2017 has been an incredibly eventful year — amazing artists have been pairing up for unforgettable tours and sharing the headliner title, giving fans a show unlike any other. When Thrice and Circa Survive announced their fall co-headlining tour, we (like so many others) were ecstatic. While we are huge fans of tours that expose you to new genres of music or bands with completely different sounds — Thrice and Circa Survive just make sense. Even with their openers, alt/grunge Balance & Composure and instrumentalist group, Chon, the City National Civic Center was packed (despite most shows happening around San Francisco versus San Jose) with eager fans who never fell static to a dull moment on stage.
The show proved testament that bands who have been around as long as Thrice and Circa Survive (Thrice, who formed in 1998 and Circa Survive later in 2004) still have the ability to pack venues (the max capacity for the City National Civic just under 3,000) with fans just as energetic and excited to see the artists as they were when they were touring their first or second album.
After captivating performances by the openers, Circa Survive hit the stage first today to kick off the band’s co-headlining tour. Kicking off their set with “Rites of Investiture,” the first track of the band’s newest record The Amulet, the stage was a flood of flashing strobe lights as the energized and charismatic frontman, Anthony Green, thrashed and leapt from one side of the stage to the next, engaging with as many fans in the crowd as possible. At one point, Anthony skillfully swung his microphone over the heads of the photographers, to a lucky male fan against the barricade who skillfully sang the lead chorus nearly as impressive as Anthony had been himself.
There is no argument that Anthony Green is known as one of the best frontmen of this generation and genre of music — but it would be a great dissatisfaction to not also comment on the band’s musicianship as a whole, every chord, every beat of the drum, keys, every single element skillfully performed in a way as to make it so much more than just a rock show. Circa has an incredible ability to create a world for those witness to their performance. “Let’s see you move those hips!” Green instructed the audience while leading the dance number and showing off his own moves. With The Amulet’s artwork lit up in vibrant blues and reds, swaying behind the band with dark silhouettes, it is easy to indulge and be carried away and completely immerse yourself in the performance of the five musicians up on stage.
While Circa Survive certainly awoke the fans for the evening, when Thrice hit the stage for their set, there was no sense of lag, tiredness or any plans on giving up by the fans just yet despite it being after 10 pm. Thrice powered straight into “The Earth Will Shake,” off their 2005 release, Vheissu to begin their set, a beacon of energy which set the mood for the evening, the song beautiful blends the contrast between rough sounds and Dustin Kensrue’s passionate, clean vocals with harsh, hard-hitting instrumentals driven behind them.
The opening track was immediately followed by “The Window,” off last year’s release, To Be Everywhere is To Be Nowhere, their first studio album following a three-year hiatus. The album has an inspiring and unexpectedly refined sound over earlier releases fans have come to know and love by the band, but seeing them perform live gives confidence that Thrice still knows how to deliver the hard-hitting, grittier side they’ve mastered over the years. It took only seconds for the headbanging and crowdsurfing to continue from Circa to Thrice’s performance, both the audience and the band feeding off each other’s energy and dedication to the show.
The high energy from both the band and crowd only let up in scattered moments, including when lead guitar/vocalist Dustin Kensrue announced the 10th year Anniversary of Thrice’s, The Alchemy Index, a landmark project of the band’s, which is comprised of four EPs, Air, Earth, Fire and Water, one to represent each element of nature. “It’s really hippie and cool,” Kensrue comments for fans who may or may not be familiar. Though he goes on to explain that an entire tour dedicated to The Alchemy Index may not have worked seamlessly, though to celebrate 10 years, the band selected four songs from the EPs, wrapped up in a little suite for the fans. The selected songs began with the intense track, “Firebreather” and unraveled to slower numbers, “Open Water,” “Broken Lungs” and “Come All You Weary.”
Thrice played an impressive collection of songs, pulling from eight of their nine studio albums (all except for Identity Crisis) for one incredibly well-thought-out set list. The band even proudly premiered the live debut of “Red Telephone,” a b-side to their 2009 album, Beggars. From start to finish, the four-piece effortlessly displayed why they have been at it (with the exception of their short hiatus) since the late 90s and managed to remain in high regards for fans of the post-hardcore genre.
The night ended with “The Long Defeat,” though it was painfully obvious from the crowd’s constant cheers and singing along to every word that they weren’t quite ready to end the evening just yet. Even as the final note rang out and the lights of the venue switched on, fans remained planted as close as possible to the barricade, loudly chanting “one more song,” begging for Thrice to return, to be given even seconds more of the incredible performance they had dished out for the previous hour. The show ended on the highest of notes, a victorious and unforgettable night for all in attendance (the musicians and fans alike).
From the meticulous musicianship, the highly coveted sense of synchronicity and the passion and delivery behind each of the band’s time on stage, this tour flew its way to the top of any “not-to-be-missed” or “best shows of 2017” tour lists.
There is still time to catch this amazing co-headlining tour before it’s too late! Scroll down below to check out the dates below for cities and ticket information.
Rites of Investiture
The Glorious Nosebleed
Child of the Desert
In Fear and Faith
Stop the Fuckin’ Car
Premonition of the Hex
The Difference Between Medicine and Poison Is In The Dose
The Earth Will Shake
The Artist in the Ambulance
Blood on the Sand
Come All You Weary
Red Telephone (Live debut)
Of Dust and Nations
The Long Defeat