Seeing “Thursday” on a Friday 

Standing in Brooklyn’s St. Vitus venue for a show is the closest feeling to being a sardine in a canned jar. 

Every corner of the venue, including the bar area near the entrance was at full capacity for New Jersey post-hardcore band, Thursday.

This wasn’t Thursday’s first-time playing St. Vitus. Back on March 29, 2019, the band played a three-night show there, which was supposed to be the last night that they played during their run of scheduled reunion shows announced in 2016 since their alleged break up in 2012.

Tickets were sold out but being that the venue was only a few blocks away from my neighborhood and as a fan of the band, I knew I had to find a way in, one way or another. Fortunately, I found a pair of tickets through a fan group a day before the show. 

This show in particular was special because they were celebrating 21 years of their album Full Collapse (their best album, in my opinion).

The celebrated album was released on April 10, 2001 while the band was signed to Victory Records. Thursday consists of lead singer Geoff Rickly, drummer Tucker Rule, rhythm guitarist Steve Pedulla, touring guitarist Norman Brannon, and bassist Tim Payne. Full Collapse is considered to be a classic emo album and has been recognized as one of the best emo albums of all time by media outlets like Rolling Stone and NME.

Upon reaching the street the venue was located, it was hard to tell where exactly it was. There wasn’t necessarily a sign or specific door designating the entrance. While waiting outside the venue an hour before the doors opened (for reference, I’m barely five feet so I had to make sure I could secure a spot in the front), several fans were eager to enter to hopefully have a spot by the stage and made small talk with those around them.

Anthony Green, of Circa Survive and Saosin, opened for the band. The room was quiet and attentive as Green serenaded the crowd with songs from his latest solo album, Boom. Done. 

After Anthony Green left the stage, people began squeezing their way through the front and just when it seemed impossible, everyone stood a lot closer to one another.

Contrary to Green’s emotional performance, Thursday opened with “Understanding in A Car Crash,” which is their single from the album, Full Collapse.

Two drumbeats into the song and Geoff Rickly paced around the rather small stage and leaned into the crowd as he began to sing. By the second song, I was ducking because someone was already crowd surfing above me. Another person tumbled onto the stage, moving Tucker Rule’s crash cymbal in the slightest bit. The crowd is pretty respectful in the sense that they all made sure those crowd surfing carefully made their way through and even stopped during a mosh pit to search for someone’s glasses that got knocked off their face.

“You know how I know it’s gonna be a good show? I already got my eye poked out!” Geoff Rickly said before performing another fan favorite, “Cross Out the Eyes.” Rickly is known to be quite the performer. His energy is infectious as he balances on the stage floor’s amps and leans into a crowd that sings along and headbangs to every song. Just last March, he broke his foot from falling off the stage but still proceeded to perform using a scooter for the rest of the tour.

After playing Full Collapse in its entirety, the band transitioned from an “Understanding in A Car Crash” melody into their song “Jet Black New Year” from their Five Stories Falling EP, which was a track that originally featured the band’s friend and singer Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance. The band closed their set with “Turnpike Divides,” which Rickly dedicated to anyone from New Jersey in the crowd.

To have been one out of 250 people to have experienced Thursday performing Full Collapse in its entirety at an intimate venue was truly an unforgettable night.