Thursday played Irving twice w/ Touche Amore & more (pics, setlists, review)
After reuniting last year for festival appearances and one-offs, New Jersey post-hardcore heroes Thursday went on their first tour since 2011 in March and April. It wrapped up with two nights at Irving Plaza over the weekend (Saturday, 4/29 and Sunday, 4/30), their first two NYC shows of the reunion.
Probably due in part to the fact that Geoff Rickly stayed very active during Thursday's hiatus as the frontman of United Nations and No Devotion, and as a solo artist, Thursday's reunion was a triumphant return since day one. Now that they'd been on the road for a month straight, they sounded even tighter. They opened the Saturday show like they've opened so many sets throughout the years, with "For the Workforce, Drowning," and they had the crowd in the palms of their hands right away. We got favorites from all over their career, from "Cross Out the Eyes" and the inevitable "Understanding in a Car Crash" to "War All the Time" to "Counting 5-4-3-2-1" (for which they were joined by Touche Amore frontman Jeremy Bolm), to stuff off their great last album No Devolucion like "Turnpike Divides."
Before playing one of their Full Collapse classics, Geoff pointed to the three banners that the band had hanging on stage. One was the band's longtime dove logo, and the other two said "Refugees Welcome Here" and "Protect Immigrant Communities." He said, "If anybody here is offended by what we're saying, all I can say is you should've been offended years ago because we've been saying this in our music for a very very long time. And here's a 17-year-old example of us saying it. It's called 'Autobiography of a Nation.'" One of the things that always set Thursday apart from their peers in emo's mainstream era was their strong political stance. Especially in Trump's America, it's part of what makes their old songs feel as relevant as ever today.
The shows were opened by experimental rapper Cities Aviv, whose production is closer to ambient music than to traditional rap, and whose music worked just fine on an otherwise rock bill. They also had UK punks (and recent Fueled by Ramen signees) Basement, whose live show is as rock solid as ever, and Touche Amore. Thursday took Touche under their wings when Touche were still a very small, new band, and it's pretty amazing to see how far Touche have come. Geoff himself talked about this on stage, saying how beautifully their 2016 album Stage Four discusses loss and grief. Touche played plenty of Stage Four songs at the show, and at this point, those songs are delivered as powerfully and loved by the crowd as much as time-tested favorites like "Pathfinder" and "The Great Repitition." The moshing, crowd surfing, and yelling along was practically as intense for TA as it was for Thursday.
Pictures of the Saturday show are in the gallery above. Video and setlists below. Thursday will play NYC again during Northside Festival on June 11 in McCarren Park with PUP, The Hotelier, Jeff Rosenstock, and Tony Molina. It's free but RSVP is closed.
Thursday Night 1 Setlist
For the Workforce, Drowning
The Other Side of the Crash/Over and Out (Of Control)
Cross Out the Eyes
Beyond the Visible Spectrum
Autobiography of a Nation
A Hole in the World
Signals Over the Air
Jet Black New Year
This Song Brought to You by a Falling Bomb
Sparks Against the Sun
Understanding in a Car Crash
War All the Time
photos by Amanda Hatfield