On Saturday night, No Thanks held mass for the last time. Their signature piercing, dissonant, gothic punk has driven crowds to mayhem for the better part of a decade, but days before Halloween 2022 at Reverb Lounge, the chaos came to a close.
“It’s time to 86 No Thanks,” singer Brendan Leahy said to the crowd — service industry shorthand for taking something off the menu.
There’s no need to speak in formalities after all these years. They and their audience have become a community all their own in this mid-sized midwestern metro — working class, anti-fascist Omahans often out-of-sync in a city that’s major industries are development, insurance and food production.
The hour-long set featured songs across their catalogue, from releases like 2020’s Submerger and 2018’s The Trial. Omaha bands Nowhere, Hussies and Cat Piss preceded No Thanks on stage.
Drinks were chauffeured to the stage as guitarist Mike Huber, drummer Gabe Cohen and bassist Cam Stout kept the fast pace. Leahy screeched lyrics to the pulpit rotating between vampire garb, baring his chest and smearing fake blood across his body.
But despite the grandeur, No Thanks also knows how to poke fun at its serious facade. As the sweat dripped and the crowd paused to catch a breath, No Thanks launched into its final goodbye.
“I was working in the lab, late one night. When my eyes beheld an eerie sight,” Leahy sang. “For my monster from his slab, began to rise.”
As the crowd swayed to the 1962 hit Monster Mash, Leahy worked the crowd one last time. By the end of the song, No Thanks took their final bow as the crowd chanted their name.
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