The night opened with Lincoln hard-core band Blood Youth, they instantly got the crowd moving, even as the first set. Mosh pits opened up and fists were thrown into the air, the room resonated with clapping hands and shouting voices until the very end, where Blood Youth finished off with their most popular single ‘Failure’.
Next up were the ’68, a charismatic rock duo from Atlanta, Georgia. They wasted no time in getting into the swing of things with some hard hitting tunes and riffs. The sound was incredibly interesting and it almost felt like we were watching two musicians having a casual jam together and seeing what they could come up with. They were a fitting addition to the night, and really worked well in keeping the crowd engaged.
Stray From The Path hit the hull of the Thekla with the angry voice of Drew York. They were the perfect warm up for Beartooth, the venue set on fire as mosh pit after mosh pit broke out and fans climbed on stage and dived into the crowd whilst the rest of us screamed back the raw and brutal lyrics. Playing songs from Subliminal Criminals, their latest album released earlier this year, the band got an amazing reaction and connected with the crowd with songs ‘The New Gods’, ‘First World Problem Child’ and ‘Shots Fired’. At the end Stray From The Path had us jumping with our middle fingers to the air and ready for the main act of the night.
The anticipation for Beartooth was apparent as their following pushed forward to the stage in the intermission ready for the last hour of the night. It started with Caleb Shomo screaming at us to ‘jump, jump, jump!’ before charging straight into ‘The Lines’.
The crowd instantly followed them, shoulder to shoulder and hands in the air. Beartooth then followed up with the more melodic and lyrical ‘In Between’ and ‘American Dream’ and as they moved into ‘Body Bag’ the crowd was diving off the stage again and screaming into the microphone with Shomo. Their deep and destructive sounds filled the walls of the boat completely, with the vocals brilliantly projecting over the noise with so much emotion and depth. But most importantly the band’s connection with the crowd had the whole of the Thekla head deep in the music and left us screaming out and clapping our hands even when they finished.
Beartooth re-entered the stage with an encore and smashed the night with ‘Beaten In Lips’.