Friday, April 23, 2010

Manchester Orchestra/O Brother tour update (Updated 6/16)

Hey guys, it's been a while. I guess it's been relatively quiet in the Thrice world, but I've got some minor gear updates after catching the Cincinnati show a couple nights ago.

As far as guitars go, they've switched things up quite a bit:
Teppei has 3 guitars, his Gibson Es-335 (it is definitely a 335), the Baritone Jaguar and his Nash Tele. At the Cincinnati show he didn't use the Tele at all, and stuck with the Gibson on all but 2 songs: Firebreather and the Messenger. Apparently the Tele is only getting used for songs in standard or D tuning now. I can't say for sure what those songs are (At the Last? Daedalus?) because like I said, he didn't use the guitar at the show I saw. His Les Paul was apparently acting up before the tour, so he didn't bring it. (Note: The Les Paul is back in the rotation for the Summer tour)

Dustin is using 2 Variax'd guitars: a Maya Les Paul copy and his black Tele Deluxe. The Maya is a Japanese guitar he bought not long ago. It had a very warm, vintage sound. The Tele is the same except the neck pickup has been switched to a Charlie Christian pickup. These pickups were made for jazz initially, but obviously aren't limited to it. They are somewhat similar in sound to a P90 pickup- with more lows than a single coil, more high end than a humbucker and lots of sustain. Thanks to an anonymous commenter (is that a word?) for the tip. Here's a picture of one:

Eddie's main Grabber was also acting up before the tour, so he only had his 2 other Grabbers for this tour. He mostly used the one he built himself for this show. Before the Cincinnati show he bought a Rickenbacker bass at one of Cincy's best guitar shops, Mike's Music, which is next door to Bogarts, the venue they played. Who knows if this will actually get used with Thrice, but it'd definitely be interesting if it did.

Amp-wise, Teppei is using his usual AC30 combo and a Marshall JCM800 head paired with the cab he used with the Supro clone he made himself. The Supro died before the tour and he borrowed the Marshall. His sound is mostly the AC30. The sound guy only adds the Marshall into the mix to "add balls" when needed.

Dustin is using his AC30, which is similar in color to the new handwired series. It is most likely a European model from the late 90s/early 200s though.

Eddie used his Ampeg head with an 8x10 cab. No stereo setup this time around. If I'm not mistaken, every band's bassist used that amp.

Eddie and Dustin's pedalboards are mostly the same, with everyone using M13s heavily. I didn't see Teppei's board. Eddie is using a distortion pedal he bought on the road, which has no writing on it and is just in a silver enclosure (with a pink smiley face sticker, haha).

Teppei's keyboard is a Nord Electro. I'm not sure of the exact model.

I'm going to look for some recent pictures, especially to figure out what neck pickup Dustin is using.

This show was the first Thrice show I've seen since 2008, so I feel obligated to give a review. First off- no stage monitors for Thrice. All they're hearing from the stage is through headphones. I talked to the O Brother guys, who sat on the side of the stage for Thrice's set. They were blown away by how good the sound was from the side of the stage. By all accounts it should've sounded terrible, but they kept talking about how good the mix still sounded. I thought it was cool that they're such big Thrice fans. They played first and were really, really solid. They're a bit Thricey, but I'd describe their sound as psychedelic, but modern and heavy. They had 3 guitars on stage, which was cool. The singer would be playing open chords in a kind of singer-songwriter sort of way, and the other 2 guitarists would do lead/rhythm stuff. It was cool how the guitars blended. Really interesting textures.

Manchester Orchestra played next, and after that show I never want to hear them ever again. Their singer didn't say anything to the crowd except insults (even calling someone a "dumbass"). I'm pretty sure he was really trashed. He was even rude to their guitarist when he mentioned the Invisible Children booth. When they were done playing I was in a bad mood just from watching and listening to them. O Brother set the show up so well and MO just destroyed the good vibe.

Anyway, Thrice came on and opened with 2 Vheissu tunes: For Miles and Of Dust and Nations, which was totally unexpected. I figured they'd play them, but I thought they'd open with something from Beggars. The crowd had less of the obnoxious Deadbolt shouters compared to 2008, but they were still there. I'm assuming they won't be back next time, since Thrice only played 2 pre-Vheissu songs: The Artist in the Ambulance and Silhouette. Dustin's tone on Artist was weird- it sounded like he was using the neck pickup and a clean tone for the palm-muted intro part. I had no complaints about the lack of early stuff- we got a killer version of A Song For Milly Michaelson, a completely unexpected Atlantic and great versions of Firebreather and The Messenger. The Beggars stuff was really great though. They did All The World Is Mad, The Weight, In Exile, Doublespeak, the title track and Circles. Some things to point about those songs: Teppei played keys on all of Doublespeak and Circles- I was a little surprised that the solo at the end of Circles was Dustin, but he nailed it. Beggars was even more epic than The Earth Will Shake, and that's saying something. They only played 14 songs, which was a small letdown since they probably won't play Cincinnati for another 2 years, but what they did play was really, really good. They're so tight and clean live, without sounding sterile and bland. They're just great musicians and it shows. They keep getting better and better.

