It’s been 11 long years since Thrice have graced our shores and the fans have turned out in droves to witness their return to Australian stages. And what a venue to host it too! I’ve written before of the glory that is The Triffid and I can’t stress enough just how amazing this room is. The sound, the lights, just everything make for an excellent show no matter who is playing on its stage.
Brisbane lads The Comfort are tasked with opening tonight’s proceedings and as they take to the stage the room slowly begins to fill. They burst to life with an instantly infectious energy tat silences the crowd and has them fixated on the quartet for the duration of their 30-minute set.
They play with passion and a conviction that makes you realize they really love what they do and the clear sound of The Triffids live room just accentuates the feeling and emotion behind their lyrics. The vocal trade offs between singer/guitarist Liam and bassist/vocalist Dom are powerful and sound like a nice cross between Sunny Day Real Estate and By A Thread and musically they’re not too far from either of those bands.
Having just released their debut album What It Is To Be, The Comfort treat the room to a few choice selections from the album such as the soft cut Solace and Liam self-confessed favourite tune Deprimed. It’s obvious from the moment they start playing the latter track that it is indeed his favourite by the amount of energy and raw emotion he pours into the performance. They close out with Deprimed’s powerful outro bringing the brief-yet-beautiful encounter to an end.
By now the room is full of eager fans awaiting tonight’s headliners and as the house lights go down the boys from Thrice take to the stage to a thunderous reception. It’s clear from the get go that Australia has not forgotten these guys one little bit. Frontman Dustin Kensrue begins to play the opening riff to Hurricane before abruptly stopping and sheepishly apologizing the crowd for starting in the wrong key but the adoring fans laugh it off and it’s straight back to business.
There have been 4 albums released by the band since they were last here to play for us so we’re all keen to hear some of the more recent stuff they’ve produced translated to the live stage but that doesn’t stop the band from dipping into their extensive back-catalogue as they rip straight into the heavy Silhouette from 2003’s breakout album The Artist In The Ambulance. Kensrue swaps out his hardcore vocals in the chorus for a more subtle and sung approach to the song but still maintains the intensity with his powerful voice. Bassist Ed Breckenridge takes up the screaming duties for the first part of the set, leaving us to wonder if we will actually hear that signature roar of Kensrue’s.
Image Of The Invisible follows and is met with a huge crowd participation as we all sing back “We are the image of the invisible!” at the top of our lungs. You can tell the band appreciates the sentiment and the vibe in the room goes from excited to electric in an instant and paves the way for another trip down memory lane with the title track from The Artist In The Ambulance being met once again with adoration from the crowd. Guitarist Teppei Teranishi shreds his way through the verses and provides an amazing harmony of backing vocals to contrast Kensrue and Breckenridge’s trade-offs.
Moving on to some newer material, the band break into hit single Black Honey from the 2016 album To Be Everywhere Is To Be Nowhere and they really give it their all with the crowd giving it straight back. It’s an infectious back and forth of energy flow that makes for a very special show but the band take it down a notch as they pull out the amazing title track from their 2009 Beggars album. The song just sounds huge live as it builds from it’s soft guitar driven intro to it’s all-out eruption of an outro.
Giving the crowd time to catch their breath, Kensrue addresses the crowd, apologizing for their delay in returning to our country and expressing his gratitude that we haven’t forgotten them. As he notes that they’ve recently released a new album Palms, he lets the crowd know that the next song, Just Breathe, has made it’s live debut here in Australia and tonight marks the third time it’s been played live.
More choice cuts from the bands newer albums follow with the furious anthem of Yellow Belly proving to be a crowd favourite, followed by The Grey off their latest album. It can’t be said enough that these guys are phenomenal performers. The sheer skill of both guitarists matched with the driving rhythm section completed by Breckenridge’s older brother Riley is basically flawless and the beautiful sound that The Triffid produces just makes it all the more better to witness.
Dipping heavily into their older material, Thrice begin to play the emotional cut Daedalus from their epic Alchemy Index project which also proves to be a crowd favourite. Let’s be honest, there’s not a single song played tonight that isn’t met with rapturous applause and cheers, especially the one-two punch of Stare At The Sun and Under A Killing Moon which are played with a passion and intensity that make it hard to believe these songs are more than 15 years old. The end of …Killing Moon proves that Kensrue still has the ability to scream his guts out when he wants, evidenced again later on second-to-last song The Earth Will Shake as he trades off screams with Ed Breckenridge in an astounding back and forth display.
Beyond The Pines closes out the set beautifully and calmly before a brief exit from the stage marks the beginning of the inevitable encore. “This is a really old song to say thank you,” states Kensrue before bursting forth with the opening riff to Deadbolt. The crowd goes nuts for this song and it’s so good to see that as the band has grown over the years people have not forgotten nor do they love any less where the band came from. Properly closing out the set with The Long Defeat the band thank the crowd and head off stage.
It’s a triumphant return indeed and hopefully it won’t be another 11 years before we see these guys back again.