words & photos by Andrew Frisicano
The Thermals completed a two-night run at Brooklyn Bowl last night (4/21). I was at the irst night, Tuesday, when they played a great set to a sold-out crowd. The band's two show run at the venue was the last stop of their two-week East Coast tour.
The Thermals crowd came ready to sing along, and got more and more riled up as things progressed (the band's "Pillar of Salt," "No Culture Icons," "Returning to the Fold" run at the end was particularly spectacular). There was a kind of girls vs. boys thing going on, with plenty of female fans belting out the words while the guys threw their bodies into it.
The hour-plus set covered the band's catalog, from the power-punk of More Parts Per Million to the cleanly cut songs on Now We Can See. The new material showed promise for Personal Life, their fifth album, due in September. Those tunes stayed intense even as the band slowed down the tempo. "Seperate" - from their Record Store Day split with the Cribs - is one new song with a different, more calculated edge (see it in a video from an earlier show on the tour, below). Here's hoping the new album will match The Body, The Blood, The Machine for lyrical sharpness and replayability. After the 20-ish song set, the band came back for a gracious encore, and repeated cries to play their Olympics anthem "Canada" went unheeded.
Spazzy punk band the Coathangers opened, with all four members taking turns at the mic as they swapped instruments. Other opener Past Lives played grungy rock that didn't really keep my attention (Tony Castles subbed for the Coathangers on the second night).
More pictures and a few of those new songs from their Baltimore tour stop are below...
The Thermals "Seperate" 4/16/10 Ottobar Baltimore, Md.
The Thermals "Power Lies" 4/16/10 Ottobar Baltimore, Md.