Pushing the maximum capacity limits and shaking the floorboards of the Roseland Theater, Sunday night a sold-out crowd said a stirring farewell to Thrice, as their North American farewell tour made one last stop in the City of Roses.
Though the band has been adamant that this isn’t necessarily the absolute end for them, but instead a hiatus for the foreseeable future, fans of Thrice were left to the bitter-sweetness of getting to enjoy seeing a band that’s been at it for over a decade for what could possibly be the last time.
Opening acts O’Brother (whose grungy and darkly compelling alt. rock mesmerized the crowd yet again) and Animals As Leaders (whose spastic and furious djent is both technically impressive and somehow hard to listen to at the same time) provided the perfect segue way into an extended Thrice set.
As could be expected, by the time the California-native quartet took the stage, the anticipation in the room was palpable. Thrice burned through a nearly two hour long set with enthusiasm and conviction to spare, playing heavy-hitter after heavy-hitter, the room filled with longtime fans from the barricade to the bar.
With a discography spanning eight full length LPs, and countless tours under their belts, watching Thrice is always a treat because you can see what pride they take in their work. With such consistently good body of work to play through, the show’s energy level never dipped while they took fans on a aural walk down memory lane through the performances of fan favorites like set-opener “Yellow Belly” or the anathematic “Stare At The Sun.”
After a blistering set closer (“Beggars”), followed by seemingly unending waves of applause, the men of Thrice returned to the stage with a final round of encore songs (“Phoenix Ignition,” and “T & C” from their first release, all the way back in 2001, and “Anthology” from their more recent effort Major/Minor). To say the band ended on a high note is an understatement. The crowd made this unavoidably clear through encouraging cat calls, rumbling applause and a certain sort of attentiveness that is indicative of people who are trying to soak in every bit of something they might be experiencing for the last time.
After the show finished and the Roseland had emptied, frontman Dustin Kensrue surprised fans by playing a short solo acoustic set to a packed sidewalk and street outside of the venue. If Thrice’s hiatus becomes something that lasts indefinitely, fans will remember them, not only for their prolific and enduring art, but for the small, intimate gestures such as those.
Words by Jenna Fletcher
Photos by Kimberly Lawson. More on Flickr.