Thrice + Wifecult @ The Princess Theatre [Live Review]

Review: Benjamin Coe
Photography: Dan Maynard

As the luxurious Princess Theatre begins to fill up, the crowd is absolutely buzzing with excitement for the return of alt. rock heroes, Thrice to Australian stages. It’s been a hot minute since they were last here and they have even dropped the acclaimed Horizons/Eastalbum in the interim, but that’s not what tonight is about. Tonight is all about celebrating their seminal third album, The Artist In The Ambulance and the sold-out crowd are most certainly here for it!

But before we get to that, up first with the unenviable task of opening for such a phenomenal live band is Brisbane-based rock trio Wifecult, who mosey out onto the stage in front of a crowd that is slowly but surely increasing in number.

“We’re a band called Wifecult and we’re gonna play some songs from you” declares guitarist/lead vocalist Jarith Hughes as they slip straight into some guitar-driven alt. rock awesomeness. The songs are catchy, the music is humble yet energetic and the energy is huge for a three-piece band, helped along by the outstanding stage presence of bassist and backing vocalist Jospeh Keating. Keating even takes the reigns for one song as Hughes harmonises beautifully with him.

The crowd stands and adores every minute of their short but sweet set of hauntingly beautiful tunes as they dedicate songs to their wives, their friends and “to all the freakin’ dads, Happy Father’s Day!” And what a promising gift their set is. As they leave the stage the crowd cheers and the boys from Wifecult can rest assured that they are more than up to the task of getting the crowd ready for what’s to come.

As the room begins to fill from wall to wall with eager punters pouring in from the beer garden the energy and anticipation in the room is insanely infectious. The light goes down and the crowd erupts as Dustin Kensrue and company take the stage to perform a play-through of The Artist In The Ambulance album from front to back.

It could be said that not only is the album one of the most important and defining albums of their long career, but it’s also their most ferocious and I’m sure a lot of people are keen to see if they can perform these songs with as much energy and aggression as when it was recorded back in the early 2000’s.

We’ve had a taste of what’s to come tonight with the recent release of The Artist In The Ambulance Revisted, in which the band rerecorded the album with a slew of guests including Architects’ very own Sam Carter but that has nothing on what is performed here tonight. Wasting no time at all, Dustin rips into the opening lines of Cold Cash & Colder Hearts and puts to rest any doubts anyone might have had about the bands ability to perform this album in its true form. The man is fine form as he roars his way through Under A Killing Moon and All That’s Left.

Aided by his cohorts lead guitarist Teppei Teranishi and the Breckenridge brothers Riley and Ed, the quartet are nothing short of a spectacle to witness and they love every minute of it. Dustin steps out onto the front of the stage to let the crowd sing the outro to Stare At The Sun before giving them a round of applause for their mammoth effort.

Songs like Paper Tigers and Hoods on Peregrine are exceptionally ferocious and played with just as much conviction as the day they were written. The Melting Point of Wax showcases just how far Dustin’s vocals have come as Teppei shreds his heart out and now they have the crowd eatin out of the palms of their hands. Ever the fan favourite, the title track from Artist In The Ambulance ignites the crowd once again with the band encouraging the audience to sing along with maximum participation achieved. And as the crowd claps their way through the closing notes of Don’t Tell & We Won’t Ask that brings to a close the Artist…portion of tonight’s show and opens up the floodgates for a slew of hits from their other albums.

The crowd get no reprieve from the energy pouring off the stage as the band cuts straight into Motion Isn’t Meaning followed closely by Summer Set Fire To The Rain off the aforementioned Horizons/East album. The classic Where Idols Once Stood and Deadbolt carry the flag for the Illusion of Safety album and the second half of the set is rounded out by scorching renditions of Yellow Belly, Firebreather and set closer The Long Defeat.

As Thrice exit the stage the obligatory chants of “one more song!” begin to ring out and as is the standard of the evening, the band hurry back on stage and tear into Black Honey before closing the evening with a punishing version of The Earth Will Shake featuring another massive bout of crowd participation much to the bands delight.

Dustin and co. are visibly grateful for the reception they’ve received this evening and as they leave the stage for the last time, we can only hope they return sooner rather than later.


Tue 5 Sept | Lion Arts Factory, Adelaide – SOLD OUT
Wed 6 Sept | Badlands, Perth – SOLD OUT
Thu 7 Sept | Badlands, Perth – SOLD OUT and

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