Bayside and Thrice: An Unexpectedly Joyous Evening

There is an energy in a concert hall that fills the blood with electricity. Hundreds of people being beaten with reverberation and walls of sound. It’s amazing and, until hearing Thrice and Bayside on the stage of the Concord Music Hall, I hadn’t realized I missed it. Every show I’d been to since the pandemic had been outdoors, but it just doesn’t replicate the dark cavernous rooms split with spotlights.

Feeling the floors vibrate in Chicago, it finally dawned on me: music is back. Life feels whole again. A little over halfway through their co-headline tour, Thrice and Bayside entered the stage with full force to a crowd of hundreds who all seemed just as excited to be there as I was.

Opener Anxious found a bridge between the sounds on display for the evening with an emo punk aesthetic. Reminiscent of Chicago favorites Real Friends, Anxious juggled through twinkling guitars, heavy riffs, and layered vocals. Playing songs from their recent release, Little Green House, Anxious feel primed to roll with the best of the acts of the genre, such as Knuckle Puck.

Thrice

Thrice is a band I’ve personally never been too into. Their sound always reminded me of the radio rock that I never enjoyed growing up. However, seeing them live and in a small venue was an eye opening experience. Their presence onstage was measured, the music pulsating. Thrice set a mood for the room that thundered against the walls. As the room sang their songs back to the group, I realized I had been missing out for almost two decades on an extremely talented and varied band. 

Thrice blasted through their singles “Black Honey” and “Stare at the Sun”, and ended with “The Earth Will Shake Us”. 

Between artists, the crowd was filled with an ambient kindness and joy that seemed to fill everyone in equal measure. “This venue is perfect. I’ve seen Bayside play here half a dozen times,” a man told me against the railings of the upper balcony. “They literally just keep getting better.” Down on the floor, a group of women were debating the merits of the album Vacancy versus Interrobang. Another man tapped me on the shoulders and asked in all seriousness, “Are we going to duet ‘Devotion and Desire’ or what?”

Bayside

I’ve seen Bayside at Concord Music Hall many times, usually opening for another band or being the penultimate act of a co-headlining tour. This time, they closed the night vibrantly. For a punk show, there didn’t seem to be the circle pits that I would have expected. Instead there was dancing. Everyone seemed to be dancing or were overcome by singing along to every song. The eruption of noise as they chanted along to “Sick, Sick, Sick” or sang over the roaring vocals of “Montauk” reminded me of my first concert. Foregoing an encore, Bayside finished the night with “Devotion and Desire”, setting the room on fire one last time before walking off. I couldn’t find my duet partner, but I like to think of it as a “we stared at the same moon” situation.

It seemed like every show I tried to see last year and this spring was canceled or delayed. Finally being back in a venue was revitalizing, and it seemed to be a shared experience amongst everyone in attendance. For the first time in two years, the world felt complete while the ground shook and every word of the night was sang in unison by hundreds of people.

by Kyle Schultz

Kyle Schultz is the Senior Editor at It’s All Dead and has worked as a gaming journalist at Structure Gaming. He lives in Chicago and somehow managed to launch marinara across the room.

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