Thrice
Live At The House Of Blues


4.0
excellent

Review

by Sean Rizzo USER (32 Reviews)
January 8th, 2009 | 67 replies | 13,504 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: I just heard someone say we’re not a jukebox, and I appreciate that.

10 of 10 thought this review was well written

While they’re not on the forefront of new musical ideas, nor are they innovators of anything in particular, there’s still something special about the quartet from So-Cal. Consider their resume; they’ve put out an album that meshed post-hardcore with metal riffs and punk tempos, tastefully decorated with hooks and melodies, all executed nearly flawlessly to make a case for classic status (The Illusion of Safety), refined the sound and added more pop sensibility with the almost impossible not to like The Artist in the Ambulance, added some experimentation along with whatever instruments they had at their disposal with the radically different (for them) Vheissu, and finally, expanded on all of their sounds and influences with the highly experimental The Alchemy Index. So it’s safe to say that not many bands have tread as much ground as Thrice. With the enormous amount of ground they’ve covered, along came many loyal fans that maybe weren’t so loyal anymore when their newer records came out; any time a band is as versatile as this one, there are bound to be frustrated fans that wished they would stick to one of their particular sounds. This makes for interesting concerts; it’s inevitable that a portion of the crowd will only participate during certain songs, so Thrice do their best (not really) to please everyone at the House of Blues in their home state, fully equipped with beards and flannel shirts.

The first portion of the set is mostly made up of Alchemy Index songs (surprise!), with the semi-rare “Flags of Dawn” sneaking in. The newer songs actually translated better than I expected into a live setting; there’s enough variation within the Alchemy Index songs to suit whatever mood they were going for, so a nice little flow gets established early on and manages to make it all the way to the end of the two-disc set with minor hiccups. The band doesn’t shy away from their softer material live either, as “Digital Sea” and “Open Water” both make an appearance in the first eight songs. After a few songs garner seemingly lukewarm receptions, the crowd interaction finally gets to a substantial level near the end of the first disc with the perfect sing-along, “The Artist in the Ambulance”. The nostalgic fans in the crowd aren’t singing for long as the beautiful pair of “Broken Lungs” and “The Whaler” open the second disc. The studio version of the latter uses a drum machine to lay down the off-beat backbone of the song and Riley gives a very solid performance for the live version. In between songs, Dustin usually gives brief commentary or talks to the crowd. He even eventually addresses the constant demands to play whatever songs by saying “I just heard someone say we’re not a jukebox, and I appreciate that.” He goes on to admit it was Riley, and that if they deferred from the set at all it would confuse the guys running the lights. Don’t worry though, they satisfy the demands of those people that incessantly yell “Deadbolt!” throughout the entire set by waiting until the encore to play it and “The Earth Will Shake” – which is probably one of their best live songs due to the chants and climatic ending.

One of the first things you’ll probably notice is how high Eddie’s bass is in the mix (which in my opinion is how the bass should be mixed in any show), so that extra punch is present during the entire set and everything sounds very full and complete. A good example of this is the hard-hitting “Firebreather”, with the gang vocals during the bridge in full force; when you watch the DVD you can see that people actually come up on stage and share the mics with the band to give their “oh-o-o-o”s. I don’t know if this was intentionally humorous but it struck me as so. The band’s energy isn’t that great but you can still tell they want to be there, which is an upgrade from stage presences like Between the Buried and Me. As I mentioned before, they don’t defer from the set for anything, and that’s okay because the flow never gets interrupted, except for maybe the placement of “Trust” after “The Artist in the Ambulance”. The slower songs all translate well into a live setting, and the whole performance could probably work as an all-encompassing “Complete Works of Thrice” album. Everyone in the band except for Riley has a mic, so they all get plenty of involvement, from Eddie’s screams in a lot of songs to Teppei’s background vocals on “All That’s Left”.

Chances are if you've heard and liked a Thrice song, they have at least one album that should appeal to you because of their diversity. Having 25 of their songs that span four albums in one place almost guarantees that you will enjoy at least a few songs here. The DVD portion also includes some behind the scenes featurettes and interviews, things that die-hards gobble up. The lack of inclusion of some fan favorites like "To Awake and Avenge the Dead", "Hoods on Peregrine" and "Paper Tigers" will undoubtedly disappoint some, but some of the band's most loved songs like "For Miles", "The Earth Will Shake" and "Cold Cash and Colder Hearts" are here. The House of Blues this was recorded at is a relatively small venue, so that personal level of connection really shows in some of the fans during the show. Aside from a solid performance and an expansive, varied set, there isn't really anything that makes picking this up a necessity. But for any Thrice fan, no more could be asked.



