After the successful release of their sixth album Outsider, Three Days Grace, accompanied by LA metal supergroup Bad Wolves, are bringing a tantalising mix of fan favourites and new tunes to stages across the UK. With this being Three Days Grace’s second album with new lead singer Matt Walst and Bad Wolves’ first UK tour to date, SlantedPress went to their Nottingham show on the 2nd of October at Rock City to see how both bands are settling into their current tour.
The atmosphere in Rock City was good from the start, with a wide range of fans coming out to show their support. It wasn’t long before Bad Wolves came storming onto the stage, frontman Tommy Vext heading straight towards the crowd to instantly pick up the energy and divide the crowd in order to open up the first mosh pit of the night. Bad Wolves’ dedication to making sure the show will go on is admirable, as Vext admits to having two asthma attacks that morning of the show but still insisting that the show must go on. His ailments definitely didn’t put a dampener on his performance as he bounced around the stage to ‘Learn to Live’.
Not many Heavy metal bands can bring emotion to a room after moshing mayhem, but Bad Wolves successfully changed the tone with the incredibly personal ‘Remember When’, a song about Tommy Vext’s family before moving into a heart-breaking rendition of ‘Zombie’, their cover of The Cranberries iconic song which got them off the ground (all proceeds from which go to the family of the late Dolores O’Riordan). I’d never expected to find myself crying at a rock gig, but everyone singing along brought their rather short set to a memorable end.
Either the band really wanted to build tension, or everything was slightly behind schedule. After a slightly longer than comfortable wait Three Days Grace eventually walked onto the stage to Bon Jovi’s ‘Living on a Prayer’. Going into the new motivational fan favourite ‘Mountain’, the crowd certainly didn’t seem to mind the wait, especially since singer Matt Walst kept jumping on top of amps and the raised platform that housed the drumkit to allow fans at the back of the venue to catch a glimpse of his iconic emo haircut.
The relationship Three Days Grace has with their fan base was demonstrated when they invited a fan called Connor (who had brought his guitar for them to sign) to play onstage with them for ‘Break’. Their awareness of their audience was also evident in their set list, moving from their biggest tracks from Outsider before going into Classics like ‘The Good Life’, ‘Pain’ and ‘Just Like You’ to satisfy old and new fans alike.
TDG didn’t just choose to play it safe with their standard hits and a constant high energy vibe. The band set the room on fire with a cover of Phantogram’s ‘You Don’t Get Me High Anymore’ before moving into an intimate acoustic set up for ‘Love Me or Leave Me’ and ‘Get Out Alive’.
Despite some complaints of a wobbly keyboard and a dirty microphone, the clarity of the sound in both the usual and acoustic set up was impressive, with the minimal use of flashing multicoloured lights allowing the music to ensnare the audience without distraction.
It wouldn’t be a Three Days Grace gig if they didn’t play some of their best loved hits over the years, and the band certainly did not disappoint. The last section of the set was hit after hit, getting the audience involved in ‘I Hate Everything About You’, before moving into a medley of ‘Animal I have Become’ and ‘The Seven Nation Army’ by The White Stripes.
After a lengthy set that had the crowd growing concerningly wild, not only did Three Days Grace prove that they’re still on top form after six albums (the latest two with Matt Walst at the helm), but that they still hold such a prominent place in the hearts of their fans. Walst’s emotional and caring reminder that ‘sometimes it's hard to find the light in all the darkness. The end is not the answer, there's always a way to turn it around.’ before ‘Never Too Late’ was a touching way to end the show. The untameable energy created in the encore of ‘Riot’ proved that a gig with Three Days Grace creates such a feeling of unification as the band leads you through a rollercoaster of emotion, that it’s definitely never one to miss.
Shortly after the Nottingham gig, singer of Bad Wolves Tommy Vext was taken to Queen’s Medical Centre to receive treatment for a ‘severe bronchial infection’. Subsequent tour dates have featured the guest vocals of Stars from Bang Bang Romeo and Austin Dickinson from As Lions. Tommy has since been discharged from hospital and has re-joined the tour as of the 5th of October. SlantedPress wishes him the best of health for the remainder of their UK and European tour.