When a band loses such a pivotal member like a founding vocalist, quite often it can be a final nail in the coffin, but when Mississippi-based Saving Abel frontman Jared Weeks announced his departure to pursue a solo career in 2013, the rest of the band never faltered.
Instead, they armed themselves with former Trash The Brand howler Scott Austin, released their heaviest and most melodic album to date with Blood Stained Revolution in 2014 and hit the road hard to support it, prove they are back stronger than ever and ready to take on the world.
When the tour came to the Altar Bar in Pittsburgh on a snowy winter’s night, Maryland’s ShadowBurn kicked things into gear with a set of really strong melodic mainstream rock songs like “Master Of Shadows,” “Self-Worth” and “Burn It All.”
[lg_slideshow folder=\”2015/Saving Abel in Pittsburgh/Shadowburn/\”]
Vocalist Nicole Sisler owned the stage like she had been doing it her whole damn life and the band did a fantastic job of revving up the crowd. They were extremely well received and the best surprise of the evening. They should have major labels sniffing around their door anytime now.
Pittsburgh’s Act Of Pardon’s unorthodox style may have made them the odd men out that night, but the fans ate it up none the less. The band was tons of fun and tracks like “Hey Girl” and “For You” were loaded with meaty, big and bouncy riffs.
Their sound fused the radio friendly rock sound of The Mighty Mighty Bosstones with elements of The Red Hot Chili Peppers and slight elements of Tom Petty to create something unique and refreshing.
[lg_slideshow folder=\”2015/Saving Abel in Pittsburgh/Act of Pardon/\”]
Lead singer Dusty Whitney got a good laugh at the end of their set when he tossed one of the band’s shirts into the crowd and said, “That might be worth something in like a 1000 years.”
Another Pittsburgh favorite Slant 6 was next and as always they did the city proud, delivering one of the strongest sets of the evening. Their sound is best described as a heavier, more melodic modern rock version of the Police.
They even worked a kick ass cover of “Message in A Bottle” and a stunning cover of the 1961 Ben E. King classic “Stand by Me” into their high energy set. The entire band handled themselves like seasoned pros on stage and the now packed hometown crowd lost their minds, making them another must see band to keep your eye on in the future.
[lg_slideshow folder=\”2015/Saving Abel in Pittsburgh/Slant 6/\”]
It didn’t take long once headliners Saving Abel took the stage for fans to realize this was going to be a much heavier version of the band than many fans might remember and that new singer Scott Austin is the perfect fit and kick in the ass the band needed to deliver an even better, more aggressive live show.
By now, the energy flowed from the stage like the booze from the bar and tracks like “Bringing Down the Giant,” “New Tattoo,” “Blood Stained Revolution” and “Miss America” saw the entire crowd moving in some form, be it jumping, waving their arms or dancing, all the while singing at the top of their lungs and having the time of their lives.
You could clearly see the glee on Austin’s face as he commanded the audience’s complete and total participation, demanding that they scream to his satisfaction saying, “If you don’t know the words, make shit up. I do.”
One of the highlights was the slow burning groove the band played as the fake smoke bellowed across the stage during their introductions, giving each of them time to take center stage and flex their muscles. It saw Austin helping founding guitarist Jason Null, tap out a solo and drummer Steven Pulley breaking more than a few drumsticks.
Austin took time to give a special shout out to the men and women of the US military before the closers “18 Days” and “Addicted.” Jumping down into the crowd to get face to face to add, “You got about 10 more minutes to get down with us, so Get The Fuck Up!” which they all joyfully and compliantly did, not wasting the opportunity to go nuts one last time.
[lg_slideshow folder=\”2015/Saving Abel in Pittsburgh/Saving Abel/\”]