Entertainment, Music, Night Life, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: My Chemical Romance @ 9:30 Club, 5/10/11

All photos by Aminta S. Nieves-Candamo.

Guest reviewer Alexia Kauffman of The Torches was at the show for We Love DC:

My Chemical Romance brought their own special brand of supercharged power-punk-goth-pop to DC’s 9:30 Club on Tuesday night. In the middle of their World Contamination Tour, they were joined by fellow New Jersey rockers Thursday, and Kansas City, Missouri’s Architects.

When I arrived at the 9:30 club on Tuesday night, I could hardly believe my eyes. It was about fifteen minutes until the 7pm door time, and the line was outrageous! It looked to be at least four people wide or more, and stretched almost three full blocks! When I joined the end of the massive line I began to feel a little bit out of place. From a glance it seemed that, oh, maybe 90% of the people in line were teens or tweens. And most of the rest looked to be the parents of said teens. Maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised. The thing is I’d never been to a My Chemical Romance show before, though I’ve been listening to them (and ok I admit it loving them- does this count as a guilty pleasure?) since the release of their second album “Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge” in 2004. Anyway, once the massive line snaked its way inside the club the darkness helped equalize everyone, so it didn’t matter if I was one of the few adults without kids in tow. (More to come later about the pros & cons of a teen audience.*) Continue reading

Entertainment, Music, We Love Music

We Love Music: Thursday & Underoath @ 9:30 Club, 2/22/11

All photos by Andrew Markowitz

I was not expecting such a great night of metal at 9:30 Club on Tuesday night. To my surprise, the show was sold out by the time I arrived. Animals as Leaders, a local progressive metal outfit, blazed through a set that left everyone at the show talking about them for the rest of the night. Plus, the headliners Underoath, a metalcore group I’ve been writing off for years, wowed me with their flashy stage show.

So that was a nice surprise, but really I was there for emo / post-hardcore group Thursday. To celebrate the 10-year anniversary of its release, Thursday played their debut album “Full Collapse” in its entirety. Let’s just say I’m pretty familiar with it. It comes up pretty frequently when I want to scream alone in my bedroom. The words to all the songs are permanently engraved in my head, or at least in my diary.* Confession time: Thursday is the band I’ve seen most live. I lose a ton of cred in the ‘metal scene’ for this, but you know what? Every time I see them, I walk away thinking about how Geoff Rickly is a grade-A frontman, who brings undeniable energy to every performance. I just can’t pass up a chance to see him.
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Hot Ticket: Thursday & Underoath @ 9:30 Club, 2/22/11

Thursday - Full Collapse [2001]

It might be easy to lump the group Thursday, playing tomorrow at the 9:30 Club, in with other aging emo bands such as the Get Up Kids. But Thursday have come a long way since they first cracked the scene in 2001 – their full-length debut “Full Collapse” spawning the hit singles “Cross Out The Eyes” and “Understanding in a Car Crash”. Well, they were hits in my mind, at least. This was always one of my favorite emo bands – they were dramatic and serious, and just a bit heavy. Tomorrow night, they’ll be playing this album in its entirety.

Since then, they’ve consistently revived their style on each album. Lately, frontman Geoff Rickly has been working with a side-project, United Nations, which is sort of a tribute to extremely heavy 90s hardcore bands like Orchid and Pg. 99. Geoff’s instincts have consistently driven Thursday in a heavier direction – even 2003′s “War All the Time” was much darker and angrier than “Full Collapse”. Since splitting ways with Island Records in 2007, Thursday have toured with bands that don’t quite match their emo style – heavy bands like Converge and Envy.

Tuesday night’s pairing with Underoath is a perfect example. Underoath is a metalcore group from Florida, combining the vocal style and attitude of hardcore punk with metal riffs. I personally love this style of metal – it means I can scream along with the lyrics, or just bang my head to the riffs. A Skylit Drive do something similar, with alternating screaming and melodic vocals – but I’m most excited about Animals as Leaders, one of my favorite progressive metal bands. This DC-based group delivers quick bursts of heavy, jazzy, complex riffs without the pretention or epicness of bands like Dream Theater.

I caught Thursday last year at the Black Cat, and it had one of the most energetic crowds I’ve seen in DC. Dozens of kids shove their way to the front of the pit for the chance to shout lyrics in Geoff’s face. Look out for me – I’ll be the guy in the black hoodie in the front row.

Thursday & Underoath
w/ A Skylit Drive, Animals as Leaders
9:30 Club
Tuesday, Feb. 22nd, 2011