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Thrice’s last Chicago show!

| June 4, 2012 | 0 Comments

Farewell shows and tours are a tricky proposition. Few acts truly stay broken up (welcome back, Soundgarden). And even the finality of death isn’t quite the performance deterrent it once was (nice to have you back, Pac). So with Thrice‘s current run serving as their final round of live dates, it’s easy to be cynical and presume we’ll see them again within the next seven years, probably out on a reunion cycle with Thursday or another similar ’00s genre act. But whether this trek really is Thrice’s final nail in the coffin, it doesn’t take away from the power and execution of Saturday’s show.

Though the group was just at Metro in November, Thrice’s June 2nd set more than justified such an abbreviated return time. With a setlist selected by fans via an online poll, the show was nothing less than a front-to-back, two-hour crowd pleaser. From older fare, such as the title track to 2003’s breakthrough The Artist In The Ambulance, to the heavily rhythmic “Promises” from last fall’s Major/Minor, the evening’s attendee-selected menu was literally fan service. Not that the democratic approach hurt the evening. If anything, it helped the night stand apart from the group’s last visit.

Though the show remained fairly steady on the heavy side, selections like the gradual and ballad-tinged “In Exile” and the ambient and cathartic “Broken Lungs” did their share of balancing a quiet-loud aesthetic. “Daedalus” proved an ambitious and sweeping emotional epic, with frontman Dustin Kensrue belting, “Now you took the only thing that meant anything to me!” as the song built in intensity. Meanwhile, “The Weight” showcased a blistering use of restraint and release, and the aggressive and assaulting “Yellow Belly” demonstrated a quality level that’s all too often absent from modern hard rock, with snarling guitar work elevating the performance.

Closer “Anthology” was a fittingly soaring and celebratory selection to shut down the group’s final Chicago visit. More than that, the song demonstrates the culmination of Thrice’s simultaneously catchy and challenging melodic post-hardcore stylings — a declaration of the group’s refusal to give in to the dumbing down of modern rock. Whether this run really is the end of Thrice remains to be seen. But if it is, then what a note to go out on.

— Jaime de’Medici

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Category: Live Reviews, Weekly

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