Thrice shows no mercy at the Mercy Lounge


Dallas Shatel, Deputy Editor in Chief

Last Thursday the punk rock community of Nashville was able to celebrate a break in the city’s typical country music saturation when post-hardcore/alt-rock veterans Thrice came to town. With them came current post-hardcore kings La Dispute and up-and-coming band nothing, nowhere for a night of rowdy and passionate punk music.

When I arrived at the venue, the line had already snaked around the building, and by the time we had all made it inside, there was hardly room to move. Shortly after 8 p.m. nothing, nowhere took the stage and began their set of slow, reverb soaked verses and huge, Manchester Orchestra-esque choruses.

With many of their songs featuring electronic drum beats and rapped verses, the band sounded like Twenty-One Pilots’ sad, emo cousin. The singer’s voice ranged anywhere from a hoarse whisper to raspy howl to a high pitched yelp. While the rest of the band maintained a deadpan stage presence, their frontman managed to captivate the audience with his pained vocals.

Next up was La Dispute, a band of Grand Rapids natives, who have been playing their brand of narrative-based post-hardcore with sung-spoken vocals and complex song structures for over a decade now. Clearly a crowd favorite, audience members began screaming at the sight of the band members as they set up their amplifiers before the set.

The band was high energy and showed no signs of slowing down as singer Jordan Dreyer danced and jumped around the stage like a man in need of a musical exorcism. The rest of the group threw themselves into each note as they played the first three songs off of their most recent LP, Rooms of the House. In between acts, Dreyer would interact with the crowd, even poking fun at his own self-described rhythmic jerking.

The band played almost half of their newest album while also bringing back fan-favorites from their previous album, Wildlife. As the frontman made his way over the barricade into the crowd, fans showed their appreciation for this setlist choice by screaming along to the distraught song: “all our bruised bodies and the whole heart shrinks” and the morbid yet beautiful set-closer “King Park,” making for an impressive opening set.

Not too long after La Dispute finished their set, the lights went down and fans began to scream as a soft blue glow emitted from the stage. The silhouettes of Thrice emerged, and they launched into song after song of the soaring, contagious choruses and heavy guitars that they’re known for.

The band gave off a swagger throughout their set that only comes with many years of experience (14 to be exact). Guitarists Dustin Kensrue and Teppei Teranishi pulled off complicated melodies and crushing riffs with ease, while brothers Eddie and Riley Beckenridge laid down some infectious grooves on bass and drums, respectively, especially on “Wood and Wire.”

Thrice played a career-spanning 2 hour set which covered everything from smooth, ominous ballads like “Wood and Wire” to bluesy cuts such as “The Weight” to their more aggressive, hardcore punk-influenced tracks like “Hold Fast Hope.”

Coming off of a four-year hiatus, Thrice just released their ninth record- “To Be Everywhere Is to Be Nowhere”- earlier this year.  Fans showed their excitement for the band’s return by singing along. During “Black Honey,” the band dropped out and allowed the crowd to sing the last chorus, and for “The Long Defeat” and “Blood on the Sand”, the audience overpowered the lead vocals as they sang along.

The dedicated fans who stuck around after the last song were rewarded with an encore of some of the band’s early work, including favorites “The Artist in the Ambulance” and “The Earth Will Shake.” As the sweat and beer-drenched crowd finally journeyed into the crisp night air, each and every fan left satisfied.