In an era where music constantly evolves and tastes shift, certain albums hold a timeless quality that transcends the passage of years. Thrice’s groundbreaking album “The Artist in the Ambulance” is undoubtedly one such masterpiece.
The alt-rock veterans will celebrate the 20th anniversary of this iconic release with a couple of hometown anniversary shows on Friday, June 23 and Saturday, June 24th at the renowned House of Blues in Anaheim, California. With the band poised to perform the album in its entirety, these commemorative shows promise to transport listeners back to a pivotal moment in Thrice’s career, while solidifying their enduring legacy in the hearts of fans new and old.
Released in 2003, “The Artist in the Ambulance” propelled Thrice to new heights, showcasing their exceptional songwriting, intricate musicianship, and singer Dustin Kensrue’s thought-provoking lyrical depth. The album’s fusion of post-hardcore aggression, melodic sensibilities, and metaphoric storytelling struck a chord with listeners, garnering critical acclaim and a devoted fanbase.
It was the album that exposed Thrice to a mainstream audience with songs like “All That’s Left” and “Stare at the Sun” making their way into regular rotation on KROQ FM in Los Angeles.
Now, two decades later, Thrice seeks to honor this milestone by recreating the magic of “The Artist in the Ambulance” on stage.
The House of Blues in Anaheim, California, renowned for its intimate setting and impeccable acoustics, will serve as the hallowed ground for Thrice’s 20th-anniversary celebration. It was only six months ago that thousands of Thrice fans, myself included, swarmed The House of Blues Anaheim to celebrate 20 years since the release of the band’s previous album, The Illusion of Safety. These shows would serve to be the most memorable Thrice shows I had ever attended and I anticipate the same type of experience from these upcoming “Artist” anniversary shows.
From the infectious melodies of “Cold Cash and Colder Hearts” to the introspective lyrics of “Stare at the Sun” and the hauntingly dark outro of “The Abolition of Man,” each track on the album represents a sonic journey that still resonates with fans to this day. All killer, no filler, from start to finish. Thrice’s decision to perform the album in its entirety showcases their dedication to honoring their musical legacy and providing an immersive experience for their loyal supporters.
But these concerts are not merely a nostalgic trip down memory lane. The shows coincide with the release of an album that no Thrice fan could have ever seen coming. The band surprised fans everywhere earlier this year when they released the newly re-recorded “The Artist in the Ambulance – Revisited”.
The band had made it no secret over the years that they weren’t happy with how the original The Artist in the Ambulance’s mix turned out and saw an opportunity to re-record and release the album the way they wanted to hear it. The re-recorded album breathes new life into the songs the that we had come to know and love over the past twenty years and was also mixed such that it sounds much better on any stereo system I have had the pleasure to experience the album on. While remaining true to the original compositions, there are nuances that make this album so much better than the original release.
As the House of Blues Anaheim prepares to open its doors for these momentous shows, the anticipation is unavoidable. The convergence of Thrice’s powerful sound, the intimate ambiance of the venue, and the undeniable significance of “The Artist in the Ambulance” promises an unforgettable evening of music and emotion.
This celebration of the album’s 20th anniversary will undoubtedly reaffirm Thrice’s status as one of the most influential bands in alternative rock history while cementing their connection with their dedicated fanbase.