Venue – Mercy Lounge
Location – Nashville, TN
Date – September 28th, 2021
Lineup – Thrice, Touché Amore, Self Defense Family
There are very few shows that have been announced thus far that I was looking forward to as much as this. And as I arrived to the venue, I came to find out that it had been moved from Cannery Ballroom, over to the Mercy Lounge on the other side of the building. I was both excited and anxious, as it’s been roughly thirteen years since I had seen Thrice play a room this size (500 cap). But that anxiousness quickly resided, as the crowd packed in for an intimate night full of eclectic music.
Up first were Self Defense Family. As they began their set, i hit me that I hadn’t actually seen them, or really looked into them much since I saw them in 2013 when they released their split with Axis (If you’ve never checked out Axis, do yourself a favor. One of the greatest bands to come out of my hometown area in FL). The band seemingly rushed through their short set, but still making every second of it count. Frontman Patrick Kindlon addressing and winning over the crowd in between songs with his welcoming bantering. I wish we could’ve gotten a slightly longer set from SDF, but overall they made the best of it.
Up next were the band I was personally looking forward to the most, that of Touché Amore. I was really bummed about missing their set at Furnace Fest a few nights prior (They played during the Beloved reunion set, massive bummer), so I was of course ecstatic that I’d still get a chance to catch them on this run. I’ve seen them around a dozen times now, and they still continue to never once disappoint. There are very few frontmen I’ve seen who seemingly connect with their audience quite like Jeremy Bolm does, both parties very abrasively and emotionally yelling along with every lyric. And even with a now fairly extensive discography in their pocket, filled with tons of fan favorites, the band are one of the few who can seemingly get away with playing just about anything, while having the crowd being joyfully acceptive of it. Touché Amore are a special band, and one I don’t think people will truly understand until they’ve seen them live.
And at this point in the evening it was finally time for this night’s headliners, Thrice. One of the things I’ve always appreciated about this band, is their willingness and eagerness to experiment and evolve. I’m not sure of to many bands out their who have had quiet the evolution they have, while also maintaining the bulk of their fanbase along the way. And even more impressively so just how much their newer songs flow so effortlessly with their older and more abrasive material sprinkled into their setlist. And what I love the most is just how critical all four members are to their overall sound, especially live. I will forever argue that brothers Eddie and Riley Breckenridge are one of the most criminally underrated rhythm sections around. Thrice wasted no time, opening with the latest singles ‘The Color Of The Sky’ and ‘Scavengers’, straight into longtime fan favorite ‘Artist In The Ambulance’. Although for me the highlight of the set was their ‘Beggars’ track ‘All The World Is Mad’, which unfortunately feels all to fitting these days. The band ultimately ended with what I believe to be their most appropriate closing track ‘Anthology’, which felt like a warm swan song of sorts. And just like Touché, I firmly believe Thrice are a band to be most appreciated live. And if you haven’t had the chance to catch them yet, I cannot recommend enough for you to change that.