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In my formative years growing up, I mainly listened to what music other people played for me. What ever was on Disney Radio seemed to be my mom’s favorite stuff to play. As I got older and finally started discovering my own music taste, I would trade CDs with my friends. One collection of CDs that was lent to me was Three Days Grace’s albums Three Days Grace, One-X, and Life Starts Now. Listening to these three albums, I could not stop playing them on repeat. Somehow, after all these years, I have only been able to see them live once. This was baffling to me that I would keep missing every time they were in town. When Three Days Grace announced their latest tour with Chevelle and support from Loathe, I promised I would not miss them again. I devoted two hours in traffic to make sure I made it on time to the Hollywood Palladium, as I was not missing any band for this show.

Opening the night was a band called Loathe, who travelled all the way from Liverpool, England just to bring their controlled chaos of music to the people of Los Angeles. I call it controlled chaos as Loathe blends aspects of Metalcore, Nu Metal, Shoegaze, and jazz elements together. Mixing all these aspects into a pot created a unique sound that caught me off guard and blew me away. Playing music this chaotic, you need a front man that can help carry that energy, and that’s what you get in Kadeem France. From scream-singing at the audience, to letting beautiful melodic vocals come through, to breaking out James Brown-esque dance moves, Kadeem captivates the crowd. Erik Bickerstaffe is pulling double duty, bringing out the fuzziest of guitar tones, while lulling the crowd to be at ease with soothing keyboard grooves. Bassist Feisal El-Khazragi and drummer Sean Radcliffe were in perfect harmony crafting low end beats that let the crowd seamlessly switch from bopping in the crowd to raging in the mosh pit. Loathe had the shortest set of the night, but they made it count with songs like “Aggressive Evolution,” “New Faces in the Dark,” “Heavy Is the Head That Falls With the Weight of a Thousand Thoughts,” “Screaming,” “Is It Really You?,” and ending with “Gored.” Loathe should be on more people’s radar as they add so much unique flavor any metal fans playlist.

Up next is a band whose name I have always known, but if you asked me to name a song, I couldn’t to save my life. Yet, as they played their set, I came to realize I knew quite a lot of Chevelle songs. So much so that I was singing along for a few of them. I have friends who always talk very highly about Chevelle, but I never took the time to actively listen to them. Though, I personally feel that made seeing them live even more exciting and fun as I had no idea what to expect going in. Opening their set with the instrumental track “Verruckt,” singer and guitarist Pete Loeffler was wailing on his guitar, keeled over his guitar like a 70s punk rocker lost in the sauce of his own groove. As they moved into “An Island” and Pete started singing, he has a tenor vocal range that sounds like candy to the ears. His older brother Sam Loeffler is the timekeeper of the band, blasting away on the drum kit. Even having his drum set on a riser, Sam could be seen with the biggest smile of the night as he played. You could feel how much joy it brings him to perform for their fans. Throughout the set Pete would make his way around Sam’s drum kit to be able to perform next to and by his brothers side, and always making it back to the mic before his vocals come back in. Chevelle played a set consisting of songs like “Door to Door Cannibals,” “Self Destructor,” “Vitamin R (leading Us),” “Young Wicked,” “Joyride (Omen),” “Face to the Floor,” “The Clincher,” “Forfeit,” “Send the Pain Below,” “Comfortable Liar,” “The Red,” and ending with “Mars Simula” off their latest album NIRATIAS. Even though Chevelle was a pleasant surprise to me, it shows that I really need to listen to my friends more often when they recommend me music.

As we waited with bated breath for our headliners to come on, high school Matt’s excitement continued to grow. Years of singing in the car, screaming my voice out while stuck in traffic to these guys, and we were moments away. As the lights dimmed and a giant LCD wall screen illuminated with the name Three Days Grace, the crowd erupted with excitement. Opening with a new song “So Called Life” off their latest album Explosions, the crowd was already singing along. Proving that Three Days Grace can continue to create music that is beloved by their fans. Lead singer Matt Walst was feeding off the energy of the crowd. Throughout the show he was getting more animated with his stage presence as the crowd gave their all back to him. Hearing Barry Stock play some of the most iconic guitar lines of my formative years, I could sing along with them before the actual lyrics came in, put me into a bliss. Bassist Brad Walst snarled with intense bass face, while drummer Neil Sanderson pounded away on the kit high on his riser. Three Days Grace played songs from their entire discography, showing that the Adan Gontier years were not the bands only hay day. The crowd continued to let the mosh pit rage with songs like “Animal I have Become,” “I Am Machine,” “Home,” “The Good Life,” “Pain,” “The Mountain,” “Painkiller,” “World So Cold,” “Just Like You,” “Break,” “Lifetime,” “I Hate Everything About You,” “Never Too Late,” and bringing out special guest Kyle Konkiel of Bad Wolves for the final song “Riot.” The amount of love and admiration I have for this band could not be contained as I sang my voice ragged with each song.

As the fans walked out of the venue, you could see the sweat dripping from every person as we have all let go of our inhibitions and anxieties to let just let the music flow through us. I could see it on everyone’s face how much these bands music has meant to every one of us. Chevelle and Three Days Grace have both been going through for over two decades, and their music has touched so many of us, helping us through some of the hardest times in our lives. The least we could do is honor the bands by showing up every time they come to town, and I sincerely can not wait for the next time they come back through.

Matt Martinez

Editor - Orange County

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