WORDS AND PHOTOS BY: ALLEEN HUGHES
Tour of the year. One of the most talent filled lineups to grace the stage of Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles took place over the weekend and one sold out night wasn’t enough so the bands planned a night 2 for the same room. The 5,000 cap room filled early in the night with fans of all ages to listen and connect with Thrice, Circa Survive, CHON and Balance and Composure. Each is unique in their own but all similar in some shape or form which makes it understandable how this high capacity of a venue could sell out months in advance for this ultimate lineup.
Starting the night out with a somber mood was Balance and Composure. The shoegaze sway was in full bloom during their set and for the age gap between B&C and Thrice, I was surprised to see the older fans there for Thrice know their music and were really into their set. CHON got the crowd really moving and hyped up with their hypnotic and tantalizing guitar riffs. Apparently to most on the spacious floor area, alcohol mixed with progressive tones makes for a good time in LA on a Friday night.
For every Thrice fan that was in attendance that night there was one to match for Circa Survive. With a recent album release this past September, the Circa Survive safe camp was full of love and fully populated to hear the dream come true setlist. A combination of Anthony Green’s heart melting vocals and the light show going on around each member, everyone was in a trance singing their intricate lyrics back at them. Green is known for his over the top performance at each show in which he jumps from one end of the stage to the other and even into the crowd and this night, Green was his usual outlandish self but toned down just a tiny bit.
After emerging from their hiatus back in 2015, Thrice has since released one new album last year and have been touring with the setlist from the past. However, this tour has been taken in a different direction with their selection. To celebrate the 10 year anniversary of “The Alchemy Index,” Thrice chose one song only from each version and centered the attention more towards their latest album, “To Be Everywhere Is To Be Nowhere.” Unfortunately, that is not a solid win over for fans and you could see the semi disappointment for the older years fans who went over the top ecstatic for the classics played such as “Artist In The Ambulance,” “Deadbolt” and “Silhouette.” The golden moment though comes shining through when fans get to hear “Red Telephone,” which has never been played live until this time out on the road.
I’ve always admired the consistency that Thrice has represented to their name. They’ve never been ones to change or alter their influence and music to what is trending rather they change things up based off where they are in that moment in life. When times hit hard, vocalist/guitarist Dustin Kensrue turns to the pen, paper and guitar. The true gut emotions come through in their live performances. The foursome have a good onstage relationship with each other as well as their fans. Kensrue has no ego holding him back from stepping away from the comfort of the mic stand and embracing the crowd.
This tour lineup surpasses any other tour in its genre this year. Each band has a solid backbone to stand tall on their own if needed but when a quadruple threat like this arises, the talent outshines any other competing tours that came through LA during this same weekend. Balance and Composure will be get your head “spinning,” CHON will send your body through a “wave bounce,” Circa Survive will grasp your full undivided attention and give you “tunnel vision” and Thrice can transform the room into a “hurricane.” Each band has made a permanent mark and a transcending influence on the music industry which is why this one is surely, tour of the year.
- The Earth Will Shake
- The Window
- The Artist in the Ambulance
- Blood on the Sand
- Open Water
- Broken Lungs
- Come All You Weary
- Red Telephone
- Black Honey
- Of Dust and Nations
- The Long Defeat