with The Fall of Troy, La Dispute
As I made my way to see Thursday on Saturday, Oct. 3, I had no idea of the pleasant surprise that awaited me. Arriving at In The Venue, I found the entrance locked and the distinct vocals of La Dispute’s Jordan Dreyer blaring from the doors of Club Sound to the north. Walking through the sparsely filled venue, I looked over at the tiny (and I really mean tiny) stage in bewilderment. “Is this the stage Thursday’s playing on?” I asked the kid next to me. Oooh yeeeah. According to one of the techies, ticket sales weren’t very high and it costs the promoter about three times more to rent out the south side of the building. I was about to experience one of my favorite bands on a very intimate level.
I caught the last of opener La Dispute’s set and was pretty satisfied. Dreyer’s desperate, spoken vocals were clear and emotional, and I liked the slam-poet style he used to project them. These guys had a small group of fans, which was impressive considering there couldn’t have been more than 100 people there, and for the last couple songs they spared no energy.
The Fall of Troy, on the other hand, was a little awkward. Their set began with a burst of energy and immediate air riffs from the crowd as lead vocalists/guitarist Thomas Erak knelt center stage and played into his fans. It quickly became apparent most of the small crowd was there for Thursday, and perhaps because of the lack of crowd participation, TFOT’s energy faded out. Maybe they felt a little out of their element being on a 10x10 stage in a corner after playing arena shows on the Taste of Chaos tour, but these guys were definite downers―apparently no one puts TFOT in a corner. The set was salvaged by their last song “F.C.P.R.E.M.I.X.” which really got the crowd going. I’m a little wary of beats I can’t successfully move to―I’m an idiot when it comes to math―but I can’t deny TFOT’s got talent, and that song’s the shit.
A stage that small—a stage, I might add, sans walk space and muscle between the crowd and the band—doesn’t give much room for a grand entrance, but Thursday didn’t need one. I was literally shaking with anticipation. Last time I saw Thursday was at the Saltair and it doesn’t get any more impersonal than that. I was ready to have my mind blown, and well, WOW. After taking a minute to dance to a little hip hop over the speakers, Thursday erupted with “For The Workforce, Drowning.” Though Thursday’s current tour is branded as the Common Existence Tour (named after their newest album) a good portion of the set was spent playing songs from War All The Time and Full Collapse. After 11 years, Thursday knows its fans inside out, because this seemed to be exactly what the crowd of old-school fans wanted to hear. Vocalist Geoff Rickly fueled the energy with his intense stage presence, falling to the floor as he screamed and held the hands of those front and center as he sang, inches from our faces. I should’ve kissed Rickly’s cute gap-toothed smile.
The encore was unprecedented. Thursday jumped back on stage and I almost shit my pants when they finished with “Jet Black New Year.” Members of La Dispute ran on stage in party hats and blew confetti all over the frenzied crowd as we all screamed along.
Thank you Thursday, for making this year so much better than the last.