An hour after doors, I was kind of worried that The Thermals would be playing to an empty room. I mean I know their drawing power has diminished somewhat over the years, but I wasn't expecting to only see 30-ish people in the venue after an hour after doors opened. Turns out all there was a hockey game going on and the venue really started filling up afterwards. The show actually ended up selling out. Hmm so let's recap what's changed since I last saw these Portland pop-punk rockers (circa 2007) - 2 albums, some music videos and a they lost a guitarist, er touring guitarist.
Juvenile Hall were up first. They were a 3 piece all girl band from Vancouver. They played pop punk / riot grrrl kind of stuff. They remind me of that other all girl Vancouver band the Riff Randalls. Not really my jam.
I think the Thermals as a (power) trio is the right fit for them. The touring guitarist was pretty forgettable anyways. There were two distinct instances during the show where the sold out crowd really got into it. First one happened during an interlude or breakdown of a new song where the drummer went into the crowd to party it up. The other was when they played "Here's Your Future", which caused, just like last time I saw them, a pretty intense pit at the stage lip. The majority of the show was newer songs from their last two albums. I think there were only 3 or 4 songs from "Body, Blood ..". Highlight of their set for me was "Never Listen To Me", which was primarily Hutch doing only vocals during the verses. It was as close as they would come to playing a ballad that night. I get the feeling Hutch didn't like the way someone did a stage dive during the end of their set. When pressed by the crowd for a second encore, Hutch declined, not looking all too happy.
Labels: juvenile hall, media club, The Thermals, vancouver