The guys in Three Days Grace saved the familiar surroundings of their home province of Ontario for a string of dates to finish off their 2022 “Explosions World Tour.” The show at Barrie’s Sadlon Arena was the second last one, and the boys still had gas in the tank after a long run for a killer night.
Opening the night was Oshawa’s own The Standstills. They are officially a duo, but guitarist/vocalist Jonny Fox and drummer Renee Couture now tour with bassist Brendan McMillan. As a duo, their sound was great, but with the added bass, the live sound is much better. Touring on the release of their brand new 2022 album Shockwave which was produced by Neil Sanderson, the drummer from Three Days Grace, the band showed that they belong on the big stage. The songs are short, frantic, kick hard and drop the mic before moving on to the next punch.
Next up was The Warning, a Mexican-based trio of the Villarreal Vélez sisters who started off as YouTube sensations with their cover of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” in 2014. To say they rocked hard would be an understatement. Daniela (Dany) on guitar/lead vocals, Paulina on lead/backing vocals and drums, and Alejandra on bass craft a ferocious combination of super catchy riffs, soaring vocal harmonies and a crunch that rivals the best veteran rock/metal bands on the planet. Alejandra was battling the flu and chose to do the show seated. They all had the flu for a while on this tour and had to cancel some dates as a result. Three Days Grace guitarists Barry Stock joined the band for their new track “Choke.” Dany and Stock looked like they had a blast trading riffs as Stock and his imposing frame moved around the stage. Their material had a “love it the first time hearing it” vibe, and the crowd let them know it. Half of the set was from their 2022 release Error. The album has a huge well-produced presence and just might be a breakout work for the band.
After a short break while the crew readied extra stage elements for the headliner, Three Days Grace kicked off the show with the barnburner opening track “So Called Life” from their 2022 album Explosions. It’s hard to believe the band has been on the scene for 25 years now. Their hit-filled body of work is extensive and the 17-song setlist was a feast for any 3DG fan. And touched on all of the band’s studio albums. The new material is arguably some of their best work and harkens back to vintage 3DG days.
The stage was fitted with two large video screens on either side of drummer Neil Sanderson’s customary high drum riser, with ramps from the stage up to platforms on either side of the screens. Frontman Matt Walst who mentioned that he’s been in the band for 10 years now has fully filled the shoes of original vocalist Adam Gontier. And performs all the old material on par with him. Singing from his “dirty” and “clean” mics on most of the tunes, Matt hit all the right notes.
It’s always time great time when a band that’s been around a long time puts on a performance that shows the fans that they still have passion and drive to excel. 3DG is that band. Guitarist Barry Stock along with his fully stocked guitar pick tree for tossing to fans, his trademark long trench coat, ball cap and ZZ Top beard cuts a memorable image and nailed it all night. Brad Walst wrestled and manhandled his bass and kept the low down with Sanderson on track, along with both of their solid backing vocals that help give the 3DG tunes their sound.
Dany from The Warning joined the band for vocals on “Painkiller.” She has such a powerful sound and stage presence, and the fans loved it. It was also the debut of a full-on mosh pit in the crowd. Halfway through the show, the band did a stripped-down acoustic set. With Sanderson on a keyboard and the rest of the band at the stage lip, they did “The High Road” and “World So Cold.” Set #2 highlights were “Just Like You” and their debut single “I Hate Everything About You.”
The two-song encore began with “Never Too Late” and its mental health message that’s as timely now as when it was released in 2006. Ending the show, “Riot” had the crowd keeping the mosh vibe going full tilt. It was a very successful three-band bill and kudos to 3DG for pulling it together.
Three Days Grace Setlist:
So Called Life
Animal I Have Become
I Am the Weapon
Painkiller (with Dany from The Warning)
The High Road
World So Cold
Just Like You
The Good Life
I Hate Everything About You
Never Too Late
Slightest Clue Release Their Rocking, Five-Track EP ‘Carousel’
Vancouver indie rockers Slightest Clue recently released their ‘Carousel’ EP, inspired by the beginning, middle, and end of a relationship.
Vancouver’s Slightest Clue is like the secret after-school project of four kids who would have passed each other without a glance in the hallway at school, but once they’re plugged in and ready to play their distinct blend of post-punk, alternative rock, and dark pop, all bets are off.
Produced by Matt Di Pomponio, their new EP, Carousel, is inspired by the beginning, middle, and end of a formative romantic relationship, spanning the trajectory from love to this loss of connection. The closing track, “Carousel,” marks the ultimate bittersweet reflection with unique harmonic layers to portray those contrasting emotions, shifting between grand and quiet tones.
Commenting on the album, the band states:
“The main theme is love, loss of relationship, and connection. The arc of the story is our foreshadowing of the end in our first song ‘These Days’ speaking on the day to day fights and how neither person can seem to get back to a happy place in the relationship. ‘Why Can’t I Call You?’ is the initial spark of infatuation and obsession with someone before you know them. ‘When You Wake Up’ talks of the blissed out honeymoon stage where everything is working and nothing could go wrong. ‘Suit Uptight!’ represents the mounting frustrations and resentments building tension from unmet needs. And finally our closing track ‘Carousel’ is the end and the bittersweet reflection of a cherished relationship that can no longer return.”
Each member, Malcolm McLaren, Hannah Kruse, Sean Ries, and Nick Sciarretta, brings distinct influences and experiences: a stage actor whose playlists go from Talking Heads to Sonic Youth to Björk, a hook-obsessed recovering choir girl, an electrical engineer whose personal idol is John Bonham, and a guitarist who played for (and left) 10 other bands before deciding this was the one for him.
