Each band on alternative rock titans Thrice and Circa Survive’s co-headlining tour was big enough to headline their own shows. The second opener, Chon, packed their headlining show at Gas Monkey Live earlier this year, giving a good sense of the scale of this tour. Fans took their time arriving to The Bomb Factory, but by the end of the night, a solid crowd came together to catch this impressive lineup.
It was surprisingly cold in Dallas, and it took the crowd a while to warm up to Balance and Composure. They released Light We Made around this time last year, and played a set featuring several selections from the album. Old hits like “Fade” made their way into the mix as well. Hypnotic, subtle lighting complemented the more stylized new songs, making for a pleasant atmosphere, but the early-bird crowd wasn’t very expressive.
The crowd filled in more in time for Chon, an increasingly popular math rock band that lays down very technical, summery instrumental tunes. While there wasn’t a mosh pit like last time (to the dismay of the audience member calling for a “Chon-pit”), the crowd danced enthusiastically to hits like “Waterslide” and “Puddle.” Instrumental sets can seem to drag on, but Chon somehow got more fun as the set continued. They ended their set with fan favorite “Perfect Pillow,” which had the audience shouting “woo!” in unison during the main riff.
Circa Survive headlined this stop of the tour, so Thrice took the stage next. They kicked it off with “The Earth Will Shake” from their twelve year old classic album Vheissu. This song usually inspires chaos in the crowd, but despite Thrice’s booming energy onstage, the audience was oddly stoic for the first handful of songs. It wasn’t until they played “Hurricane,” a single from their recent release To Be Everywhere Is to Be Nowhere, that the crowd stepped it up. From then on, the crowd was in full swing, moshing and singing along. As always, Thrice did a great job of putting together a setlist that featured songs that spanned their nearly twenty year career. Highlights included “Come All You Weary,” which showed off Dustin Kensure’s strong and well-matured voice, and the infamous high-energy “Deadbolt.”
Finally, Circa Survive kicked off their set with a track from their brand new album, The Amulet. Fans already knew the words despite its recent release. Anthony Green’s distinctive voice and fierce stage presence drew the crowd closer and closer to the stage for a set that nicely balanced new and old, fast-paced and emotional. Green’s delivery remains as urgent as ever. It’s this passion that keeps fans coming back no matter the stylistic changes in recent albums. The band ended with “Get Out,” the kind of fan favorite that the crowd begs them to play every show. Oddly enough, there wasn’t an encore, but it’s hard to top a finisher like that.
Between post-hardcore veterans Circa Survive and Thrice and relative newcomers Balance and Composure and Chon, this tour showed off the bands’ modern strides as well as the nostalgic music that shaped the current alternative rock scene.