Thrice w/ mewithoutyou, Drug Church and Holy Fawn
Showbox SoDo, Seattle, WA
15 years ago, Thrice released one of their most ambitious and misunderstood albums, Vheissu. The album was still heavy hardcore but they turned up the experimental notch ten times what their previous albums had produced. The album would be the turning point in the band’s writing style to a more mature, experimental, and fulfilling type of music for that would be heavily reflected in their forthcoming records. To celebrate such a pivotal album, they set out on a nationwide anniversary tour to celebrate Vheissu.
On just their third night of the tour, they played Seattle’s Showbox SoDo to a sold-out crowd, full of fans looking to hear Vheissu from track one to track eleven. The night began with the familiar sound of a morse cord radio as they opened up with the song “Image of the Invisible.” The crowd screaming back “We are the image of the invisible!” between lead singer Dustin Kensrue’s singing. The songs and the band had overtaken the crowd with their heavy rhythms, mythical pianos sounds, and heart-thumping bass.
Kensrue led the band with his rich, soft, and deep vocals, showing off his true range in contrasting songs like “Image of the Invisible” and “Red Sky.”
The back of the stage was lit with hanging incandescent light bulbs creating an underground speakeasy vibe. Drummer, Riley Breckenridge, off-centered to stage left in the back, provided a steady beat. When the music got faster, heavy lights would flash like a strobe light. Heavy backlights created silhouettes out of everyone. The lights complimented each song like a lime compliments a taco.
Bassist and brother to their drummer, Ed Breckenridge, is always fun to watch perform. Everything he feels from the music can be seen on his face, including the passionate way he screams his backup vocals and thrashes about his bass; especially on songs like “The Earth Will Shake.”
Teppei Teranishi led with his complex guitar riffs and melodic piano, off alone on stage left bouncing between piano and guitar on songs like “For Miles” and “Between The End and Where We Lie.”
The atmosphere in Showbox SoDo was electric. From start to finish, the fans never slowed down. And neither did Thrice. After nearly an hour the band transitioned over to playing songs from different albums, sticking with mainly newer songs that reflected the experimental and courageous tones of Vheissu. They played through “Flags of Dawn,” “Talking Through Glass,” and “Black Honey.”
Thrice ended the set with a song off Major/Minor, “Words in the Water.” The gentle stir of the drum and light vocals began the song before heavy guitar rhythms filled in on this passionate ballad type song.
15 years ago, Vheissu was released to mixed reviews among fans. After watching a sold-out Showbox SoDo go so hard for an album anniversary show, it’s easy to say that it has grown on fans and is one of the band’s best albums they have made.
The night began with a long list of opening bands including fan-favorite mewithoutyou after Holy Fowl, and Drug Church.
mewithoutyou’s set felt more like a spoken word performance art and less of a rock show. Lead singer Aaron Weiss laid kneeling down in front of his two mics. Singing the first song and a half on the ground. Every sound the band made seemed to move throughout his body like a ventriloquist doll. Their songs, upbeat and catchy, had the biggest audience impact of all the openers, getting the crowd to cheer “one more song” hoping for an encore from the non-headliner.
Drug Church played like they were shot right out of a cannon and onto the stage. Explosive and fast rock that plays more like punk music. Super respectful to everyone who came out. They did not expect people to be at the show to see them. “I don’t need you to jump or mosh. Just nod your head a lot.” By the end, they got more than nods.
Holy Fawn was like Beethoven’s style of playing quietly that crescendoed to the extreme. It started with soft and gentle melodies that burst suddenly loud and heavy. With influences that sounded familiar to Thrice’s Water and Fire EP.
Photos and review by Logan Westom