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Seven albums and thirteen years later, the four men of Thrice still have a talent about them that seems to be hard to top. With each album fans believe "Okay, THIS is Thrice and this album is their best". That remains true until their next work of art hits the street. For their seventh record they headlined a tour across the States and on Halloween weekend kids gathered at a moderate-sized venue in Kansas to witness what Dustin, Eddie, Teppei, and Riley had cooked up this time.

Originally, this article was supposed to be an in-depth interview with Mr. Eddie Breckenridge, however technology failed me and those thoughts were lost. No worries, their set that night proved to be incredible enough to make a permanent imprint on my brain.

Approximately half of the night was filled with selections off the new record Major/Minor. One of these selections was the opening song "Yellow Belly". Remembering Eddie's admiration for this song and how "fun" it was to play made sense after seeing the band and crowd burst into a fury of energetic dancing. The opening riff to this song is raw and melodic at the same time. Its simplicity feeds the fact that after a few moments it becomes addictive. Chaos ensues when all four musicians jam out as a backdrop to Dustin's triumphant cry. The beauty of the song is smack dab in the middle where everything mellows and the vocals take a lullaby feeling.

Second on the new album and third on the setlist was "Promises". To be honest I hadn't given this song much time before the show. However, after seeing it live, it's now a favorite of mine on the album. There's a dance of guitar notes and light percussion that leads to an all-out thrash session. And that's just within the first 40 seconds. Here's a song that feels like the guys took the acoustic-heavy, day-dreaming elements of Beggars and combined them with the high-pitched, quick-tempo elements of earlier albums like The Artist In The Ambulance. The stage presence this song had was so strong it took over every fan in that building.

To mix things up, the band threw in numbers from earlier works like the aforementioned Beggars and The Artist In The Ambulance. It was "Circles" that came as a nicely placed breather. The vocals were so effortless yet almost mind-bending while the guitar morphed from a soft melody to notes so distorted they became indistinguishable. Another personal favorite from the latest album came mid-way through the night; "Treading Paper" met and exceeded my expectations on a live stage. Besides the few moments of vocals whispering alongside a soft guitar, most of the song is anything but delicate. Teppei had to have fun on this song, because the chord progressions jumped from angry rock weens to pleasant folk sways and back again. But it wasn't just the dynamics that has continually drawn me into this song; rather it's more the drama that had me addicted. Take 2:15, all instruments go from upper octave insanity to a bass groove so strong fans were hard pressed to keep their heads from bopping. It was as though each musician was on the exact same wavelength, let alone the exact same key.

One thing that stuck out from my lost interview with Eddie's was the topic of the "Thrice groove". Was this latest album the epitome of the bands' journey and work? Or was this just the next step? Had Thrice finally found it's groove? Well in Eddie's opinion the Thrice groove can never be summed up. The band is constantly learning and teaching themselves things. They are constantly improving themselves as musicians and thus their music is always changing ever so slightly. In the end, each fan that night had their own definition of who they think Thrice is.

So, this may have been a show promoting Major/Minor, but it sure felt more like a show promoting Thrice as a whole. And no matter which album a fan considered "their Thrice", the guys most likely played something off of it. It was a fantastic evening all around.

-Rachel Fredrickson

Thrice with Moving Mountains, La Dispute, and O'Brother
October 29, 2011
Granada Theater, Lawrence, KS

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