Sound on Sound Review: Thursday

Reunited ragers wait out the rain to bring fire

“We are Thursday from Brunswick, New Jersey, and we broke up six years ago,” grinned screamer Geoff Rickly broadly as the post-hardcore pioneers ripped Sound on Sound apart Sunday night.

Almost didn’t happen, either.

Geoff Rickly (Photo by David Brendan Hall)

That had nothing to do with the quintet’s five-year hiatus and everything to do with a torrential, early afternoon rain that meant Sherwood Forest’s temporary evacuation. Hours later as the two smaller, woods-protected stages fired back up, the more exposed main Dragon’s Lair kept taking a stormy lashing. The crowd remained, waiting under ponchos and trash bag shrouds.

Maybe, if it had been another band, this would have been just another canceled set alongside others sacrificed to the Sabbath’s greedy rain gods. But the crowd stood its ground, patiently knowing that this band – of all bands – would never let them down.

“Everything up here is fucked,” Rickly warned the sodden faithful, and he wasn’t kidding.

Half a lighting rig and no PA greeted Thursday to start. During the rain delay, mics were unplugged, guitar cases sealed, and the group shuffled back and forth as roadies and stage manager poked at backlines and gestured to amps. Fuck it, they agreed. This is happening.

“We’re going to keep doing this until they cut it off.”

From chord one of “Autobiography of a Nation,” the firestorm fragility of Thursday was back. Tech problems melted away and in their place returned rosy memories of old Austin shows in vintage Emo’s and La Zona Rosa, sweat-drenched and soaring. If anything’s changed, Rickly’s pass-the-mic bond with fans has matured him into a more assured, relaxed, energized frontman.

If Thursday never plays again after this short round, they leave at a peak. This reunion felt like communion, welcoming an old friend home again.

Sound on Sound set list, 11.6.16

“Autobiography of a Nation”
“Cross Out the Eyes”
“Signals Over the Air”
“Counting 5-4-3-2-1”
“Jet Black New Year”
“Sparks Against the Sun”
“Division Street”
“Understanding in a Car Crash”

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Sound On Sound Fest 2016, Thursday, Geoff Rickly

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