Track-by-Track: The Pineapple Thief’s Bruce Soord Cuts Through ‘It Leads To This’
The Pineapple Thief frontman Bruce Soord breaks down each track on the progressive rock band’s new record ‘It Leads To This.’
It’s been a bit of a renaissance period for The Pineapple Thief over the last few years. This revitalization has resulted in the brand-new album It Leads To This. Released on February 9th via Kscope Records, the eight new songs comprise more of frontman Bruce Soord’s observations and deductions about life and the world around him. The initial concept for the record came together rather quickly, but the actual lyrical and musical components took time. Finalizing these songs required much work and collaboration between Soord and his three bandmates. Each member had a conception of what was satisfactory regarding the songs. Coming to that common ground took time, but in the end, each member was extremely pleased with the final product.
The release of It Leads To This coincides with the 25th anniversary since The Pineapple Thief formed. In that time, they have released over 20 full-length albums and EPs. It Leads To This proved to be one of the most intense writing periods ever for the band. They worked on these new tracks for almost three years. Each band member pushed each other to go above and beyond what they felt capable of. It was extremely fruitful from an artistic perspective, but personally, it did pose challenges for the band members.
Joining us today for an exclusive track-by-track rundown of It Leads To This is Bruce Soord himself. He takes us through each song on the record, their inspirations, motivations, and how they came together.
1. “Put It Right”
Bruce Soord: “This was the first song we wrote for the album, right in the depths of the pandemic. I remember standing outside my studio, which is in the garden of my home, when we were in full lockdown. I looked at the blue sky, not a vapour trail to be seen. Even the hum of my small town was gone. As a songwriter, you’re obviously going to take that in and use it. I started to ponder the fragile state of the world. I mean, how can the world be brought to its knees overnight? Which then led to thoughts about the past, essentially a re-evaluation. Are we all to blame? Was I to blame?”
“As soon as the lockdown was lifted, I remember talking to (drummer) Gavin (Harrison), and he had the idea to write some songs in the same room. I know, radical, right? So I got in the car and drove to his house. Honestly, in the history of The Pineapple Thief, I had never written in this way. Songs were built up in our various studios over weeks and months.. But we were up for trying something new. It could have been a very long disaster – a 6 day jam in E. But to my surprise, we wrote four songs in this way. The first one being Rubicon.
“The verses are in a ‘5/4 shuffle’ which is quite unique (see Gavin’s drum playthrough on the Vic Firth YouTube channel). The song is actually about Julius Caesar crossing the Rubicon, destroying the Roman republic for his own selfish ambitions. History repeating itself indeed…”
3. “It Leads To This”
“Following on from the theme of ‘Put It Right,’ this is essentially a positive song about focusing on the right things in life. What are going to be your biggest regrets on your deathbed? It’s obvious but also easy to miss. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard, I wish I had spent more time with my family and friends. It’s a love song really. ‘For all this time, I didn’t notice you…’”
4. “The Frost”
“I came up with the riff on my 6-string baritone guitar, so it has a low, edgy feel which I really love. This was a song that came together really quickly between the four of us (plus some great contributions from our touring guitarist Beren Matthews on guitars and backing vocals who played throughout the record). It’s about spending your life with a soulmate, through thick and thin, no matter how bad things get.”
5. “All That’s Left”
“Thematically, this continues the theme from ‘It Leads to This’ and, for me, is dominated by the riff and the middle section, which I love playing live. Again, it’s low in register, written using my baritone, massive drums.”
6. “Now It’s Yours”
“Written during the sessions with Gavin, this song goes on a bit of a journey. Soft, atmospheric, big riffs, a guitar solo… Lyrically, looking at the world as an older guy with a family about to be let loose into the world. What the hell are they going to inherit? Well, now it’s yours…”
7. “Every Trace Of Us”
“Again written during the Gavin sessions, I remember Gavin had the intro riff written on his Wurli keyboard he has in his studio. I took it, added some more chords in the progression and the song snowballed from there. Lyrically this is about the pressure of modern life, expectation, pressure, and the mental repercussions of it all. Modern life can tear every trace of us apart.”
8. “To Forget”
“I had this finger-picked acoustic guitar part, which the band liked, so I developed the first part of the song and came up with the words pretty quickly. Us humans, especially as we grow older, have to come to terms with loss and, in a lot of cases, tragedy. Touching on the debate as to whether life is a gift or a curse (I am firmly in the ‘gift’ camp). However, living with tragedy isn’t easy. Remembering isn’t easy, to forget is impossible.”
Lovin’ Life Music Fest Drops First Year Lineup
Lovin’ Life Music Fest dropped their official lineup this week, and it is exceptional. The festival’s will occur on May 3-5th, 2024, in North Carolina.
Lovin’ Life Music Fest dropped their official lineup this week, and it is exceptional. The festival’s first-ever installment will occur on May 3-5th, 2024, in Uptown Charlotte, North Carolina. The star-studded lineup includes headline sets from Post Malone, Noah Kahan, and Stevie Nicks. From headliners alone, we can tell this festival has something for everyone.
The festival will showcase many popular acts spanning various genres and generations. Supporting acts include Maggie Rogers, Dominic Fike, The Fray, The Chainsmokers, Quinn XCII, Mt. Joy, Young the Giant, and NC’s DaBaby and The Avett Brothers. There will also be a local stage to highlight Charlotte’s own artists throughout the weekend. This is one of the most stacked lineups we’ve seen for the 2024 festival season.
Tickets to Lovin’ Life are on sale now! Grab them while you can; this is sure to be an epic weekend!
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