I’ve lost count of how many times I have seen Thrice live. They are one of those bands that, no matter how times I see them, it never seems to get old. Sure, I like their old stuff much more than I like their newer stuff but Thrice is just one of those bands that I appreciate so much both musically and as individual musicians that I’ll keep going back time and time again regardless of what album they are touring on or what their set list looks like. That was the main reason I spent my Thursday night out at a show instead of at home packing like I should have been (only 7 days until I move into a townhouse but who’s counting… right?). Not only was I about to see Thrice but I was about to cross Drug Church off my bucketlist, see mewithoutYou for what could very well be the last time, and fall in love with Holy Fawn. Yeah, sure, I was excited to see Thrice but I was also excited for so much more.
Holy Fawn got the night started with a very atmospheric set that definitely set the mood for the night perfectly. Their music went from calming to chaotic in the blink of an eye and I was eating up every moment of it. I don’t typically comment on lighting other than mentioning if a show has an insane light show but Holy Fawn’s lights deserve a nod. The lighting was simple with just a couple of floor lamp type things set up but the lightbulb they had on said lamps were flickering like a candle and created a very warm and inviting ambiance to go with their sound. There were a million elements and influences heard throughout their quick opening set that shouldn’t really work together but somehow came together to create a perfect sound. From the atmospheric instrumentation to the black metal-esque vocals, Holy Fawn was seriously all over the place but were also the perfect opener for a show that seemed to take all of the elements found in their music and expand on them.
I was beyond excited to see the next band. My brother had been shoving Drug Church down my throat and, with a little bit of hesitation, I gave it a chance (I mean, come on, my little brother isn’t allowed to out-music me) and fell head over heels for this band. I was thrilled to finally be seeing them live and they definitely did not disappoint. The Albany, New York based post-hardcore band took the stage and whipped the audience into a frenzy. Vocalist Patrick Kindlon had a very commanding presence about him which kept me captived throughout their set and pleading with the concert gods for more once the group left the stage. You could feel the emotion that came with every single word of every single song but could also feel a sense of artistry and calmness at the same time. It was a very strange dynamic that I wasn’t expecting from this band but a dynamic that instantly made this band a band that I will absolutely have to see live again sooner rather than later.
Something painfully magical happens when you’re watching band knowing that it would probably be the last time you ever see them perform and that painful magic was felt loud and clear throughout mewithoutYou’s set. mewithoutYou has been a force in the scene since they started back in 2000. Aaron Weiss, whose vocals teeter between spoken word and some of the most beautiful lines of notes you have ever heard, led mewithoutYou through a an eleven song set that clearly had the audience feeling every feel in the world. I’ve always admired the passion felt when this band is on stage and seeing them last night was a great reminder of that. Their music isn’t busy but it’s also not empty. Every note has a place and a purpose and although that can be said for many bands, there’s something craftful about the way mewithoutYou does it. In October of last year, mewithoutYou announced that 2020 would be their final year as an active band. I may not be a die-hard fan like many of those in the audience on Thursday night are but it still broke my heart to hear it. I’m sure they have their reasons for the decision but that doesn’t make it any easier for those who were screaming along to every word during their set last night like their life depended on it. As the finaly notes of “Rainbow Signs” rang through the speakers, the audience was left pleaded for “one more song”. That song never came but I hope mewithoutYou felt that desparation for just one more moment with the band and that they end up coming back to the Twin Cities before the year is up. mewithoutYou is an extremely powerful band and having to say goodbye to them is going to be a super long process for their devout fans.
Closing out the night was the almighty Thrice. As mentioned, I have pretty much lost count of how many times I’ve seen this band perform but it never gets old. Thursday night’s show was in celebration of 15 years of their 2005 album “Vheissu”. Although I feel like “Vheissu” doesn’t hold a candle to their 2003 release “The Artist in the Ambulance”, I was still excited by the wave of nostalgia that hit me as the band kicked into their set which was primarily a playthrough of “Vheissu”. Like I mentioned in the beginning, this band could honestly get on stage and play the Happy Birthday song over and over again and I would be absolutely captivated and in love so hearing songs dating back fifteen years and took me on a trip to a time that was somehow both simplier and more complicated at the same time was a joy. The audience’s emotion matched the emotion that radiated from the stage and the feeling of appreciation flowed back and forth between stage and audience without a single hinderance. Thrice truly became “the band” for many people in my generation and it’s clear that the band members recognize and respect that.
I love the way that even though Thrice has been doing this since 1999, nothing has changed with this band, only evolved. Okay, you can fight me on that statement as I know it’s completely contradictory but what I’m trying to say is that even though the music and even musical style of this band has changed over the years, they have always stayed true to their roots. Even their new songs that seem to take a more calming approach to the angst that was heard loud and clear in their first couple of albums are clearly Thrice’s and have stylistic characteristics that only Thrice can pull off. The entire show had been amazing but watching Thrice close out the night was just the icing on the cake and the perfect ending to a perfect Thursday night concert.
I did the painful task of saying goodbye to mewithoutYou (although I’m still hoping they anounce a final, final tour that comes through this way), had the joy of crossing Drug Church off my bucketlist, expanded my list of bands to keep an eye on with Holy Fawn, and got to experience Thrice live yet again. I should have been at home packing more of my crap but how was I supposed to miss such an amazing show?
Venue: First Avenue
Sausage Fest Meter- 6 out of 10
Smell-O-Meter – Nothing Notable
Average Age of the Crowd– 35
Crowd Surfers- None spotted but I was hanging in back due to the feeling of a bout of strep creeping up on me
Nostalgia-ability- 8.3 out of 10
Stage Divers- None
Broken Bones- None
Spotted Flying Through The Air- Drinks
Fights- None Witnessed
Pukers- None Witnessed
Passed Out Drunkards- None Witnessed
Idiots Taken Out By Security- None Witnessed
How Many Times I’ve Seen These Bands Before-
Drug Church- 0
Thrice- 13 I think?
Celebrity Sightings- Joram of Ex Nuns
Overall Score- 8.3 out of 10
Show on Deck- Riverdance
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