Tuesday, April 10, 2007
The Thermals at the Ex_Plx
Friday traffic was not as bad as one would expect as I made it to the Echo early enough to stop at Sea Level records and purchase the Darker My Love live from Spaceland album to add to my collection. The Echo was holding an early show as one of Portland's rising stars, The Thermals headed into town. Them Hills opened the evening's festivities with an indie rock vibe. Unfortunately the mix was not up to par as I was straining to hear the vocals. Wet Confetti (also from Portland) was intriguing from the get go. I was captivated by the beautiful Fender Bass VI that Alberta Poon was playing. When I wasn't distracted by that, Richel Martinez was throwing it down on a Roland Suitcase Synth. Daniel Grazzini (Guitars) was getting in the act as he was jamming on a Univox guitar which are copies of the infamous Mosrite Guitars made popular by The Ramones. They played a well received set that drew a large applause from the tough Los Angeles crowd. When I saw the setlist from the Thermals being taped to the ground I knew I was in for a treat....23 songs. Their blend of political sugary power pop punk rock got the mini pit started as Hutch Harris(Vocals/Guitar) went into a power chord downstroke flurry. Hutch was rocking a stellar Fender Thinline Telecaster. Interesting to note that Hutch had two Ibanez Tube Screamers in his pedal setup. Lorin Campbell (Drums) was crushing the skins all night as Kathy Foster (Bass) held down the low end. The Thermals had the crowd in the palm of their hand early as they roared through each song. One of the impressive traits that the Thermals possess is that each song sounds different which a lot of bands in their genre tend to struggle with. When I listenend to their album "The Body, The Blood, The Machine" after the show, I could distinctly remember the corresponding live performance in my head. Some of the tracks that were especially incendiary include "A Pillar of Salt", "Here's to Your Future" and "God and Country". The night was even sweeter with a free ice cream sandwich courtesy of the ice cream man.