Four months ago, Thrice released their first album in almost five years. To Be Everywhere Is to Be Nowhere served as an international reminder that one of OC’s best alternative bands of the last 15 years was back together and had no plans of splitting up again anytime soon.
But instead of touring nonstop after the album release – as they likely would’ve done a decade ago – vocalist/rhythm guitarist Dustin Kensrue, lead guitarist Teppei Teranishi, and the rhythm section of brothers Eddie and Riley Breckenridge decided to approach things in a more sustainable manner this time around.
They cruised around the country for the month of June in support of the album, but then they took a break in July before heading to Europe in August. Rather than getting right back on the road after landing stateside, Thrice waited a couple of weeks before embarking on their three-week Fall tour.
Sure, maybe that means fans in certain areas of the country only get one shot to see their favorite post-hardcore act of the 2000s. A handful of Thrice aficionados may even have to carpool to get to a show a few hours away – something many diehards did last year when Thrice reunited on the festival circuit. But at this point, hitting the road for a few months at a time just isn’t really in the best interest of the guys in Thrice anymore.
“I think the new rhythms we’ve set up where we’re touring for two or three weeks at a time has been super helpful,” Kensrue says. “Every show feels exciting and not as draining as it’s been in the past for us. It’s been great to not have to be away from our families and things like that. Overall, the year’s been fantastic.”
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The tour wraps up this week with two stops at the Observatory, and it’ll be a welcome homecoming for a band that’s always shown love to the area they came from. Much like their album release show at Long Beach’s Fingerprints before the summer tour kicked off, the dates at the Observatory will take both the members and fans of Thrice back to the sweaty club tours from years before they were performing at European festivals and America’s most iconic mid-size venues. Although Kensrue and company have no problem playing festival dates, there’s something special about having a full house where everyone knows the words to more than just “The Artist in the Ambulance” and “The Earth Will Shake.”
“At a big festival, you never know what you’re walking into,” Kensrue says. “Whether it’s where you’re slotted in the day and what bands you’re playing against or just the mix of people who made it out to that festival, it’s a different vibe than when you have an entire crowd packed into a room for you. At the same time, we’ve had some really good fun festival shows, but nothing compares to a good, hot club show.”
In many ways, the shows at the Observatory will see the band come full circle. They’ll be back in front of the crowd that’s been with them the longest (see: those who were screaming for “Deadbolt” two songs into the set before anyone else had even heard The Illusion of Safety) and moshed with them the hardest. For both the fans and the band, Thrice’s OC shows are just a little bit like a high school reunion. There’ll be a handful of faces you won’t recognize, but pretty much everyone else will be the same folks who’ve always been there – just slightly older. But for a band that plans on sticking around and playing shows for the foreseeable future, this week’s concerts figure to be the first of many sweaty homecoming dates over the coming years.
“We started the year with a big show at the Shrine [Auditorium in LA], and that was a blast, so it’ll be fun to come back and close out the year with a couple of smaller shows,” Kensrue says. “We’re really excited to close out the year with a good home show. It always just feels like a big homecoming party when we land back in OC, so we’re excited to see everyone.”