Review Summary: An incredible collection for an incredible band.
Thrice are an incredible band, plain and simple. To go from the humble beginnings of Identity Crisis
to changing post-hardcore in The Illusion of Safety
, to the incredible punk rock of The Artist in the Ambulance
, the electronic-infused Vheissu
, the expansive The Alchemy Index
, the melodic Beggars
, and finally the (at the time) last gasp of Major/Minor
, they’ve done it all. With each album bringing something so incredibly different to the table, it’s impossible to fault the creative works of the quartet. But with such a genre-hopping career behind them, how were the friends supposed to give a proper farewell? Well, the answer was simple; let the fans choose what they played and, over the course of two nights, play your damn hearts out. Compiled onto a lengthy double-cd entitled Anthology
, the performance perfectly documents each step of their careers, and encompasses the incredible journey they took and the legacy they left behind.
Despite the band’s more softer sound as their career progressed, the setlist contains some classics from their earlier years. Despite the band providing far more comfortable performances on their newer tracks, older songs still sound as aggressive as they did in their heyday. Songs like ‘Kill Me Quickly’ and ‘To Awake and Avenge the Dead’ pop up along the way, and prove the band are still capable of belting out their classics, whilst newer cuts like ‘Yellow Belly’ and ‘Words in the Water’ fit incredibly well into the setlist. The production of the live performance is remarkable; every cheer and whistle from the crowd is right there in your ear. The instrumental aspects are also incredibly captured, with every guitar chord and snare drum perfectly encapsulated. The crowd is also incredibly vocal and at times steals the show; ‘The Artist in the Ambulance’s “Look around and you’ll see that at times/It feels like no one really cares” is belted with such passion from the audience, it isn’t surprising to find yourself screaming with them.
The biggest standouts for the performance are by far the tracks from later in Thrice’s discography. The previously mentioned ‘Words in the Water’, a standout track from Major/Minor
in its own right, is made even more incredible due to Dustin’s voice on the track. His slightly raspy delivery towards the end of the song drills an amazing sense of passion into the track, and is perfectly placed in the setlist. Other standouts include the mellow but powerful ‘Beggars’, the chant-esque ‘The Earth Will Shake’, and the beautifully-slow ‘Daedalus’. Each track in the performance is given so much care and appreciation from the bandmates, it at times feels as if it’s recorded live from the studio, other than Dustin’s struggle to belt out some lines. Surprisingly, Thrice nail even their earliest releases; ‘Deadbolt’, a live staple, is as aggressive as ever and ends with an incredible display of emotion as Dustin’s screams ring out; “What have I done/We all are those who thought they were brave”. Going even further back, the band end with two Identity Crisis
tracks; ‘Phoenix Ignition’ and ‘T & C’. Though the songs themselves are nothing special, both tracks, particularly the former, are played with an incredible amount of conviction and display the true potential of both songs when played live.
It's fitting, then, that after these tracks, Anthology
ends with its namesake; an explosive song that portrays a fitting ending to a band whose career remains as expansive as it is flawless. Every performance from Anthology
is played exactly how you expect and then some. Thrice, with help from their ever-lasting fans, create the perfect setlist that encompasses fourteen years of genre-defining creations. From the first pulsating riff of ‘Yellow Belly’ to the passion-soaked lyrics of ‘Anthology’, it’s hard not to smile and joke along with the band, head-bang to the heavy cuts, and soar with the softer cuts. And as the career of a band (at the time) comes to an end, ‘Anthology’ puts it all into perspective; “And I know what/We can see this through”.