Live Review: Thrice, Animals As Leaders, O’ Brother at the Roseland BallroomPosted by Derek Keeling
The show started with a thunderous performance from Atlanta, Georgia natives, O’ Brother. The band’s set started off with an ambient and atmospherical sound that urged the crowd to sway back and forth. But soon enough the chest-pounding bass and energetic drums kicked the calm vibe of the audience into a frenetic stir. Within moments the entire building was pulsating to the tumultuous beat and sensationalistic shredding guitar. The set ended with a bang as O’ Brother slammed single tom drum hits and strummed power chords that resembled cannon shots blasting into the air. A plethora of claps paralleled the band’s finale in a sort of gunfire like fashion.
The instrumental band that hails from Washington, D.C., Animals As Leaders took to the stage next with a powerful opening song. It started with a guitar arpeggio and shattering bass-line that soon led into a cacophony of melodic symbiosis. The band was backed by a Power-Point visual display of random shapes and almost 1960’s-like patterns. One concert-goer stated that the guitar’s shear intensity in respects to technical prowess was “face-melting,” and “truly inspiring.” After the last song was finished the band graciously said their thanks which was followed by cheers that could rival the applause of a major-label artist.
The stage was dark, ominous, and ready for the arrival of the show’s main act, Thrice. The crowd also showed their readiness with loud and deafening chant of the band’s name. When Thrice walked up onto stage the crowd went into a frenzy. The lead singer, Dustin Kensrue, uttered something into the microphone, but it was drowned out by the overpowering roar of the audience.
The set started with an glorious and ardent version of “Yellow Belly,” that completely captivated the mass of people that assembled at the Roseland Theater. Considering it was Thrice’s last performance in the foreseeable future it was only fitting that they did a variety of songs from their entire musical history. The set list included such songs as: “Image of the Invisible,” “Artist in the Ambulance,” “Deadbolt,” “Stare at the Sun,” “Broken Lungs,” and “Under a Killing Moon.” Thrice finished off the set with a powerfully emotional rendition of their song “Beggars.”
The members of Thrice waved goodbye and left the stage. The house lights came on and it seemed that it was the end of the show. That didn’t stop the crowd from screaming “encore,” and “one more song” at the top of their lungs. After a few moments the house lights went off and Thrice came back onto the stage. Dustin Kensrue asked the crowd if it was okay if they did a few more songs. Everyone in the building yelled and screamed at the top of their lungs until the sound could be heard reverberating throughout the building.
They performed their old double-time punk song, “Phoenix Ignition,” as well as “T&C,” which Dustin Kensrue mentioned was a retired song. The last song of the show “Anthology,” was from their 2011 release Major/Minor. The song is a lyrical meshing of numerous old songs that Kensrue has said sums up their career into one epic musical.
It was announced that there would be impromptu acoustic performance from Dustin Kensrue in a parking lot down the street from the Roseland after the show. A huge mass of people filed into the parking lot. Due to the lack of permits and permissions the group of people were informed to “be on their best behavior,” and “keep the noise to a minimum.” In response to that the audience deemed it unnecessary to clap. Instead the crowd snapped their fingers like the beatniks of the 1950’s and 1960’s. The entire crowd was sitting and beaming with anticipation with the arrival of Dustin Kensrue.
When he finally arrived the air filled a horde of snaps and murmurs. His acoustic performance began with, “Please Come Home,” a song from his solo album with the same name that was released in 2007. Kensrue performed four songs including, “Come All You Weary.” He finished the small set with another song from his solo project, “Blood and Wine.”
After Kensrue was finished he gave his fans the honor to line up and take pictures and receive autographs. Numerous words of thanks and gestures of gratitude for all the wonderful music was directed from Kensrue’s fans.
The tour will continue in California for the remainder of the week. All of the shows, however, are sold out.