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Over The Weekend: Brand New and Thrice at the Palladium Ballroom

Brand New, Thrice
Palladium Ballroom
October 30, 2009

Better than: flipping through zillions of censored horror flicks on cable.

Waiting for the members of Brand New to approach the stage was more like waiting for a song to begin on Guitar Hero--or kinda like an encore before the show even begins.

One of many sold-out shows the band has played during this fall tour, the Palladium brought a very excited, diverse crowd Friday night. Meanwhile, the Long Island band brought a much more artsy feel than usual--projectors behind the band featuring a beating heart, boxing cats, a ballerina and a few kids riding bikes with some sort of monkey mask hiding their faces.

Anyone who may have been dragged to the show against their will? Well, they definitely had a great show to watch behind the band, at least.

Much to my surprise, the band played at least five older songs before throwing a few new tracks into the mix. But the highlight of the night came when frontman Jesse Lacey began strumming the first few chords to "Jesus Christ." Because, when he did, the projectors behind him began spitting out truly realistic clouds.

Earlier, he'd done the typical band greeting, opening-act thanks and middle of the show rambling, but his timid, shy tone was a little tough to understand. Fans waited, and waited, and waited for a little energy from the frontman--just as they would for an encore after the band's 90-minute show came to an end.

Neither came, and when the house lights, music and flat screens turned on, the crowd finally got the hint: Show was over.

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Thrice has been around for a little over a decade and, like most bands, this one's style has been tweaked a little. Its members' music abilities are fantastic, but the singing and ballad-centric lyrics seemed uninspiring and left the audience bored.

Critic's Notebook
Personal Bias:
Brand New is one of the few bands I've seen more than three times and, wow, they've really progressed into a mature, unique group of musicians.

By The Way: I really think Thrice would be a much better band if it took the instrumental route. The guys are sincerely talented, but I enjoyed them most when vocalist Dustin Kensrue moved away from the mic.


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