Saturday's headlining act, Portland band The Thermals, was scheduled to start at 9 p.m., but when 9 p.m. came and went, the drunken and sunburned crowd grew increasingly eager to experience what was to be the highlight of the day.
Download: The Thermals - "Pillar of Salt"
Ten minutes later, lead singer Hutch Harris, bassist Kathy Foster, and drummer Lorin Coleman took to the stage greeted by ravaged fans. "It's Trivia" from their debut record, More Parts Per Million, opened the 16 song set which transformed into a non-stop ride of pop/punk explosions. "I Might Need You to Kill" from last year's lauded concept album The Body, The Blood, The Machine followed with Harris singing about locusts, tornadoes, crosses, and Nazi halos. All of their songs are terse and speedy, so they can fit a lot in during a hour. They also exempt themselves from the typical audience banter. Foster appeared to be having the most fun with her curls bobbing up and down. Half the set drew from Machine, but Million and their sophomore album Fuckin were also well represented. "How We Know" and "A Stare Like Yours" from the latter disc quickly followed. The kinetic power of "St. Rosa and the Swallows" took over and a lone crowd surfer wafted by. During The Thermals entire performance, the crowd continuously jumped up and down not quite dancing but not doing the usual head bouncing with arms crossed. "Pillar of Salt" came on and the audience lost their shit especially when Harris shouted the signature line "we were born to sin." It's surprising a riot didn't break out with all the pogoing. The next three songs visit Fuckin A as the band dipped into the classics. The set closed with Machine's "Returning to the Fold," a rolicking number to finish out the night. The band and the audience were both sweaty and spent. When The Thermals played Subterranean back in February, the sold out crowd literally made the floorboards rattle. It felt as if a 8.0 earthquake had hit the club. Although the seismic shift lacked in the outside, the energy was still palpable as Harris and crew delivered.