Saving Abel lead a blood stained revolution into Fort Wayne

Rock n’ Roll was the name of the game  at Piere’s in Fort Wayne as Saving Abel recently rolled in to town to promote their recently released album, Blood Stained Revolution. But if you were expecting a relaxed and tame top-40 version of “Rock n\’ Roll” you’d be in for a rude awakening, because Saving Abel came primed to deliver a gritty southern rock show with a side of debauchery.

People slowly started trickling in to the venue at 7 p.m. with a handful of eager fans grabbing a front row spot right on the barricade. The majority, however, took a more laid-back approach, opting to mingle and enjoy a few drinks at tables located around the room.

During the course of the night most of the table-dwellers were coaxed from their seat by high-energy performances from supporting acts Drenalin, Rockchild, and Another Lost Year.

Saving Abel finally hit the stage around 11 p.m. to an excited crowd that was clearly not ready to slow things down. Throughout their set lead singer Scotty Austin seemed to spend an equal amount of time off stage as he did on, taking every opportunity to make a personal connection with the fans.

A relative newcomer to the band, Austin joined the band when original lead singer Jared Weeks left in 2013 to pursue a solo career.

He certainly made his presence known as he effortlessly worked every inch of the stage, proving he’s got the strut of Mick Jagger and the slither of Scott Weiland, but still maintains a seductive style that’s all his own.

The band played set heavy with fan favorites, but flowed seamlessly into new tracks “Love Like Suicide” and “Blood Stained Revolution.”

Towards the end of their set Austin asked for a show of hands from military members, after which he hopped off the stage and shook their hands, personally thanking each person who raised their hand. He took this opportunity to slow things down a bit and expressed the band’s support of the troops.

He told of how his brother is currently serving in Afghanistan and how he’s aware of the struggles that come from that sacrifice- both of those who serve abroad and the families they leave behind to do so. This led in to their song “18 Days” where members of Another Lost Year accompanied them on stage. Austin’s gritty vocals seemed to bring a new level of poignancy to the song, which was only heightened as he hopped off the stage during the final chorus and made his way through the crowd in another attempt to connect with each and every fan.

As the final notes of their 2008 breakthrough single “Addicted” rang out around midnight Austin told the crowd to stick around and have drinks with the band…but not before enjoying an on-stage party! He called for fans to join him on stage, but it took a bit of convincing for most of the crowd to actually believe he literally wanted them on stage!

As the band launched in to AC/DC’s Highway to Hell the stage filled with 40-50 fans, drinks in hand, belting out the song with the passion and sincerity that can only come from a few good doses of liquid courage.

Yes, 50 people were all rock gods for the night, partying with the band in the most rock n’ roll fashion to what is perhaps the most rock n’ roll song of all time, for five glorious minutes that will forever live on in the Instagram and Facebook profiles of the more tech-savvy of the bunch who were taking selfies with band members as they sang.

There aren’t many true rock bands left, but the guys in Saving Abel prove that there’s still a bit of genuine rock n’ roll attitude to be found. It’s clear that Austin’s enthusiastic and tenacious spirit has helped usher in a new chapter for the band as a whole. They weathered the unpredictable and rocky road of a line-up change and now, nearly a year later with a new album on hand they seem to be coming out stronger for the experience.

-Photos and review by Ashley Adcox

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Phone interview with guitarist Scott Bartlett: