THE GET UP KIDS, STEEL TRAIN, RIVER CITY EXTENSION
UNDEROATH, THURSDAY, ANIMALS AS LEADERS, A SKYLIT DRIVE
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Christian metalcore darlings Underoath owe a big debt to Thursday. If it wasn't for the commercial success of Thursday's big "screamo" breakthrough album of 2001, Full Collapse, easing them into the sound, it's doubtful the palates of their thousands of obsessed fans would be so accepting of such noise. Remember, it was just two short years after the first big wave of mall screamo (not the real stuff, yo) that Underoath added a little sugar to their seven-minute-long blackened-metal-mosh anthems with "They're Only Chasing Safety," resulting in shorter and catchier songs that skyrocketed them to the cover of Alternative Press and the walls of adoring teenagers worldwide. While both bands are touring in support of new albums, it's these two records that will have the packed room of twentysomethings—including me—reminiscing on their failed high-school relationships and bad haircuts of yesteryear. KEVIN DIERS
REBECCA GATES, THE BLACK SWANS, ALINA HARDIN
(The Woods, 6637 SE Milwaukie) Let's be honest—folk music can be painfully boring. Columbus, Ohio's the Black Swans are just uncomfortably honest. The band—led by vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Jerry DeCicca—has made its living by putting all of our deepest Freudian thoughts on paper in front of a solemn Americana backdrop. The results are usually creepy, playful, smart, and at times... well, uncomfortable. It should come as no surprise, then, that the Black Swans' musical output has always touched on all things taboo (well, taboo here in America). 2006's Sex Brain EP needs no explanation. Their latest, Words Are Stupid, meditates on the accidental 2008 death of violinist Noel Sayre, who left behind a laptop filled with musical pieces that find their way onto the record. DeCicca's deep croak and the Swans' tensely sparse arrangements only add to whatever it is they're trying to get across. Live the band will keep your eyes glued to the stage—and hopefully squirming in your seat. MARK LORE
A complete listing of this week's shows can be viewed here.