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Thrice tour stops at Ace of Spades

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It was a nearly sold-out show at Ace of Spades Sunday night. Thrice, hailing from Irvine, Calif., headlined an excellent post-hardcore bill.

Opening for a healthy-sized audience was the band, Moving Mountains, an intriguing group of musicians who captured the room’s attention immediately. With a complex and multi-layered sound, their atmospheric rock songs set a great tone for the rest of the night.

Ed Breckenridge (L) and drummer Riley Breckenridge of Thrice perform at Ace of Spades in Sacramento, CA on November 6, 2011.
Atlanta-based O’Brother was musically in the same vein; a melodic three-guitar sonic assault marrying the atmospheric with the distorted. A solid showing, but when they went ambient, they went ambient. At times they seemed to meander as some songs drifted slowly past the five minute mark.

Main support was La Dispute, a very impressive five-piece band from Grand Rapids, Mich.

"It’s been about a year since we’ve been out to the West Coast, and that’s an absolute crime, because I don’t know if there’s a place where we have a better time," said appreciative vocalist Jordan Dreyer.

Fist around microphone and microphone cable wrapped around fist, the barefoot and constantly moving Dreyer shouted his spoken-word style lyrics with raw intensity, complemented perfectly with delicately explosive rhythm and powerful, technical guitar work.

La Dispute performs at Ace of Spades in Sacramento, CA on November 6, 2011.
A comparison to defunct frenetic El Paso, Tex. band, At The Drive-In, is easy to make because of Dreyer’s voice, delivery and the chaotic harmony of the music. On the other hand, the easier-to-swallow guitar melodies and Dreyer’s realistic, confessional lyrics are a couple of areas that set this band apart.

"It’s only temporary, that fleeting feeling of warmth. Just a flash before the line gets blurry. Between a longing for more than what the body wants now and what the body wants now more than anything."

La Dispute performs at Ace of Spades in Sacramento, CA on November 6, 2011.
Thrice has been around for thirteen years and has a serious and passionate following. To a new fan, the anticipation was thick in the air and when the band took the stage the release from the crowd was palpable.

Opening strong with lead track, "Yellow Belly," from their new album “Major/Minor,” their set was heavy on critically well-received new material, including "Promises," "Call It In The Air" and "Treading Paper." They also played a number of tracks from 2009’s “Beggars;” among them, "All The World Is Mad," "The Weight," "In Exile" and "Circles;" taking the audience on a journey through the different styles and nuances the band has experienced lyrically and musically up to this point in their career.

It was clear the older material was held in high regard; the frenzied crowd and their pumping fists were jolted with energy when the band played tracks from 2003’s “The Artist in the Ambulance.”

O’Brother performs at Ace of Spades in Sacramento, CA on November 6, 2011.
Fans come and go as bands experiment and mature, and after hearing the music and speaking with some fans, Thrice is doing a good job of continuing to delight as they evolve musically.

"The music, the beats, everything," said Sara Molina, 25, of Dixon. "Everything meshes together; their music is amazing!"

The guys in Thrice are also humanitarians, and took a moment to raise awareness about Invisible Children, a group they support and one that is currently on tour with them.

Invisible Children is a movement seeking to end the conflict in Uganda and stop the abduction of children for use as child soldiers. The band specifically asked for support in building radio towers in the Congo for communication directly with the child soldiers in an effort to bring them home. Kudos to Thrice for using their platform to inspire change and educate others about a worthy cause.

Photos by Steven Chea

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