Few bands find a way to entertain while maintaining artistic credibility. Even fewer tours bring together 3 bands as entertaining and credible as Thursday, Thrice, and Coheed & Cambria.
The talented threesome is in the midst of a US tour and recently made a stop at Club Ovation in Boynton Beach. All three bands are supporting new albums released either this summer or fall.
Coheed & Cambria (aka CoCa) opened the show around 7 p.m. They are an unusual group with an innovative new record entitled In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3. The CD comes with a bonus DVD that contains the hilarious alternate video of “Devil in Jersey City” which looks a lot like “Emmit Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas.” Lead singer Claudio Sanchez has a unique, high voice that sometimes gets the band compared to Rush.
Outside of the vocal ranges of each bands singer, they have very little in common. What makes CoCa so interesting is that their albums are supposedly in synch with a graphic novel that Claudio is writing or at least plans to write (there are even rumors of a possible animated movie in the works). Info on the subject is shady at best, but there is an obvious coherence to both of their albums, which gives them a sort of soundtrack quality.
These songs rock independently of their theme and CoCa’s live performance was no exception. Their set was split between songs from their new album and their debut “Second Stage Turbine Blade.” Pits formed and the audience really got into their set. The crowd moshed with enthusiasm for Coheed & Cambria and in anticipation of Thrice and Thursday.
Next on was the Los Angeles hardcore band Thrice. Hardcore may not be your cup of tea (would you like two sugars?), but Thrice manage to pull it off in a subtly melodic way that pulls in fans from other indie genres. Don’t let the word “melodic” fool you though, because Thrice’s set was incredibly intense. The instant they started playing I was separated from my friends and wouldn’t see them again until we met at the rendezvous point (the car) after the show.
Thrice is supporting their July release Artist in the Ambulance, their major label debut on Island/Def Jam Records. Thrice’s set was an even mix of songs from their new record and the 2001 release Illusion of Safety. Multiple circle pits erupted in the crowd and underarms and if you were anywhere near the stage then you weren’t safe. Let’s just say that it was a good time for the faint of heart to check out the merch table. If you survived the chaos and physical punishment of Thrice’s set then you earned the right to enjoy the real jewel of the evening, Thursday.
We waited in anticipation only several body-widths from the stage. It took a lot of energy just to maintain my position in the crowd. Sweaty, tired, and hurting, we waited for water from the bouncers like dogs for a bone. The luckiest of us got one gulp before a jerk would throw the half-empty bottle to the back of the crowd or just poor it all over his shirt and hair.
Thursday finally came on and the weary crowd cheered. Their enthusiasm was likely a combination of how hard Thursday rocks and how happy they were for an end to the tedious break between bands. The band woke up their audience with the hard-hitting song “For the Workforce, Drowning” from their September release War All the Time. The album was released on Island/Def Jam as well, it is also Thursday’s first record with the label. For those unfortunate souls who are unfamiliar with Thursday, they play a freshly unique style of rock music that attracts fans of all genres including hardcore, pop punk, emo, or all sorts of indie rock.
After their opener got the crowd going again, they played a few songs from their 2001 release Full Collapse. This album earned them acclaim and respect from critics and fans alike. Songs from that album such as “Paris in Flames,” “Cross Out the Eyes,” and “Understanding in a Car Crash” are still fan favorites. Thursday didn’t disappoint their new fans, however, playing a balance of songs from both albums and “Jet Black New Year” off their 2002 EP. That song is truly epic, especially when they play it live. At one point during the set an amp blew and lead singer Geoff Rickly had a moment to talk to the crowd. He revealed the significance of their song “Steps Ascending” before they played it. He explained that a few years ago he and a friend got into an argument and before they made amends his friend was shot and killed. He quickly expressed his views on gun control but made it clear that it was not his intention to preach.
After the band played that song, Rickly needed a minute to regain his composure – it was clear how much that song meant to him. The encore consisted of just one song, the title track of their new album. The end of this show was bitter sweet for me. Although it was incredible and satisfying in every way a show can be, I was so sore and tired that I was grateful to come back to campus and collapse in my bed.
Ovation is a great venue but seems somewhat out of place in its strip mall between a furniture store and an Italian restaurant. Not too small but big enough to attract semi-popular acts, it’s the perfect size for this sort of show. It’s not an easy place to find, so I recommend using Aphrodite’s gentleman’s club as a landmark…not that I, um, know anything about that.
Matt Dingerdissen is a freshman at UM majoring in Business. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.