Thursday’s Wednesday At First Avenue Brought Back War All The Time


Words and photos by Joey Dunst

A whose-who of loud, rambunctious rock smashed through First Avenue on Wednesday. In support of their 2003 record War All The Time – which was incepted from a one-off show earlier last year – the seminal post-hardcore playing New Jersey outfit brought with them major heavyweights in Many Eyes & Rival Schools. Each unique and wonderful in their own right, it was impressive how despite the gravity of Thursday playing a classic record in its entirety, it was really the combination of all three bands that made for an incredible night (with of course due props to Thursday).

Everyone (who listens to heavy music) in 2022 was left wondering – where would Keith Buckley go next? Many Eyes is the answer to that important question, and leave no doubt that his ferocious live passion has not shifted in its new form. Many Eyes’ blend of post-hardcore, metal, and a bit of math-i-ness – is a unique blend all its own, so when you add Buckley’s irreplaceable lyricism and wit on top of that, you get a truly memorable explosion of earnest sound and fury that leaves you wanting more as soon as it is over.

Rival Schools – on their second reunion – have ties all the way back to the New York hardcore scene in the 80s (primarily through vocalist and songwriter Walter Schreifels). One part grunge, one part post-hardcore and all rock, there’s this simple charm to Schools’ sound that is impossible to get away from. They sound at once like seeing an old friend for the first time in a very long time, and yet at the same time like something totally their own. They rocked out for a solid 45, playing music from all across their discography.

All Eyes – many of them, in fact – were on Geoff Rickly Wednesday evening at First Avenue. In the midst of dedicated a song to all the marginalized people in attendance and everywhere, it easy to see why Thursday has maintained such a dedicated fanbase over the years – they are exactly who they say they are and they mean it. Rickly’s ability to bare his soul and put everything out there is second to none – and the backing band amplify it a thousanfold. War All The Time sounds impeccably modern live – perhaps a nod to their skill as performers, but more likely a nod to simply how great Thursday have always been as songwriters. The songs sound as if they were recorded last year, and their staying power has only grown with time. As Rickly screams his brains out – or least about half the time, as he turned the mic over about 50% of the time to the explosive singing from the crowd, who knew every single word – it’s impossible to not be overwhelmed by just how their live show is. Whether or not new material is in the cards for Thursday any time soon, it’s relieving to know that their live performances aren’t going anywhere and haven’t lost any steam.