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Thursday's War All The Time Anniversary Tour


The Nile Theater in Mesa, AZ

February 11, 2024

Article and photos by Taylor Robinson

Millions of people in the United States, and around the world for that matter, were tuning in to watch Super Bowl 58 – whether they had been lifelong NFL fans or have become diehard fans through the magic of Taylor Swift – on Sunday February 11th. Under most circumstances, I find myself being one of those people. However, this year I found myself sitting in a small line of people – most of whom I've met once or twice through the local music scene – waiting to be let into a venue tucked away down an alley. It is a venue I've been going to for shows since I was about 15, and in a world that is constantly shifting so fast around us, it's nice to know there are still spaces that have managed to survive and remain places of comfort for the local music community. 

Thursday is a post-hardcore band from New Brunswick, New Jersey, who have been active in the scene since 1997. Watching them perform live, it makes complete and total sense how they're still around 27 years later, in the middle of a 20th anniversary tour for their third album War All The Time. They're all effortlessly comfortable on stage, and frontman Geoff Rickly navigates the stage like he was always meant to be there; filling the space and drawing your eyes wherever he ends up. Their set is high energy and is constantly inviting the audience along for the journey, with plenty of opportunities to scream-sing the band's lyrics right back at them. 

It is also clear how much they do not take any of this for granted. Thursday, as a band and as individuals, care about their fans, about the world around them and are soaking up every minute they keep getting to spend doing what they love. They are self-aware enough to know that playing a show at the same time as the Super Bowl was a gamble. Rickly revealed to the crowd, "After we put this tour on sale our booking agent said, 'what do you want to do with the mesa show? Do you wanna cancel it? It's during the Super Bowl, nobody's gonna be there.'" And the band said 'fuck it'. They wanted to play [there] and were confident that if the fans wanted to be there, they'd show up and they'd live with whatever the turnout was. That being said, Rickly was still surprised by just how many people actually did turn up. And the fans that DID show up were very obviously extremely passionate and outwardly showing the band just as much love as they were receiving. 

Rickly also made sure to use the band's platform to dedicate Signals Over The Air to "the human rights of every single person [in this building tonight]", "for reproductive healthcare and reproductive justice for every single person [in this room tonight]..." and "for the right of every single person [in this room] to identify with whatever sex, sexuality, gender you see fit." He also took a moment to mention that it was not a surprise that a refugee camp would be bombed "during the Super Bowl when all eyes are on the spectacle," reminding us that "we all need to keep our eyes open and not be blind while we have the capacity to have our eyes open." As someone who has personally been disappointed by the lack of musicians and bands in the scene speaking out about the atrocities happening to Palestinians in Gaza currently, Geoff Rickly has been vocal about it for months now and it gives me a lot of hope just having that one person who seems to understand the moment in history we're living through and is unafraid to speak out. 

On a lighter note, it was so wonderful to experience hearing tracks back-to-back from War All The Time and to really be able to take in just how wonderful the album is front to back. It was a special treat for them to close out the show with "a two song sweep that should've been on the record and ended up with one of the songs broken off and put on an EP" by putting the two "half songs back together" and playing Tomorrow I'll Be You and Jet Black New Year back-to-back. They did come back out for one encore song, which ended up being Understanding In A Car Crash, and really, what more could you ask for from a Thursday show? 

I was already looking forward to seeing Thursday play Full Collapse in its entirety at the When We Were Young Festival in Las Vegas later this year, but now I absolutely cannot wait.

Follow Thursday: Website


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