Fresh off the release of their latest full-length, Horizons/East—their third since returning from a hiatus—post-hardcore/rock act Thrice are currently touring across the USA with fellow Californians Touché Amoré and NY post-punk act Self Defense Family. We caught up with the tour as it made its way to Boston’s House of Blues on Sunday, October 10, 2021! Sitting across from the legendary Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox, this was not the night to be trying to get to the House of Blues. It is playoff season, and the Sox were taking on the Tampa Bay Rays at the same time as this show was going, making it quite difficult for many who might’ve come to see the show to get there.
The thousand or so fans that did make it to the gig had a fun night ahead! The evening got going strong with a set from Self Defense Family. Frontman Patrick Kindlon gave an emotionally raw performance that captivated for their relatively short set of just five or six songs. The band appears with Touché Amoré on the 2015 Self Love split EP, so it was really cool to see the two play on the same–and would’ve been even cooler if they collaborated for a song (alas, they did not on this night).
Up next, LA-based post-hardcore act Touché Amoré flew through a ~35-minute set featuring a smattering of material from 2016’s Stage Four and 2020’s Lament. This was only my second time seeing the band live and WOW—frontman Jeremy Bolm is quite the energetic frontman! Bolm was all over the stage, standing still for maybe six seconds before bouncing off somewhere else.
This tour is their first chance to play their latest songs like “Reminders,” “I’ll Be Your Host,” and “Limelight,” the latter of which saw guitarist Nick Steinhardt doing the guest vocal spot done by Manchester Orchestra vocalist Andy Hull (thankfully, he nails it live). It’s interesting that the setlist seems almost drawn from their top ten tracks on Spotify, and therefore leaves out some of the better cuts from Lament like “Feign,” “Savoring” and “Exit Row”—one can only hope these will show up on a future headlining run from the band. They closed their set with the 1.5-minute album opener from their 2011 full-length Parting the Seas Between Brightness and Me, with a large subset of the crowd yelling the lyrics back to them.
At last, it was time for Thrice to take to the stage. Their set on this tour is a wonderful mix of old and new, with several strong tracks from the new album Horizons/East, including hit single “Scavengers,” as well as “Robot Soft Exorcism,” and “Buried in the Sun.”
Frontman Dustin Kensrue and his bandmates were flawless, operating like a well-oiled machine as they delighted the crowd. It was really neat to see them bring out older hits like “Artist in the Ambulance” right away instead of saving them for an encore, and to hear several amazing songs from their first album back at it, To Be Everywhere Is To Be Nowhere, including “Hurricane,” “Black Honey,” and personal favorite, “The Long Defeat.”
The audiences’ attention was glued to the stage for the entirety of their enthralling performance—even as the neighbouring playoff game finally ended in extra innings with a win for the home team, few seemed distracted from the band. If you have the chance to catch this tour before it ends (see dates below), it’s definitely worth the trip out!
Remaining Tour Dates:
Oct. 20 – Denver, CO – Ogden
Oct. 21 – Salt Lake City, UT – Union
Oct. 23 – Portland, OR – Roseland
Oct. 24 – Seattle, WA – Showbox SoDo
Oct. 26 – Berkley, CA – UC Theater
Oct. 27 – San Diego, CA – Observatory North Park
Oct. 28 – Phoenix, AZ – Marquee
Oct. 29 – Los Angeles, CA – Hollywood Palladium
Oct. 30 – Anaheim, CA – House of Blues