The dark, atmospheric drawls of O’Brother were the first sounds to fill up Irving’s stage. Tanner Merrit’s thunderous voice commanded the attention of the crowd, while the eerie, pulse-pounding tones of the Atlanta-based band kept everyone head-bopping along.
Westchester’s Moving Mountains refined their spacey post-rock sound into digestible indie anthems on their excellent 2011 record Waves, and the new jams sounded even more ferocious live. The emotional rockers blazed through new tracks such as “Where Two Bodies Lie” and “The Cascade” while surprising hometown fans with old favorites such as “Cover the Roots.”
The spoken-word hardcore of Michigan’s La Dispute stood out sharply in the show’s lineup, but the band’s genuine creative passion and inspiring energy fell in line perfectly with the rest of the acts. Supporting their new record Wildlife while throwing in some fan-favorites, La Dispute consistently incited rowdy sing-alongs during the most moving moments of their songs. As with every set of the night, some members of the other bands came on stage to provide some additional percussion and add even more gasoline to an incendiary performance.
Cheers of “Thrice!, Thrice!” filled the room up until the four piece took to the stage and were met with a storm of applause. They burst right into “Yellow Belly” off of their month-old Major/Minor, and judging by the raised fists and sing-along roars that almost overshadowed frontman Dustin Kensrue’s, fans have wasted no time learning every lyric. Their set drew largely from Major/Minor and 2009’s Beggars, while the sudden one-two punch of “Silhouette” and “Cold Cash and Cold Hearts” off of their breakthrough record The Artist in the Ambulance incited screams of excitement.
Before a rabid encore that revived two tracks from their metal days, Thrice ended their proper set with “Anthology” a new song that Kensrue prefaced by saying “Thanks for putting so much trust in us and allowing us to make all these different types of music. It’s a really cool relationship.” The chorus of “You know me/And I know you/And I promise we will see this through” is a love song on record, but that night, reverberating off of Irving’s walls through the lungs of Kensrue and crowd alike, you couldn’t help but think that Thrice were speaking to every wide-eyed fan in front of them.