I said it earlier, this has been a great year for concerts. So many good shows. Unfortunately, two of my favorite bands also decided to call it quits this year (Or go on a hiatus, indefinitely). In October, both Thrice and Thursday announced that they would be going on an indefinite hiatus. I saw Thrice back in October, and on December 26th I was there for what could be Thursday’s last New Jersey show.
Being a band from New Brunswick, NJ and this being their last area show, at least for a while, I knew that Thursday would put on an amazing show. I don’t think anyone was prepared for how good it would be though. Opening with “Open Quotes” from their newest album, No DevoluciÃ³n, they whipped everyone into a frenzy right off the bat. Then they followed that with the one, two punch of “For The Workforce, Drowning” and their biggest hit “Understanding In A Car Crash.” Holy shit. What an incredible start.
Singer Geoff Rickly said right away that they were going to be playing a special, long set. Every song was a hit with the audience, they matched the bands energy note for note. Songs like “Division Street”, “War All The Time”, and “Signals Over The Air”, “Counting 5-4-3-2-1″ were met with a furious uproar. When “Full Collapse” was recorded, singer Tom Schlatter did the screaming parts on the album. He is formerly of the band You And I, and a friend of the band. He joined them on stage for “Cross Out The Eyes” and “Autobiography of a Nation.” Before these songs Rickly mentioned how Schlatter was the only one that could do the songs justice, and the songs could only be done how they were meant to be, at home.
Rickly commanded center stage, but the band kept things moving along smoothly. Guitarists Tom Keeley and Steve Pedulla, bassist Tim Payne and keyboardist Andrew Everding mostly stood in front of their mic stands occasionally adding shouted vocals to the fray. Drummer Tucker Rule stayed behind the kit keeping the rock train rolling. The band sounded tight and fantastic. It was bittersweet to see how much fun everyone was clearly having, knowing that this might be the last time we see them all play together.
Throughout the show Rickly kept mentioning how greatful they all were to have come from such humble beginnings in New Brunswick basements that led to a 13 year career. At one point before their last song before the encore the audience started chanting, “Thank You Thursday!” over and over. Everyone on stage just stopped and stared out for a full minute while everyone continued to chant. Rickly thanked everyone and said he was getting choked up. Then he made mention of the “emo” title that had been bestowed on the band for the last 13 years and said it definitely couldn’t cry on stage in front of everyone. He wasn’t the only one getting choked up, though. In between the screams and the cheering and the screaming of lyrics, there were many tears in the audience. It was clear to see how much this band meant to everyone in the room.
Thursday left the stage after a 16 song set and returned a few minutes later for a 3 song encore. They opened this up with the song “Stay True.” This song has never been played live before and even though it is one of their newer songs, everyone went crazy when it was played. They closed out the set with “Jet Black New Year” and a song about their home, “Turnpike Divides.” The band left the stage with waves for everyone, then came right back out for a final bow and a picture in front of their hometown crowd.
I don’t know what else to say that hasn’t already been said about Thursday. The band have spent the last 13 years building something that won’t be soon forgotten. Along the way they have made fans and friends of everyone. After the encore the audience once again chanted “Thank You, Thursday” over and over. I don’t know what else I could say about this show, and this band. Thank you, Thursday. You will be missed.
All photos courtesy of Keeyahtay Lewis. Check out more of his photos at DeadBoltPhotos.com