The day started with some folk and quiet rock (for the most part), but I thought people would be ready for some punk rock energy when The Thermals came on midway through Maha Music Festival.
The Thermals brought it for sure. The audience reaction, for the most part, was pretty laid back. No moshing. No jumping. Barely even any head nods.
For me, the band’s set was one of the best things that’s happened so far today. It was fun and it was full or power, like a ton of TNT slowly exploding over an hour-long set.
The Portland punk three-piece, now signed to Saddle Creek Records, played a fast, high-energy set filled with the best songs from its latest album, “Desperate Ground,” and quite a lot of old songs.
Only singer/guitarist Hutch Harris dropping on his knees to shred or drummer Westin Glass pumping his fist (in an effort to inspire the crowd to do the same) could get things going.
The Thermals started with songs such as “Returning to the Fold,” “Born to Kill” and “You Will Be Free,” bouncy tunes that should have had everyone moving.
About midway through the set, which flew by as the band jumped from song to song to song, “Sword by My Side” and Harris’ knee-dropping shredfest got people to get a little bit excited.
“Now We Can See” and “Sunset” also came near the end, and Harris and his bandmates were really appreciative of the reaction they finally drummed up.
“F*** yeah!” Harris said. “Thank you guys so much. And thank you so much to Maha for having us.”