The Thermals, The Palisades, SoccerMom-April 27 at The Wild Buffalo

If you love pop-punk and a damn fun time, then you’d have loved the Thermals show April 27 at the Wild Buffalo. The Thermals have been on the road in support of their new album, Desperate Ground, which dropped this past April through Saddle Creek, their new label. The smallish crowd of die-hard fans gathered early at the venue to see the local bands, Soccer Mom and The Palisades, open the show with an appropriate mix of rockin’ tunes and punky lyrics.

Soccer Mom, a sparkling new band to the Bellingham scene, opened the show with their surprising style of total talent and magnetic draw, all from kids who still look too young to shave. The Palisades composed of Noah Magen, Peter Coward, Luke Hogfoss and Toby Reif, brought with them a current of sheer-force drive, as per usual. Always understated, in their post-rock, garage punk way, the four-set group powered through one catchy, melancholic, teen-dream song after another, growing the energy of the room until, anticipation thick enough to slice, the Thermals took the stage.

After the openers, the Portland based power-trio quickly sparked a friendly, yet bruise havocking mosh pit amongst the audience, keeping the show on a total high. Following their usual performance full of bravado, piss and vinegar, the Thermals delivered yet another total smash show.  From  Hutch Harris running into the crowd to play guitar in the audience, strutting the stage and coercing the willing crowd into chanting along, as-loud-as-you-please, to the raucous songs, to drummer Westin Glass’s total composer and efficiency on drums and babe-bassist Kathy Foster’s divine talent, the show was one non-stop adrenaline filled party.   As usual, their set was all high-octane pop punk with only mere seconds between songs. The crowd loved it too, pushing each other around, stage diving, yelling every word, and both the crowd and band were nothing but grins from ear-to -ear the entire show. Fans belted along to songs such as “Never Listen to Me,” “I Don’t believe You,” and “Here’s to Your Future” in addition to many of the highlights from Desperate Ground.  Even more than being an epically fun show band, The Thermals never ceases to amaze with their sincere, total, and complete niceness on stage and off. Mingling with the audience after the show, the band stuck around chatting about the tour, drinking with fans and lamenting the long drive back to Portland. Probably the best show I’ve seen all year, I highly encourage everyone and their mom to get tickets the next time this talented band hits Bellingham.