Thrice and Circa Survive with Balance and Composure – Live at Mtelus – November 28th, 2017 – Montreal, QC

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, there’s nothing like a nostalgia fuelled tour that isn’t full of wash-ups and doesn’t suck. Hence my overwhelming excitement when Thrice announced their mighty return, which of course I get to recount to you with childish glee. This past Tuesday at MTelus saw all of the things that I love in a venue; good friends, excessive consumer spending, and sing alongs as far as the eye could see.

Balance and Composure

Before getting into the tour package itself, I want to note my intense disappointment at the absence of instrumental three-piece CHON. It further affirms that boarders suck and we totally don’t need them. At least Doylestown, PA’s ultimate emo experience, Balance and Composure, was there to make it really fucking sad. Now, when I say “ultimate emo experience,” I mean Elliot Smith had a few too many with the Cure and decided to start a career about it instead of…well, we kinda know the end of that story and it’s super sad. BUT, I DIGRESS! B&C brought a very mellow, yet modern, take on the original intention of what later became emo. Some would find this droning. I for one managed to appreciate it. This act’s sound is very much a link that my generation sadly missed. There was a big gap between bands like the Cure and My Chemical Romance; basically it went from relative monotonous vocal styles and a lot more artistic musical compositions to the much more pop infused version we heard in the early 2000s. BAC takes that early stage emo of the 2000s and brings back a more artistic vibe to the style.

Circa Survive

Also out of Doylestown, PA, co headliner and name-stake in the post punk/emo scene, Circa Survive was up next. (Okay, seriously, why are people from this town so sad?) Featuring long time post-punk veteran Anthony Green, this act has seen the ups and downs of band life to the point where top-dog status is only the beginning of a description. From my place in the venue, they sounded fucking fantastic, that or I was drunk and trying not to weep at the beauty. But really, Not a complaint could be made about the instrumental mix, however, and I say this with a heavy heart, Green of all people was seemingly having an immensely tough time keeping up with his own prominent and powerful vocal arrangements. Being in the range of a high tenor, it’s completely understandable for a rough day every now and then. However, in this case, it was almost as if Green was missing a register for the majority of the set, alternating between his signature yell and not as characteristic falsetto/head voice and rarely touching base with his very prominent chest range. This was a little disappointing as in previous performances I’ve seen, the dude was flawless. That said, you couldn’t pay me to miss another Circa show.


Last and far from least. The diesel in this big rig of high-school emotion. Irvine, CA’s Thrice. There are few ways that this set could have gone any better, and they all lead back to the setlist. This is not a band you can enjoy enough inside of an hour, but fuck did we make do. Cracking the performance open was “The Earth will Shake,” (I see what you did then Dustin Kensrue), followed by the first of many tracks of their new record To be Everywhere is to be Nowhere, “The Window.The crowd was nice and settled by this point when a tidal wave of teenage angst called “The Artist and the Ambulance” crashed down upon us all. If you can go without singing your little bitch heart out to this song then you have no soul.

You’re probably thinking just from the first three songs that it’s impossible that this could have gone badly, to which you’re mostly right. Long story short, the set contained less moments of intense nostalgia and more moments of ,”Hey dudes, we have a new record and you should buy it so we can eat.” That said, this isn’t a bad thing, the new record is a good time, the audio mix was everything you could want from a live show, you still got to weep uncontrollably to “Come All You Weary,” and the set choice was enjoyable for a new fan or old. If you’re reading this, just do me one massive favour? Don’t miss another Thrice show.

Written by Jason Greenberg
Photography by Danny Donovan
*edited by Danielle Kenedy
[srizonfbalbum id=622]

About Jason Greenberg 172 Articles
On the first day, the Lord said "Let there be Bucketlist," and all of human kind then became aware of the incredulity or abysmally flaccid result on their attempt at Art. On the second day, the Lord said "Jason, go review that show you're going to on Friday," and begrudgingly, a review was made. What the world was for Jason Greenberg before that point is either completely unimportant or mildly pornographic, but the world of today after many years of serving his Queen has brought him opportunity, hardship, and a whole lot of Bucketlist patches on indiscriminate pieces of clothing. You may see him lugging your band's equipment and yelling at you aimlessly about the useless construct of time. You may see him expelling a noise not fully understood by humankind at the end of a microphone. You may even see him swimming in an ocean of poutine, but you will always see him as his true self, a sentient and obnoxious Bucketlist Music Reviews Billboard.

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