Photography by Sally Townsend
Australians have been waiting far too long for this illustrious four-piece.
The last time Thrice graced our shores was for the phenomenal Alchemy Index series. Since that time they’ve released four studio albums, a live record, and taken a hiatus. To say that Thrice fans were ready for their return is an understatement.
Through the haze of Thrice anticipation, opening act Spectral Fires were a significant letdown. Musically the group showed promise but the vocalists were off-key for the majority of the set, and that simply shouldn’t be the case on such a high-profile support slot.
When Thrice announced their hiatus in 2011, Australian fans, in particular, were devastated as the wait they’d already endured between visits seemed infinite. As one of the only bands from the post-hardcore scene to achieve longevity with successful, high-quality releases and a fanbase just as passionate now as ever before, they thankfully announced their return.
That long journey for Melbourne fans culminated in a sold-out 170 Russell, and triumphant cheers as the four members of the band took the stage and exploded into ‘Hurricane’ from 2016s’s To Be Everywhere Is to Be Nowhere. With a lot of catching up to do Thrice managed to give equal attention to all releases while covering the must-hear bases with songs like ‘Image of the Invisible’ and ‘Black Honey’, both of which drew huge singalongs from the crowd.
The reason why Thrice are such a phenomenal live act is rooted in each bandmember’s passion for quality sounds. This search for amazing tone is the reason why sonically, the band’s records and live shows are flawless. Couple this with frontman Dustin Kensrue’s powerful yet delicate vocals, you have the perfect audible treat.
The wandering dynamics of the show provided for an emotional rollercoaster as the band sunk into the soft ‘Beggars’, brought in a little groove with ‘Yellow Belly’ and had people raise their fists and shake their booty for ‘In Exile’. The unparalleled skillset of each member was on display in ‘Red Sky’, particularly for guitarist Teppei Teranishi whose ability to meld effects and riffs in seamless fashion is a show on its own.
Two undeniably powerful moments came back-to-back near the end of the set with the brutal ‘Firebreather’ and the huge group chants on ‘The Earth Will Shake’ before the main set closed with ‘Beyond The Pines’.
Thrice returned to the stage with the fan favourite ‘Deadbolt’ and allowed the crowd to beautifully close the show by chanting “together we’ll fight the long defeat”.
Was this worth the wait? No question. Let’s hope the next visit comes much sooner, though.
Highlight: The audience closing the show with a group chant.
Lowlight: The opening act.
Crowd Favourite: ‘Deadbolt’.