Back in the Spring, Breaking Benjamin announced a Summer mega-tour with Chevelle, Three Days Grace, Dorothy and Diamante- a tour that recently Noblesville’s Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center for a 6 hour show that brought the present and future of rock in line with bands that have already solidified themselves as top-level bands.
The night started early, with Diamante taking the stage for a quick, scorching set that left fans wanting even more from the blue-haired rock bombshell. Sporting some of the most badass sunglasses ever- spiked all over the edges and as metal as it gets- Diamante took full advantage of her early set and knocked the challenge of opening a long night right out of the park and proved why she’s one of the most promising new artists in rock today.
Not long after Diamante wrapped up, Dorothy took the stage and boosted the energy up through the roof.
Her southern, bluesy rock style was quick to catch on with the fans- many of whom caught her set earlier in the year in downtown Indianapolis. Much like Diamante, she moved from side to side of the stage, commanding full engagement from the crowd and they were more than happy to give her exactly that.
After the ladies of rock were done setting the bar high, it was time for the veterans to take over and Three Days Grace were first in line and played a set that perfectly balanced tracks from every record except Human, which is amazing considering they had a short set and not a lot of time to work with and the fans loved every minute of it.
Their energy was contagious and singer Matt Walst’s eyes told the story of a band that was out for blood and were primed to end the night as the top band on the bill and they were going to settle for nothing less.
Chevelle was next up and they’re always hit and miss when it comes to the live show and this night was not much to write home about. Some songs were spot on and showed the band sounded outstanding- “Take Out The Gunman” and “The Clincher” being two of them. However, other songs saw them playing out of sync and throwing screams in at the strangest places and sounded more like a cover band that was still learning the songs. Regardless, though, the fans loved it and sang along louder than the band at some points and ate up every second of the set.
Finally, though, it was time for Breaking Benjamin to close out a night that saw a near-sell-out with almost every inch of the lawn and pavilion occupied and the crowd was rabidly waiting for Breaking Ben to take the stage.
From the second the white curtain covered the stage, the Breaking Benjamin faithful were deafening and, as the curtain dropped to the buildup of “Red Cold River,” the pyro hit and the rest was history.
They combined songs from their earlier records with tracks from Ember and it was a beautiful setlist, packed with memories for longtime fans as well as newer songs for the more recent fans and they played it perfectly.
The only criticism is that you could barely see singer Ben Burnley for the majority of the set. The rest of the band was lit well but Burnley spent the majority of the set in either darkness or very low lights, so fans couldn’t see him well. Though most fans didn’t seem to care at all and were living in the moment, you can’t help but wonder why take the stage if you aren’t going to make it easy for your fans to see you? Especially when fans paid very, very good money to see the entire band.
Fans really took the energy up a level when the band knocked a medley out of the park- “Imperial March” from Star Wars, “Cowboys From Hell,” “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” “Bohemian Rhapsody” (the rock part- not the weird, awful opera beginning), “Enter Sandman” and “Bulls on Parade,” each getting a louder and more rawkus response from the crowd.
Toward the end of the set, the band was playing “Angels Fall,” the fans were so loud the band stopped and Burnley got emotional, almost crying- wiping a tear from his face before the band kicked back in and finished the song. After this, Burnley took a moment to talk to the crowd about growing up, listening to Nirvana, explaining that he’s 41 years old and has had his first tattoo- a Nirvana tattoo- since he was 15 years old and thanked them for taking to that cover and loving their music as much as they do.
This sums up and perfectly describes the energy of the evening- grateful and thankful. Not just from the fans but from the bands as well. The openers- Diamante and Dorothy- wore smiles the entire time for fans knowing the songs and getting as involved and invested as they did- and the three veteran bands for fans staying with them and loving them for as long as they have.