The soul-baring post-hardcore quartet Thursday formed in New Brunswick, NJ, in 1997. Led by vocalist Geoff Rickly, the band's initial lineup also included guitarists Steve Pedulla and Tom Keeley, bassist Tim Payne, and drummer Tucker Rule. After releasing their debut, Waiting, in 1999 (through N.Y.-based indie Eyeball), the band signed to Chicago's influential Victory label for 2001's Full Collapse, and toured with acts like Boy Sets Fire and Sparta in support of the effort. Thursday's frequent gigging and furious passion fueled a grassroots response, and by 2002, the band was on the main stage of the Warped Tour and enjoying radio and MTV support of its single "Understanding in a Car Crash." The quintet signed to Island in the wake of its breakthrough success, and issued the 2002 live EP Five Stories Falling through Victory as a placeholder for its eventual major-label debut. The ambitious song arc of War All the Time dropped in September 2003. The album was met with considerable critical acclaim for its ruminations on 9/11, its poetic, personal lyrics, and a wildly shifting, kitchen-sink approach to pensive post-hardcore. Playing keyboards on the album, Andrew Everding was later added as a full-time member. Extensive touring behind the record took its toll on the band; tensions between members and personal problems soon made Thursday appear to be on the fast road to breaking up. Band problems aside, Rickly was additionally diagnosed with epilepsy. Problematic allergic reactions to his medication eventually culminated in May 2004 during the band's performance at California's Coachella Festival; Thursday's set was cut short as Rickly began coughing up blood and was unable to continue. After he recovered, the guys hopped back on the road for a full U.K. tour. Still unhappy, Thursday felt a responsibility to finish out their existing tour commitments, with that summer's Warped to be their final run. However, issues between the bandmembers somehow worked themselves out during the festival's run -- they were found having more fun playing than ever -- and the lineup decided to stick together. First taking some time off for themselves, the re-energized group next headed back into the studio with producer Dave Fridmann (the Flaming Lips, Mogwai). A City by the Light Divided, the album that almost never was, appeared in May 2006, and a tour supporting both the album and the Shirts for a Cure organization followed. Thursday parted ways with Island Records in early 2007 and cancelled the majority of their tour dates, but not before recording two live performances in New Jersey. Portions of the footage were made available on Kill the House Lights, a retrospective CD/DVD package released by Victory Records in October 2007.
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