Thursday, January 17, 2013

ROCKTOBER: Thrice @ The Metro--MAJOR/MINOR Tour

Dustin Kensrue on the left; yours truly on the right (Personal Collection)

Felipe M

The following is a review of our musical concert/show series. We are a bit behind, but we will eventually catch-up--or die trying.


Thrice is clearly one of our favorite bands of all time. My friend Donny and I decided to go see them yet again and they put on another great show.  The setlist is as follows:

  1. Yellow Belly
  2. The Weight
  3. Promises
  4. All the World is Mad
  5. In Exile
  6. Call it in the Air
  7. Hold Fast Hope
  8. Silhouette
  9. Cold Cash and Colder Hearts
  10. Circles
  11. Treading Paper
  12. Words in the Water
  13. Of Dust and Nations
  14. Firebreather
  15. The Earth Will Shake
  16. Anthology

17. Phoenix Ignition
18. To Awake and Avenge the Dead

Last time, I mentioned that I can die a happy man because I finally saw them perform "To Awake and Avenge the Dead." The only way the last show could've been topped was if they had played "Phoenix Ignition"--which they did on this show.

As you will see from the setlist, the majority is filled with songs from their Major/Minor album, released in 2011. I believe Donny went as far as calling it the album of the year for 2011. Not very sure about that statement as I can name a few more albums that might give Thrice a run for their money that year (Frank Turner, Chuck Ragan, Bomb the Music Industry, Thursday, August Burns Red, and Animals as Leaders might have a case for #1, but I digress). It's definitely a solid Thrice album and it's definitely a great album to finish out their career. 

That night we were distracted by the Texas Rangers vs. St. Louis Cardinals World Series, Game 6 match-up. Could easily be the craziest, most spectacular game I have ever seen and it definitely made David Freese a household name (and an adequate fantasy 3B for Draft Day 2012). So while the band played, we would periodically check the score of the game. 

By the time the show was over, we agreed that we would go watch the game at one of the local bars (in case you don't know, Wrigleyville (really called Lakeview) is like the whorehouse of Chicago neighborhoods: any kind of bar is there at your disposal).  One problem though: lead singer, Dustin Kensrue announced that he would be doing a short, acoustic set at an undisclosed location. We later found out that it was at one of the Wrigley Field parking lots. 

As we waited on Dustin to set up,we grew very impatient of waiting and decided to make a quick dash to a nearby bar to catch some of the baseball game. We both drank a beer and ran back out to the parking lot where Dustin was supposed to play.  And there he was, Dustin, equipped with an acoustic guitar and a money jar as he was playing for charity

That was a very intimate set as a small crowd of Thrice fans gathered on a chilly October night. Dustin played 4 songs as the jar was being passed around. To my surprise, fans were very generous in donating money. The four songs played were:

  1. Come All You Weary
  2. Stare at the Sun
  3. Blood and Wine (from his solo album)
  4. Hospital Beds (Cold War Kids cover)

Dustin finished the set and did a quick meet and greet with fans, signing autographs, and taking pictures. We waited for awhile, but then decided to run back to the bar to catch the last couple of innings of the Rangers-Cardinals game. It would prove to be one of the greatest comebacks, most exciting ball games I have ever witnessed. Every time the Cardinals looked like they were done for, BAM! CRACK! another clutch hit. Of course, they would go on to win the World Series in 7 games (repeating a similar comeback in that game as well). Nights like these, I wish I was a Cardinals' fan.  Oh well...

...we ran back to the Wrigley Field parking lot and there was Dustin, still shaking hands with a few remaining fans. While we waited for Dustin to take a few seconds with us, Donny and I were talking throughout the night about how ultra-religious Dustin is and how it's funny how a guy like me, with no current Christian or religious background can really enjoy their music without being offended.  I also mentioned to Donny that I can tell that the whole "being in a band and touring-thing" really was not that important in Dustin's life.  I also read an article on Alternative Press (December of 2011 issue to be on newstands display until December 5, 2011) where, in an interview, Dustin mentioned his role in charitable work and at his church in Orange County, CA. I shared with Donny my thoughts that I knew that something was going to happen with this band. 

Usually, when Christian bands, or bands where the members happen to be devout Christians, talk very passionately about their religious beliefs and bring attention to their work in their respective churches, you can pretty much bet that the band will either break up or go on indefinite hiatus (Slick Shoes and Subseven are examples I can think off the top of my head). On November 22, 2011, Thrice announced that they were taking a "break," but I knew a break-up when I read about one.

I'm beginning to think he signed my
ticket stub up-side-down (Personal Collection)
So I was explaining to Donny my "Jesus is more important than my band"-theory while we waited patiently for Dustin.  Donny was explaining to me about some book that he likes to use to dispel the thought processes of his atheist friends. I was wearing my Bad Religion t-shirt.  

Finally, my turn came up, and I was speechless. I believe I stammered something along the lines of, "I'm...uh...ummm... I mean.... such....good... thanks...." So I was star-struck, big deal!  Plus, the whole idea of Dustin being a devout Christian and me repping Bad Religion probably played in my head, but in the end, Dustin was a cool dude, very subdued. He took the time to take a picture with me and Donny and even signed my ticket stub. 

Seeing a great show with one of my favorite bands, watching an amazing baseball game, seeing Dustin play an unsanctioned show at a parking lot adjacent to Wrigley Field, and getting another autograph: nights don't get better than this folks....

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