These brainy Orange County, California post-hardcore dudes have been slogging it out for more than a decade, and though their mid-'00s major-label stint didn't quite attract My Chem-grade crowds, Thrice is still making passionate, meaningful music. Last year's Beggars even wisely dialed down the prog-punk trimmings that bogged down the several records that preceded it.

Meanwhile, on the 2002 album Circle Meets the Square, show opener Kevin Devine included a song titled "Protest Singer," and the tag has stuck to him ever since, despite his lyrical confession that "I'm only protesting myself." But while plenty of his subsequent compositions have grappled with societal injustice and other crimes against humanity, he considers his work to be as personal as it is political. "If you can boil 80 songs over all these records down to ten words or something," he says, "it's me trying to make sense out of myself and trying to make sense of everything else."


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