Artist Of The Week - Anchor & Braille

It's been about three years since we've gotten an album from Anchor & Braille, the indie side project of Anberlin's Stephen Christian, but this week, on July 31st, the band's sophomore album will be released. The Quiet Life is a collection of haunting melodies and catchy percussion, certainly a maturation of sound since 2009's Felt. The Quiet Life is available now in stores and online through Tooth & Nail Records.


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I had the great privilege of attending the Thrice, La Dispute, O’Brother, and Moving Mountains show a couple weeks ago when the tour came through Portland. Thrice has been a long time favorite of mine, so this was quite an experience! Being my first non-hardcore/metal show in about 6 years, I wasn’t too sure how the night was going to go. I knew there would be a large lack of breakdowns, and no circle pits, but as I stepped foot in to the venue and the show began, I knew I was in for a great time.

Moving Mountains was the first band up, and they did a fantastic job of setting the mood for the night. Though they didn’t express tons of energy on stage, their incredible musicianship made up for that. Moving Mountains just released an album a couple months ago, and is one of my favorite albums of the year. Hearing them live definitely made me enjoy their album a bit more.

Next up was O’Brother, an alt-rock band from Atlanta, Georgia. O’Brother had an amazing performance, they played only 4 songs, but those songs were at least 5 minutes in length. I never really thought of O’Brother as a heavy band, but they sure sounded it! All the songs they played were from their new album Garden Window which just release on November 15th. They were definitely one of the highlights of the night.

The third act was Grand Rapids, Michigan post-hardcore outfit La Dispute. I LOVE La Dispute and thought their last album was a masterpiece. They had just recently released their new album Wildlife, and though it is a fantastic album I was a bit disappointed that they didn’t play some of the fan favorites from Somewhere At The Bottom…, like my personal favorite ‘Damaged Goods’. However, La Dispute brought great energy to the show, and absolutely killed it!

By this time in the show, I was so overwhelmed by how awesome the other bands were, I was a bit nervous to hear how Thrice was going to do. Well, let’s just say they did not disappoint at all.
Thrice opened with ‘Yellow Belly’ the first single off their new album Major/Minor. I immediately felt like a little kid on Christmas morning. Thrice sounded flawless, I have never in my life heard anything like it. Dustin Kensrue’s voice was raw, and emotional, the guitars were loud and thick, and Riley Brekenridge’s drumming was massive, and perfect. The show never felt like it ever let up, even when Thrice switched gears and focused on some of their softer songs. Hearing the new songs played live like ‘Promises’ and my personal favorite ‘Call It In The Air’ were easily my highlights of the night. To my surprise Thrice played quite a few of their older songs from albums like Artist In The Ambulance, Vheissu, and The Illusion of Safety. One of the neatest things that Thrice did on this tour was bringing out the non-profit organization Invisible Children, which alerts people about the child soldiers in Africa that have been unjustly taken from their homes and brainwashed to serve corrupt armies. Dustin said that IC had raised $17,000 over their initial goal, which was awesome to hear!

As the night went on and Thrice toned their sound down, we got a more intimate feel for Thrice and their passion. Songs like ‘Words in Water’ and ‘Of Dust and Nations’ had a lot of great sing along parts. Thrice’s last three songs were ‘Firebreather’, ‘The Earth Will Shake’, and ‘Anthology’. Towards the end of ‘The Earth Will Shake’ members of La Dispute, and O’Brother brought out drums and started banging on them to the beat of the ending of the song, it was the greatest moment of the night for me. Like most shows the headlining band gets called for an encore. Thrice played fan favorites ‘Phoenix Ignition’ and ‘To Awake and Avenge The Dead’. At the end of ‘To Awake…’ Dustin took off his guitar and grabbed the mic off the stand and jumped in to the crowed to finish off the night.


Thrice put on the greatest show I have ever seen/heard. Their live sound is flawless, but never loses the rawness of the experience. In a time where you see bands try too hard to put on a great live show, Thrice pulls it off without having to really try. They are veterans in the music world, and are some of the most humble people you’ll ever meet. I will never forget this performance, and hope that everyone gets to see this amazing band live at least once!

Set list:
Yellow Belly
The Weight.
All the World is Mad
In Exile
Call it in the Air
Cold Cash and Colder Hearts
Treading Paper
Hold Fast Hope
Words in the Water
Of Dust and Nations
The Earth Will Shake
Phoenix Ignition
To Awake and Avenge the Dead

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Ali Bajwa
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1 comment:

  1. I wish I had known about this show last year. I love Thrice and La Dispute.