Thursday Charge Through Texas with 20th Anniversary Tour (SHOW REVIEW)

Thursday and Vein at Barracuda, Austin, and Paper Tiger, San Antonio, 1/22/2019, 1/23/2019, 1/24/2019

When Thursday announced their 20th anniversary tour, featuring full length performances of their seminal records Full Collapse and War All the Time, it was met with tremendous fanfare. Adding up and coming hardcore band Vein as direct support made the tour even more appealing. In Texas, however, because of a late booking snafu, Thursday ended up with a day off between their two-night stint in Austin, so they added an extra night in San Antonio where they would play a mixed bag set. All three nights, which took place January 22, 23, and 24, ended up having their own special moments and highlights.

Vein’s sets over the course of the three nights were all stellar, but their opening slot in San Antonio was met particularly warmly. San Antonio, having a much richer hardcore scene than Austin, brought it for Vein’s set in a way Austin audiences didn’t. Either way, Vein brought their A-game whether they had ten fans or a hundred at the show and they surely impressed some of the older audience who had no idea who they were. Their meteoric rise in the ranks of hardcore and metalcore, backed by their 2018 album of the year candidate Errorzone, has been impressive, but not at all surprising given their talent and energy. The exposure of opening slots for bands like Thursday will only be a boon to their growing following.

Thursday’s first night in Austin, the Full Collapse set, packed perhaps their strongest punch of the three nights. While War All the Time leaves the band and audience more room to breathe, Full Collapse is punishingly energetic all the way through. The band never let up on Tuesday night and the crowd gave them back that energy in spades. Each night they closed with “Jet Black New Year,” a long time fan favorite that stands as Thursday’s heaviest song to date, and fired off confetti while the crowd moshed like maniacs.

Wednesday night in San Antonio provided perhaps the most satisfying setlist, by trimming the fat. While a few fan favorites didn’t make the cut, the mix of songs from Full Collapse and War All the Time allowed Thursday to spotlight both albums while giving the set a more even flow and focusing solely on hits. It made for a set where there was never a dull moment.

Finally, Thursday night finished off the band’s stint in central Texas with War All the Time in its entirety. Less overall energetic than Full Collapse, but no less classic, the ballads on War All the Time allowed the audience to take in some of the more beautiful side of Thursday while also highlighting the incredible voice of singer Geoff Rickley.

Overall the three nights were a wonderful spotlight on a band that made a massive impact on many people’s youths. Over the course of their twenty year career, they’ve done a lot more than just these two albums, but these two hit that sweet spot of their fanbase’s teenage years in a serendipitous way. The way these records resonated, both with the band and the audience, made it clear just how special Thursday was and continues to be after all these years.

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