Thursday @ Concord Music Hall, Chicago, US, January 30, 2024 | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Tuesday, February 27th, 2024  

Thursday, Rival Schools, Many Eyes

Thursday @ Concord Music Hall, Chicago, US, January 30, 2024,

Feb 05, 2024 Photography by Devan Gallagher Web Exclusive
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Thursday’s War All The Time was released in 2003 and spoke to the volatility of the early aughts. The project served as the band’s third studio album and was a powerful statement from the emotionally fraught facet. Frontman Geoff Rickley has stated in the past that the album’s title came before the record. In addition, it was Thursday’s first album away from Victory Records.

“I just wanted to write a record that we could play live that would be really aggressive and progressive,” Rickley has said. “I wanted it to be new and have all these boundary pushing ideas and I wanted it to be heavier than [Thursday’s second studio album] Full Collapse.” In honour of its 20-year anniversary, the group has embarked on a tour in which War All The Time is performed from beginning to end.

One of their very first pit stops was Chicago’s Concord Music Hall on January 30 (it ends later this month at New York’s Irving Plaza). “People travelled from numerous states, cities and countries to join us and we were continually asked the same question – please come to (insert city name here) with War All The Time,” Thursday had previously said about the tour lineup in a statement.

“If we did it, we knew it had to be special, so we thought back to 2001 when we toured with Rival Schools and then we thought back to 2012 when we toured with Keith Buckley and then we thought forward to 2024.” Every Time I Die vocalist Keith Buckley and his new band, Many Eyes, were one of two openers for the night. Like with his previous hardcore group, the singer managed to balance heavier metal sounds with surprisingly melodic rhythms.

Although the debut album from Many Eyes has yet to be released (their first single “Revelation” was released in October), he thanked fans for their unwavering support and promised it would be available soon. Next up was Rival Schools, a New York City act featuring members of Quicksand, Gorilla Biscuits and CIV.

The group also celebrated the 20th anniversary reissue of United By Fate and were warmly welcomed by fans. Audience members eagerly waited for Thursday to take the stage and immediately felt refreshed by the exhilarating energy Rickley has always possessed on stage.

War All The Time’s opening track, “For The Workforce, Drowning” remains a frenetic masterpiece two decades after its release. Rickley had previously called it “the best opener we ever had live” and that “it would just crush and surprise people as to how nimble and aggressive and angular our band was. It was like a super heavy Fugazi or something, it was really really charged.”

That description remains apt, with other tracks like “Division St.” and “Signals Over The Air” continuing to be formidable crowd pleasers. Rickley dropped to his knees to deliver a stirring rendition of “This Song Brought To You By A Falling Bomb” followed by “Steps Ascending” and the record’s title track.

Back in 2003, MTV decided to ban war related videos and songs due to the conflict in Iraq. “War All Of Time” was one of the videos on that list, though Rickley stated the network censored it because it contained “oblique references to suicide.” However, the considering the Israel-Hamas conflict and the genocide of tens of thousands of Palestinians over the last 5 months, the message is still pertinent.

After Thursday wrapped up the classic album in its entirety, they treated onlookers to even more gems including “Jet Black New Year,” “Cross Out The Eyes” and “Understanding In A Car Crash.” For a few hours, a piece of spirited art transported music lovers back to 2003–and no one would change a thing about it.


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