Written Review by Anna Blaby and Images by Tim Doig
American post-hardcore rockers, Thrice are currently touring Australia in celebration of the 20th anniversary of their iconic album The Artist In The Ambulance. The band promised to play the album in its entirety as they reminisced on their favourite memories from touring it down under for the first time two decades ago.
Thrice was first formed in 1998 while the members were still in high school. 25 years later, with 11 studio albums under their belt as well as hits such as ‘Black Honey’ (2016) the boys are still rocking it fresh and packing crowds around the world. I had the chance to experience the high energy show for myself on Thursday, 31st August and boy it was a loud one!
The Northcote Theatre is filling up quickly to see the Californian alternative-rock-punk phenomena including a VIP area up-stairs promising a premium viewing experience. At 08:45PM the support act Wifecult take to the stage under the red spotlights. Straight from their tour across Australia with LA Dispute(USA), the Brisbane trio are now on the road with Thrice and are sounding sharp. Their half hour set is pumping. The frontman, Jarith Hughes, is impressing the crowd with his powerful vocal, a rockstar long hairdo and of course an arrow guitar. The set finishes with a bang when the energetic bass player Joseph Keating encourages the crowd to sing along and jumps around to the latest release ‘Hold It Down’.
Jarith Hughes – Vocals, Guitar
Joseph Keating – Bass, Vocals
Brad Vander Lugt – Drums
By 09:45PM the room is down packed, and the excitement grows. Thrice T-shirt wearers are everywhere alongside young rockers in edgy cut out outfits. The band is greeted by a huge uproar as their dramatic intro music signifies the start of the show. Next moment they’re up bright and loud, light show and all and the whole theatre is headbanging! Few minutes in even the back row is jumping caught in the infatuating energy of the band – no doubt it is going to be next level.
The frontman, Dustin Kensrue, with his simple black T shirt and a casual short haircut has no need to try hard to look like a rockstar – he screams it better. With his vocals on fire, every note on point. The bass player, Eddie Breckenridge does not stop jumping and bringing in the vibe while the guitarist, Riley Breckenridge adds in beautiful high harmonies. Some of my highlights must be the crowd throwing fists and screaming the words at the end of ‘Hoods On Peregrine’ and of course the crowd favourite, title track ‘The Artist In The Ambulance’.
After playing the full anniversary album, the band delivers their favourites from various albums such as ‘Deadbolt’ from The Illusion Of Safety (2002), ‘Summer Set Fire To The Rain’ from Horizons/East (2021), and ‘Black Honey’ from To Be Everywhere Is To Be Nowhere (2016) that they strategically kept for the encore.
What can I say, the “devil horns” flooding the crowd, the headbanging and Kensrue’s epic screams – it was a five-star classic. Highly recommend to all lovers of heavy music!
Dustin Kensrue – Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitar, Percussion
Teppei Teranishi – Lead Guitar, Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Eddie Breckenridge – Bass Guitar, Synthesizer, Backing Vocals
Riley Breckenridge – Drums, Percussion
1.) Cold Cash and Colder Hearts
2.) Under a Killing Moon
3.) All That’s Left
5.) Stare at the Sun
6.) Paper Tigers
7.) Hoods on Peregrine
8.) The Melting Point of Wax
9.) Blood Clots and Black Holes
10.) The Artist in the Ambulance
11.) The Abolition of Man
12.) Don’t Tell and We Won’t Ask
13.) Motion Isn’t Meaning
14.) Summer Set Fire to the Rain
15.) Where Idols Once Stood
17.) The Weight
19.) Yellow Belly
20.) The Long Defeat
21.) Black Honey
22.) The Earth Will Shake
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