Taste of Chaos Tour at Nokia Theater • 3/4/2009
I’m not the biggest fan of package tours under banner names. Sure, I’ve been to everything from Ozzfest to Sno-core, but I always find myself lost in a sea of mediocre music played by fly-by-night bands. I didn’t know this was the Taste of Chaos tour before heading through the Nokia Theater’s plush vestibule. I just knew New Jersey’s perennial hardcore legends Thursday were making a comeback and I wasn’t about to miss it.
And there’s no denying that Thursday is still on top of their game, pumping out volumes of melodic hardcore that sounds as good today as it did in the ’90s. The band took stage with little lighting and a ton of energy, pumping out tunes from all eras of their career, including tracks from their new Epitaph release “Common Existence.”
“Do you want to hear something old?,” singer Geoff Rickley asked the sweat-soaked crowd three songs in. “We’ve got a long set tonight and we’re going to be here all night.” The band tore into “Understanding in a Car” as rabid fans tackled security to touch Rickly as he pressed against the barrier.
The band’s new material is a bit complicated and you kind of have to work to love it, but live, the songs take on a whole new dimension. The layers of guitars, keyboards, and convulsion-producing strobe lights blend into a mesmerizing wall of beautiful music. Calling the band a hardcore Radiohead would be a generic comparison but it’s one that’s hard to ignore.
Thursday wasn’t the only band of the evening to whip the audience into a frenzy. Bring Me the Horizon – the band with the best name in years – devastated ear drums for blocks around Times Square. The so-called Deathcore band, displayed as much energy as The Gallows, with gut wrenching screams that juxtaposed with the band’s pretty-boy looks. On multiple occasions, the singer bounced into the crowd taking out anyone who wasn’t singing along, and passing the mic to everyone who wanted it.
Four Year Strong played most of their set in ironic football varsity jacket. A lame gimmick? Perhaps, but the band churned out some pretty cool punk rock. For some reason, these guys reminded me of hardcore legends Ten Yard Fight, but I highly doubt there’s a relation. The only band on the bill that really sucked hard was Pierce the Veil. Sure, way more people booed BMTH (perhaps it was the joke about having AIDS – I thought it was funny), but Pierce the Veil were just horrible. They look like the Jonas Brothers and play bad emo. Luckily, they were far enough down the bill to ignore, but it just struck me as odd that there were kids that couldn’t see through this crap. Or maybe I’m just old.