Thou performs at the Black Cat in Washington, D.C.

Thou performs at the Black Cat in Washington, D.C.Reid Haithcock for NPRhide caption

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Reid Haithcock for NPR

Live in Concert

Thou Live In Concert

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by Lars Gotrich

Sometimes it pays to have a prolific, diverse discography. Right before showtime on August 27 at the Black Cat in Washington, D.C., I overheard Thou vocalist Bryan Funck say that the characteristically lumbering sludge-metal group had more or less tailored the evening's set list to the crowd: shorter, faster songs. Why? Thou was opening for two recently re-formed post-hardcore bands with one or the other: pg. 99 and Circle Takes the Square.

And, while Thou typically puts on concise 20-minute sets (why don't more bands do this?), the band's five-song selection was bruisingly heavy, laying waste under a barrage of gnarled riffs and a barreling rhythm section. (Unfortunately, due to technical difficulties on our end, Thou's first two songs — "Skinwalker" and "Get Me Out" — had to be cut from the audio above.) And, while "Smoke Pigs" is always a crowd-pleaser, the band's cover of Nirvana's "Aneurysm" provided the closing highlight. With all the rage-tastic punk swagger of the original, what always makes Thou's wide covers selection kill (from Black Sabbath and Pygmy Lush to Soundgarden and multiple Nirvana songs) is the band's relentless sneer. Now, when is Thou going to put out that grunge tribute album its members keep promising us?

Set List

"Millstone"
"Smoke Pigs"
"Aneurysm (Nirvana cover)"

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