LOS ANGELES — Revisiting the past often has negative connotations. Unless, of course, you’re celebrating the life of a career-defining album like Thrice is doing right now.
Entering the final stop of its tour, the iconic alt-rock band honored 15 years of Vheissu, its fourth studio album, to a sold-out crowd at The Novo. The Orange County natives, comprised of vocalist-guitarist Dustin Kensrue, guitarist Teppei Teranishi, bassist Ed Breckenridge and drummer Riley Breckenridge, performed the aggressively complex sounds of Vheissu in its entirety.
As the lights dimmed, the indistinguishable chatter of the crowd fell silent, and the theater began to fill with the faint crescendo of haunting morse code taps to signal the hit song “Image of The Invisible,” which began the show.
Thrice continued to play each track with very little conversation with the crowd, until the fading notes of “Red Sky,” the final song of the album, led Kensrue to proclaim, “And that was Vheissu!” before playing some hit songs off of other albums, such “Black Honey,” as an encore.
Thrice also received support from Philadelphia experimental rock band mewithoutYou, which consists of vocalist Aaron Weiss, guitarists Mike Weiss and Brandon Beaver, bassist Greg Jehanian, and drummer Rick Mazzotta. During a break mid-set, Weiss announced that mewithoutYou will be breaking up at the end of 2020. But such a sharp statement didn’t kill off any energy from the crowd as fans moshed to the beat of thrashing guitar riffs and thunderous percussion.
Hardcore punk group Drug Church erupted onto the stage with the fast and aggressive distortion of “Grubby” leading its set as vocalist Patrick Kindlon, guitarists Nick Cogan and Cory Galusha, bassist Pat Wynne and drummer Chris Villeneuve reminisced about the old-school, in-your-face bite that was so distinct of the ’90s West Coast punk scene. Drug Church never let off the gas as each song grew more intense, until Kindlon concluded the final song of the set by shouting, “We are fucking Drug Church!” and walked off, having the band exit as abruptly as it started.
Phoenix natives Holy Fawn, known for their unusual sound of tormented tranquility, opened the show with their anomalous track “Dark Stone.” As the ghostly hypnotic tones from guitarist Evan Phelps transitioned to the soft-spoken words of vocalist-guitarist Ryan Osterman, the rhythms of bassist Alexander Rieth and drummer Austin Reinholz ventured into the depths of songs like “Candy” and “Blood Pact.” The latter songs explored the realm of disturbing emotions. Holy Fawn had concluded with its dramatically complex ballad “Arrows.”
Follow photographer Aaron Marquez at Instagram.com/airrr21.