It's not really a mystery to most people who know me personally that Thrice is top three favorite bands of all time for me. In no particular order it's H20, Thrice and Incubus. Last year or the year before that or maybe even three years ago I got a Thrice tattoo. It's the logo from the Beggars record. I love that tattoo. It's actually the only band tattoo that I have, MXPX is queued up but as of now, that's the only one. I don't even have my wife's name tattooed on me, but Thrice, yeah, got it.
The first time I saw Thrice I feel like it was just the other month. They played at Emo's in 2002 (the old Emo's, anyone who's been to Austin knows what I mean) with Time In Malta, Coheed and Cambria, Thrice and Hot Water Music. They were touring the Illusion Safety record. I don't remember a ton. I remember Teppei eating an apple by the merch table, I remember a lot of people leaving after Thrice and not staying for Hot Water Music (which was a major bummer) and I remember In The Shallows being the last song of the set. I actually don't even remember the last time Thrice played that song. That night I screamed so hard and so loud "CAN WE, CAN WE KILL EACH OTHER QUICKLY..." along with other classic one liners from that record and my hands were either pushing off of the person in front of me to create enough room for my lungs to expand or they were used to push the person off of me trying to do the same thing. I was young enough at the time to withstand being dab smack in the middle of the crowd and not want to die. At the time I was in college and working the worst shifts as a waiter at a small town restaurant. I will never forget the next two days after that show, I would try so hard to conjure up enough vocal strength to utter phrases like "My name is Joe, I'll be taking care of you tonight" and "How is everything tasting?", all the while I sounded like a 71 year old, road worn, chain smoking, cat loving, spam eating grandma we all tried to avoid. That was a great show. I had so much fun. That was 14 years ago and if I close my eyes hard enough I can remember the blackness of the venue when the lights went out and Thrice played, I can recall the smell of hundreds of kids smashed up against one another as we all became close friends through chants and screams and I can still feel that tingling in my chest when you see the band come on the stage and give their ritualistic hand waive as they grab their instruments. If I would have had the wherewithal to write this 14 years ago, I would have.
I'm going to skip a lot of years because I could write FOREVER about each and every Thrice show and what I recall. Last week when getting back home from a trip, I had what felt like to me the chance of a life, to shoot Thrice's set in its entirety. I had been out at a show with the Thrice tour manager a couple of weeks back and when he said he was coming around with Thrice, I knew that this small aligning of stars was what the thing that would make me check off that one item on my bucket list, to shoot Thrice. Years ago I had purchased a print from an LA based photographer (Jered Scott) of Thrice. I framed and hung that print proudly. It was a fantastic 11x17 photograph that panned from stage left to a fading stage right and featured Teppei and Dustin with some light flares. Now, here I was, just one "hey dude" away from asking if I could shoot their show. That simple "yeah, man. Just send me an email" was enough to send chills up and down my spine.
I drove up to Austin that day with some long time friends for the show and we were meeting up with others. It was a day laced with the best vibes. We stopped off at Voodoo Donuts before the show. If you've never been, I strongly urge you to find one nearest you and eat everything you see. Not only did the donuts rule my mouth hole but they had Stumptown Nitro Cold Brew on tap. I mean, what is a diet? What are calories? Why do I have zero self control? After that we headed to the venue and had some dinner and drinks at a local Austin place called The Buzzmill. The most noteworthy part of the afternoon was the Espresso Vanilla infused Whiskey drink I had. My friend Clark met up with us at the venue and did a better job than me having his camera out for snaps during pre show hangs. Thanks for the snaps.
There's no easy way of saying this so I'll just come out and say it, that show was miserable. Don't get me wrong, Thrice played flawlessly. The issue stemmed around the air conditioning, or should I say the lack thereof. 10-15 minutes before Thrice was slated to begin doing Thrice things the air conditioning at the venue failed. Like my precious Spurs in the second round of the Western Conference Playoffs, just failed and let us down. I've been a part of a lot of uncomfortable situations but this one, at least in recent memory, takes the cake. As the band culled backstage and the management of the band and the venue chattered about options, security was out front handing water bottles out to the crowd. For whatever stupid reason I had layers of clothes on. I got down to just a shirt and rolled pant legs and lent a hand in handing out water with security. This is community, we're a certain kind of family, we look out for each other. After what felt like a near cancellation, Dustin came out and before these guys played songs we were all pining for, said something to the affect of "everyone take care each other" and encouraged the crowd to look after the next person and their safety.
This goes without saying but I would encourage everyone who hasn't already to check out To Be Everywhere Is To Be Nowhere. If you've heard the record, then you know the first song is Hurricane and that was the first song they played. Such a perfectly paced song and as it comes to end, the notes ring out and sustain, the cymbals crash and resonate, the air is tense with anticipation, they go right into Silhouette from The Artist In The Ambulance what a second song. The idea of the setlist covering a span of 13 years in just the first two songs speaks volumes to the timelessness of Thrice. The songs are still relevant, they're still impactful and they still hold value. That was really the resonating theme of the night. The new Thrice record is one of their best (in my humble opinion). This resurgence from their hiatus is exciting. Not many bands can come back from going separate ways to being better than ever. The heat in the place was not enough to squander the night. If anything, it made it just that much more memorable. It's always something at a Thrice show. I don't normally share EVERY picture I keep from a show but this one was special for me and it would mean so much that if I shared what I was able to capture with everyone and just one person appreciated it, then I would fulfilled. All photos were shot with my Nikon D610 and either my 50mm f/1.8 or 24mm f/2.8 lens.