REVIEW: Thrice and Circa Survive rule San Jose for a night

Photos: Chloe Catajan

Photos: Chloe Catajan

SAN JOSE — This city is known as a hot spot for tech and sports. On a typical day, you might see Silicon Valley tourists, signs that warn of “Sharks Territory,” Earthquakes and 49ers. Thursday, San Jose became a haven for alt-rock fans with Thrice and Circa Survive rolling into town. The two cranked up the volume as they kicked off their co-headlining tour at City National Civic.

Circa Survive, the Doylestown, Pennsylvania band recently dropped its sixth album, The Amulet. Circa Survive’s set revisited every era of the band’s catalog.

Circa Survive, Anthony Green

Circa Survive performs at City National Civic in San Jose on Nov. 2, 2017.

Frontman Anthony Green immediately let loose as the band opened with “Rites of Investiture.” With mic swings, mystical hand gestures and leaps all over the stage, Green’s stage presence added an otherworldly dimension to Circa Survive’s multifaceted soundscapes–all of which were flawlessly executed.

“Let’s see you move those hips!” Green yelled to the audience, who collectively obliged.

At one point, Green tossed his mic into the crowd, allowing one lucky fan to take the lead on a verse. Other set highlights included “The Difference Between Medicine and Poison is the Dose” and “Meet Me In Montauk.”

For the rest of the evening, Thrice had the floor. The band released To Be Everywhere Is To Be Nowhere last year, its first studio album following a three-year hiatus. The LP has refined the post-hardcore quartet’s sound, but Thrice still knows how to get in touch with its gritty side.


Thrice fans at City National Civic in San Jose on Nov. 2, 2017.

Headbanging and crowdsurfing quickly commenced as the band opened with hard-hitting track “The Earth Will Shake.” The band was in mid-tour mode, moving with energy and performing in-sync with one another during every breakdown.

Midway through the set, lead vocalist-guitarist Dustin Kensrue announced The Alchemy Index’s 10th anniversary. The project is one of Thrice’s landmark works, comprised of four EPs that represent elements of nature.

“It’s really hippie and cool,” Kensrue described. “We didn’t want to do a whole tour for it, but being that it’s [been] 10 years, we’re going to play a little suite of four songs for you.”

The suite started with the intense “Firebreather,” and gradually unwound with slower tracks “Open Water,” “Broken Lungs” and “Come All You Weary.” Thrice later closed the night with “The Long Defeat,” but if the crowd’s constant cheers and sing-alongs were any indication, the show definitely ended in victory.

Balance and Composure and CHON started the show off strong, both bearing a distinct sound. Fellow Doylestown natives Balance and Composure played a set that showed off their earlier post-hardcore style, as well as their recent explorations into polished alt-rock realm. CHON followed with a glorious set of completely instrumental math rock pieces.

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