa and I were milling about, kind of hoping to catch a glimpse of somebody from Say Anything or Thrice, but having no luck. The line-up for coat check was huge, so we went to the washroom to waste time.
As we're coming out, one of the guitarists from Say Anything walks past us and says, "You girls look really happy for somebody coming out of the washroom." I guess we were joking around and laughing or something. As usual. Anyway, Lisa was star-struck, and I didn't even register who it was until I was about three feet away and we had walked way past him without really saying anything but laughing at his joke and continuing on our way.
D'oh. Totally missed our chance to talk up somebody from Say Anything and, in my case, find out why they were skipping Toronto on their tour with Manchester Orchestra. Kind of awesome that he randomly talked to us, though, anyway.
So yeah. I'd see Thrice a fifth time (provided tickets were relatively cheap and they had good opening bands).