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Fans flocked to the Casbah on one of the first chilly nights of the season to catch Pacific Northwest trio the Thermals. It was a rare instance that found many locals in thermals while watching Thermals.

They may not be a household name, but the Thermals have broken in enough fans to ensure that each show will feature one or two hopping audience members singing along to every line as if they are at a punk-rock church service. Similar to Bad Religion mastermind Greg Graffin, Thermals lead singer-guitarist Hutch Harris knows how to drop the smart bombs in his lyrics when he’s feeling didactic. It is pop-punk the kids can jump around to and the parents will understand.

On this night, the band played a set that relied heavily on songs from its most recent album, Personal Life (not that great), and their 2006 concept album, The Body, The Blood, The Machine (absolutely epic). The latter's songs lead many an audience member to bounce around uncontrollably and scream lyrics as if their life depended on it. It was a refreshing change for the Casbah.

A not so refreshing change was the spotty sound. At one point I motioned the universal "turn up the vocals" signal (point to mouth, point to lead singer, point up) to the girl working the soundboard and she responded with dueling middle fingers. If only she’d used those digits to move up the vocal faders, the crowd could have actually taken in those great Hutch Harris lyrics.

  • Concert: Thermals
  • Date: November 19
  • Venue: Casbah
  • Seats: Floor
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