My thoughts are with the members of Thrice in this difficult time. In light of all this, just be grateful for what and who you have- no matter how little or how few.



Anonymous said...

just a consideration---

for the live gigs, perhaps it would be worth identifying the mics they have on the cabs.

i've seen royer 121's on the guitar cabs, and an e609 on the ampeg.....

it could have changed this tour.

also, i believe the last time i saw them, riley had a light layer of triggers to add more attack / cut for the drum mix.

Mike said...

Good call. I'd have asked Tuesday if I would've thought of it. I'll see what I can get together for a full article on mics. :)

Anonymous said...

First of all, lucky that you got to see them, the rest of the tour was canceled! I hope Dustin's Dad makes it through okay.

Second, how did you identify all of these parts? Were you on the side of the stage or something? When I saw them live, I couldn't even see their pedalboards. Also, you should post the images online, if its not too much to ask. I'm certain that the people who read this blog would appreciate them :)

FranKo said...

Hi, awesome blog, I really enjoyed reading all this stuff. I was wondering if ou could tell me the model of that black Nash guitar that Dustin use and the black gibson he used on the warped Tour last year, thanks.

Gabe said...

Hey man, great blog, I've been following it for quite some time :)

From the shockHound ( ) live it looks like Dustin's neck pick up on his Tele is some Gibson P-90 like ( or in that family anyway ). I'm not really sure, but it also looks like Teppei's got one on his ES-335.

You can se a few quick shots at the pedalboards and you can se a Digitech Whammy ( ?!? wonder for what... ) on Teppei's board. It's the WH-4, no fancy overpriced vintage one ;).

For the mics, ah that's hard, well, at least we know both D and T use standard SM 58 for vocals. Sorry I can't be of much more help.

Keep up the great work ( and also check out my band, Karmatest from Italy :) ). If you wanna do some nerdy nerdy geek gear chat I'm always available.



Gabe said...

No, sorry, absolutely sure Teppei DOESN'T have P-90 on his 335 ;)


ian said...

do you know whether teppei's ac30 has the wharfdale speakers or the alnico blues?

Mike said...

Teppei's AC30 is a 90s model. It doesn't have the Blue's in it. I'm not sure if the Wharfedales are what they used in the stock models back then, but if so then that's what's in there.

And here's a video that shows Dustin's neck pickup:

This video makes it look like it could be the old P90, just without a case. I'm starting to think that's all it is.

Mike said...

Dustin's Tele is a custom made one from Nash. It's based on a 72 Tele Deluxe. His Gibson isn't actually a Gibson. I think I talked about it in this article, but it's a Japanese made guitar he bought on tour.

Anonymous said...

That pickup that is dustin's tele is called a charlie christian pickup.It was used by the jazz guitarist in his semi hollow gibson guitars.


Anonymous said...

the neck pickup in dustin's guitar is a charlie christian pickup

Anonymous said...

Dustin's AC30 is a not one of the recent Handwired ones. It is one of the UK 90's/early 2000's AC30s. You can tell by the color of the grill cloth, and the black corner protectors.

FranKo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
FranKo said...

Does someone know if Dustin use nylon or metalic strings on his Gibson Southern Jumbo TV??

Mike said...

Thrice use Ernie Ball strings, and they're regular copper/zinc acoustic strings.

Zach said...

does anyone know the specific brand or model of the les paul copy because i can't find it anywhere, and in the article it says it's a "Mira Les Paul copy," but i've looked and there's no such thing. anybody got any ideas?

Anonymous said...

For the latest tour Teppei has been using his Les Paul again, mainly for the few Illusion songs they've been playing and I think some of the Artist ones too.

And the LP copy is actually a Maya not Mira. :)

Mike said...

It is a Maya. I have no idea why I wrote Mira. Oops.

And yeah, the Les Paul wasn't retired or anything- It was just acting up before the last tour started, so he didn't use it.

Anonymous said...

Any kind folks care to tell me which lollar pickups are in teppei's nash tele and dustins nash tele bridge pickup? Thanks! =D


zarmo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
zarmo said...

Hey just letting you know, if you check out Dustin's blog he is getting to new guitars put togther for him by Nash guitars, thought you might be intrested.

GermanThrice said...

Hi Mike
Thanks alot for Listing the Gear of one of my favourite bands ;)

Some things I found out at their gig at the Area4 Festival in Germany. Teppei uses his Gibson ES-335 at all songs, that don´t need a High-Gain sound. He played The Weight, Of Dust and Nations, In Exile, Beggars and the Beatles Cover Helter Skelter with this guitar. I think there is too much feedback with a semiacoustic at Highgain sounds.
Dustin played a Fender Jaguar Custom, i think it was rent. I've never seen him with this guitar before. Both used only Vox AC30, I think, this Amp was used for most of the Beggars stuff.

If you like to watch this gig, check it out here: