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Thursday + JR Slayer

Chicago, IL (June 23rd, 2018) Some bands are about more than just the music. Sometimes a band changes your life and becomes part of who you are. To me, Thursday is about more than just screaming my lungs out to my favorite songs in a crowded venue with hundreds of other fans. Thursday’s music has helped me through the some of the hardest parts of my life by giving words to what I was feeling, and now, 15 years after first discovering the band, I have a community of loving and supportive friends that I wouldn’t have met if it wasn’t for them.

As I stood in the crowd at Chicago, IL Lincoln Hall tonight, talking to other fans who were also eagerly waiting to hear the 6 piece band from New Brunswick, New Jersey perform War All the Time in its entirety (many of whom had attended Thursday’s Full Collapse show only a few hours before), it was clear to me that I wasn’t alone in my attachment to the band. Every person I spoke to had a sentimental story to tell about Thursday and their music. To paraphrase frontman Geoff Rickly, “music will always be there for you”.

To start the evening, Cody Votolato played a few acoustic songs from his project JR Slayer. He mentioned that most of the songs aren’t yet available online, but if the music was new to the audience, I wouldn’t have known based on the crowd’s spirited response. Votolato brought up that the other day he found a tarot card that indicated he would soon find a new relationship or friendship. He pointed to one enthusiastic fan in the front row and joked, “I think that’s you!


Moments later, the crowd rushed the stage when they heard the opening notes of “For the Workforce, Drowning”, followed by “Between Rupture and Rapture” and “Division St. Rickly, joined by guitarists Tom Keeley and Steve Pedulla, bassist Tim Payne, drummer Tucker Rule, and keyboardist Andrew Everding, smiled ear to ear as the crowd sang, screamed, and danced to “Signals Over the Air”, “Marches and Maneuvers”, and “Asleep in the Chapel”. As I alternated between screaming along and snapping photos, I saw Payne shout “look out!” right before a crowd surfer flew over my head! The chaos subsided briefly for “This Song Brought to You by a Falling Bomb”, and “Steps Ascending”. Rickly joked that the title track “War All the Time”, seemed depressing when it was written, but is optimistic by today’s standards, and he dedicated M. Shepard to anyone celebrating Pride this weekend”.

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The band wrapped up the War All The Time album with “Tomorrow I’ll Be You”, and after a short break, returned to finish the set with “The Other Side of the Crash” and “Jet Black New Year”.

Next month, Thursday will be bringing their 20 year anniversary shows to Asbury Park, New Jersey, before heading back out to the west coast, and then wrapping up the year in Brooklyn, New York.

JR Slayer:


Lincoln Hall:

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