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user ratings (312)
Chart.
4.2
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
robin
Emeritus
January 8th 2009



4241 Comments


really nice review, though i'm not sure i completely agree about the disloyal fans thing. probably gonna get this as i have most of their discography.

ToWhatEnd
January 8th 2009



3172 Comments


I was very surprised to see Flags of Dawn on here. I got this for my friend for Christmas and didn't even pick one up for myself since I thought it would be under my tree. Nope. Going to have to go over to his pad and watch this very very soon. Very surprised not to see To Awake and Avenge the Dead on a 25 song set but there's still very little to complain about, at least from an outside perspective. Hell I think I'll just pick this up today, my curiosity is killing me. Sweet review Sean. It's funny you talk about the nostalgic factor when they play TAITA and how much the place picks up as well as how people shout Deadbolt throughout the set. I've witnessed both of these multiple times at their shows and it's pretty funny that the same stuff happens in their hometown on the other side of the country from the venues I see them at.

roofi
January 8th 2009



959 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah, so I think this is your best review and I agree with you 100%. Just thought I'd throw
that out there.
Personally, I would have had them trim a few Alchemy-Index songs off the playlist and put a
couple more IoS songs on there, but whatever, I love it as is. The last part of Deadbolt is
just friggin epic. This Message Edited On 01.08.09

gaslightanthem
January 8th 2009



5209 Comments


really good review - although

So it’s safe to say that not many bands have treaded as much ground as Thrice.

it's just 'tread' not 'treaded'

IAmInsect
January 8th 2009



3800 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

it's just 'tread' not 'treaded'
really? microsoft word doesn't agree. idk.

SnackaryBinx
January 8th 2009



2309 Comments


Flags of Dawn is one of my favorite songs by them, and I'm so stoked to see that they play it. I'll get this soon enough.

gaslightanthem
January 8th 2009



5209 Comments


unless it is the american's polluting the english language again then it's definitley just 'tread' or at least 'trod' which is the plural of tread. but srsly it should be just 'tread' - i do english at higher university level so i should probably know :/

SnackaryBinx
January 8th 2009



2309 Comments


i'm pretty sure it's just tread.
microsoft can go fuck itself.

Mendigo
January 8th 2009



2299 Comments


this is an awesome album. the Alchemy Index songs are cool, although most of them cannot live up to the studio versions. But the older, heavier songs can.

lexicons
January 8th 2009



144 Comments


A very nice set from a very nice band. Thrice is pretty much godly live also; they played a cover of Helter Skelter when I saw them a couple months back.

gaslightanthem
January 8th 2009



5209 Comments


**definitely tread on my microsoft too!
but yeah this looks awesome

Channing
January 8th 2009



497 Comments


burn the fleet is my fav, it sounds so full live

DWittisarockstar
January 8th 2009



1501 Comments


I would get this but I'm not really into the Alchemy Index side of Thrice's career.

lexicons
January 8th 2009



144 Comments


If you don't like the Alchemy Index that much, I'd actually suggest you check this out more. It gains a lot live. The guitar in Firebreather sounds so much angrier.

Mendigo
January 8th 2009



2299 Comments


man, Thrice playing Helter Skelter must be awesome 8)

lexicons
January 8th 2009



144 Comments


Oh it was. My buddy who happened to be quite drunk on tequila kept yelling "play helter skelter!" the rest of the night...even after Thrice left the stage.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
January 8th 2009



20855 Comments


Excellent review Sean. I've been tossing & turning on whether to pick this up or not of late. Your review made my decision a little clearer.
Can someone please explain to me one thing on Thrice; Why do they usually not play 'Image Of The Invisible' live...??? I know a few people think that track is a little out of place on it's album, but it just sounds like it would be one hell of a live song to me.


Chewie
January 8th 2009



4531 Comments


I was gunna review this.

-_-

NortherlyNanook
January 8th 2009



1285 Comments


Can someone please explain to me one thing on Thrice; Why do they usually not play 'Image Of The Invisible' live...??? I know a few people think that track is a little out of place on it's album, but it just sounds like it would be one hell of a live song to me.

Yeah, it'd be fun if Thrice played it. However, I only got to see it covered by some shit band Cartel that came to my university (don't blame me, I was drunk at the time). It was still not too bad.

AlexTM510
January 8th 2009



1398 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Awesome review dude. I really enjoyed reading it.

And yea The Earth Will Shake is not only one of their best live songs but probably one of their most innovative songs with the crushing riffs mixed with it's weird smoldering blues.



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