South Bend is one of those music towns that booking agents call a “C” market. Those markets tend to attract bands that are 1) on the fifth reunion tour, 2) a band that’s on possibly on the rise or 3) a band that has an open date that’s say, between Chicago and Detroit. The kicker is that said show is typically on a week day.
Oddly enough, Three Days Grace doesn’t fit into any of those categories mentioned. Needless to say, Michiana was all a flutter about TDG making a stop to Club Fever on a Friday night and those fans in attendance were more than happy to show their excitement.
I arrived at the venue about thirty minutes before the doors were set to open to get an idea if South Bend fans were willing to put their money where their mouth was regarding all the buzz that had surrounded this concert. To my surprise, the line was easily two hundred people deep and snaked around the corner of Club Fever. For a fleeting second, I was actually proud to live here.
This would be the first time that Three Days Grace had taken the stage in South Bend since Matt Walst (ex-My Darkest Days) was brought in to take over the vocal duties along with the March release of the album “Human”. While in line, there was a lot of chatter about whether or not Walst could measure up to the original vocalist Adam Gontier.
By show time, the temperature inside Club Fever had risen far beyond boiling and there was a strong scent of sweat, cheap beer and anticipation in the air. First up was Chicago’s hard rock act, Romantic Rebel. Led by singer KT Paige (chosen as one of Revolver Magazine’s 2015 Hottest Chicks in Metal), RR hit the stage and whipped the crowd into a fury. Romantic Rebel packed quite a punch with their mixture of radio rock and old school metal and made the most of their thirty minute set time to win the crowd over. Mission Accomplished!!
Next up were U.K. based Young Guns, who are on tour promoting their June release, Ones and Zeros. Frontman Gustav Wood and Young Guns took little time to wind the audience back into a frenzy by opening their set comprised of ten songs with “Rising Up\” and the radio popular “I Want Out\” off of their latest release while closing out with the track, “Bones” off the bands second release, aptly named “Bones”.
I was lucky enough to catch up with singer, Gustav Wood after their performance and asked a few questions…
Are you surprised with the positive response you’re getting?
G.W. – Actually, yes I am. It’s been three years since we released “Bones” so it’s almost like we’re starting over.
What’s the difference in crowds from England and Europe compared to the U.S.?
G.W – The fans here are a bit older than we’re used to playing for which is great because we can build that fan base as well. On this tour, the crowds have been full of energy.
What’s next for Young Guns?
G.W. – We have seven dates left in the U.S. and then we fly home to England and get ready for the European festival season. Hopefully, we’ll be back in the states soon, possibly in the fall.
At this point in the evening the crowd was electric, full of anticipation and a bit antsy to get down to the business at hand. Out of nowhere with a roar of the crowd, the magic happened. Three Days Grace had entered the building. Without a word, the band blasted into “I am Machine” off of the current release “Human”. It only took one song, to become obvious that every question about Matt Walst measuring up had been answered.
The Canadian quartet, made up of brothers vocalist Matt and bass player Brad Walst, drummer Neil Sanderson and Guitar player, Barry Stock Matt Walst single handedly turned the crowd into a group of raging lunatics that hung on every movement of the band. Without missing a beat TDG riffled off an amazingly energetic ninety minute eighteen song set that spanned their near twenty year career which included fan favorites “Hate” and “Riot.”
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