TVD Live Shots: Nothing But Thieves with Kid Kapichi at the Fillmore Silver Spring, 9/12

Five years, almost to the day, since the last time they appeared in the Washington, DC area, English indie/rock outfit Nothing But Thieves played to a very stoked, sold-out crowd on Tuesday night at The Fillmore Silver Spring. It was the very first date on the “Welcome to the DCC” US tour, and it possessed the air of a ship setting sail on a great adventure—all excitement and happiness. If the opening night is any indication, the “Welcome to the DCC” tour will be a huge success.

The Fillmore was already filled with fans when supporters Kid Kapichi took the stage at 8PM. Kid Kapichi (Ben Beetham, Jack Wilson, George Macdonald, and Eddie Lewis) come from England, in their case, Hastings, on the southeast coast. Known for their working-class voice, with a body of work that addresses racism, poverty, and mental health, Kid Kapichi cut their teeth on the Hastings music scene until they got a big break from Frank Carter, who invited them to play his birthday party then join him on tour.

The crowd at the Fillmore got a taste of this voice Tuesday night, with 30 minutes of working-class finger-flipping in songs like “5 days on (2 days off),” about monotonous day jobs, and “Working Man’s Town.” Vocalist Jack Wilson asked the crowd if everything in the States was outrageously expensive like it is back home. When the crowd roared in the affirmative, the band launched into “Rob the Supermarket.” Kid Kapichi’s latest album is Here’s What You Could Have Won.

Standing at the barrier between sets, I didn’t realize the Fillmore had become even more crowded until I looked over my shoulder at the urging of my pal on the security staff. We were packed in like sardines, and the crowd erupted when Nothing But Thieves took the stage. Nothing But Thieves formed in 2012 in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, in England. They are lead vocalist and guitarist Conor Mason, guitarist Joe Langridge-Brown, guitarist and keyboardist Dominic Craik, bassist Philip Blake, and drummer James Price. The band scored a top spot on the UK album chart with its latest album, Welcome to the DCC, a concept album that, according to the band, addresses “themes such as advertisement, unity, internet culture, the music industry, aging and politics, as well as escapism and change are highlighted by the alienation or privilege of a members only club.”

A whopping 18 song pre-encore set was bookended by two songs from the new album, Welcome to the DCC—the title track and “Pop the Balloon,” which somehow rocks even harder live than it does on the album. As someone who was not previously familiar with Nothing But Thieves, what stood out to me Tuesday night is the band’s ability to make the journey from more introspective songs to those with a more ’80s, electropop sound before exploding into something with a hard, even metal, edge. They make these transitions seamlessly, speaking volumes about the talent and range of this band whose members’ respective ages still only hover around 30 (which is still young in my middle-aged eyes). Conor Mason has a jaw-dropping voice—during the set, he kept reminding me of Jeff Buckley and later, a quick Google search confirmed Buckley’s influence.

A wholesome and happy vibe wove through the diverse crowd all night; it was populated with rabid fans eager to catch Nothing But Thieves after such a long time away. They seemed to know every lyric to every song—Mason noted that the fans were singing even louder than he was. It was an impressive and simply awesome start to the tour.

The “Welcome to the DCC” tour wraps up on October 9 in Tempe, Arizona. From there, Nothing But Thieves head back to Europe for a very long string of dates that do not finally wrap up until 2024.



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