Three Days Grace
July 15, 2015
Limelight Eventplex, Peoria Illinois
Three Days Grace would be the headliner for the evening and all I can say is Wow. When I broke the news to that I would be covering Three Days Grace alot of my rock music friends kept telling me that Three Days Grace isn’t the same without ex-lead vocalist Adam Grontier. To those friends that will read this review and those of you out there with that same train of thought let me say, you’re wrong, dead wrong to be exact. For those of you that are unaware Grontier was replaced by My Darkest Days frontman Matt Walst back in 2013. Matt Walst reminds me alot of Papa Roach’s frontman Jacoby Shaddix. He was high energy for the entire show, running back and forth across the stage constantly playing to the crowd. He even left the stage at one point and finished a song on top of one of the two bars inside the Limelight. His vocals were crisp and clear and I could make out every word whether I was up front in the photo pit or in the back where I would watch from after getting my pictures. In fact the sound the entire show was on point. Sometimes you will go to a concert and see a band that doesn’t meet your expectations but that wasn’t the case with Three Days Grace. I felt like I was standing there listening to one of their albums, that’s how great they sounded. Brad Walst was joined on stage by his brother and bassist Brad Walst, Barry Stock on lead guitar, and Neil Sanderson on Drums. Their setlist would be 16 songs long covering all of Three Days Grace’s hits, as well as one of the best drum solos I’ve seen since Joey Jordison of Slipknot. The crowd would roar for the entire solo which also included a drum and piano interlude at the beginning. The keyboard for the interlude would be played by touring member Dani Rosenoer. The night would start with the song I Am Machine and would include other songs such as Chalk Outline, So What, Break, I Hate Everything About You, and would conclude with their smash hit Riot. From beginning to end Three Days Grace was sensational. Everything from the setlist, to the sound and all the way down to the lighting was exceptional. If you have a chance to see Three Days Grace on this or any other tour I highly suggest in doing so. You won’t leave disappointed.
Is your job to promote them or to provide an honest review? I found this article when I was Googling Matt Walst and Jacoby Shaddix (from the 10.2.15 show at Hard Rock Live Orlando), because I was sure someone else had to identify the fact that Walst copied everything Jacoby does at a Papa Roach show.
I’ve seen Papa Roach in at least NY, IL, PA, CA, TN, OH, and I will not see Three Days Grace again, until they have a new lead singer. I was absolutely DISGUSTED by Matt Walst’s performance and *pray* that every single person that sees him perform gets to see a Papa Roach show so they can see Jacoby Shaddix perform. Papa Roach celebrated 20 years in 2013, making the band 22 years old now. I’ve seen them since at least 2008. Walst can be a fan, a groupie, or an understudy, but it sickens me to think that people will attribute the performance to him, when it was a disgustingly obvious copy of Jacoby’s SOP. Although he was able to copy the signature style, it is clear he doesn’t have heart, which Papa Roach has never had a shortage of. (Papa Roach is amazing…)
At first, I thought I was overreacting. (Ok, given that I have no real stake in Papa Roach, I still am. I literally have my passport mainly so that I can go see Papa Roach on a different continent.) Performers are going to be limited by the stage and different factors, but I’ve gone to enough Papa Roach shows and enough other shows to know the difference. “He even left the stage at one point and finished a song on top of one of the two bars inside the Limelight.” That’s cool. I’ve seen Jacoby Shaddix come out into bleacher creature seats. I’ve seen him get beer spilled on him when a chick was trying to dance up on him while he was moving through a concert pit while singing. I’ve seen him jump off of the stage at the Nikon Theater at Jones Beach into the water and get fished out. Walst even led the audience into a “Three Days Grace” chant. Although fans may be inclined to chant the band name on their own, Jacoby has led a “Pa-Pa Roach” chant at some point at every show that I’ve been to. Wait, I guess Walst may get originality points there. He did it briefly mid-set, whereas I think Papa Roach does it at the end. I guess I should also be thankful that Walst doesn’t attempt to sound like Jacoby.
Initially, I was ready to feel bad for Walst. Given that people know the name “Adam Gontier,” it was easy to see that he’d have to prove himself. He failed miserably. I would have rather had the live band with a recorded vocal track for the songs released with Adam’s vocals. For songs since Walst has joined the band, there is far less troublesome discrepancy, although I don’t feel he’s the right fit for the band. Did you ever see Three Days Grace perform with Gontier? (You spelled his name wrong in your review, btw. There’s also a typo where you put Brad’s name instead of Matt’s.) Did you ever spend time really listening to their music? Having listened to their CDs, I think it is impossible to not hear Adam’s voice singing them and hearing Matt sing them left me feeling like I was listening to a cover band. The band (the instruments) were on point, though. I think I would have been less disappointed had they performed without a lead singer.
Seriously, Matt Walst needs to get his own style. Jacoby is amazing. But copying him doesn’t make Walst amazing. It makes him a jacka$$. Although he has left a bad taste in my mouth, I am not saying that Walst is devoid of talent. I actually like his voice. However, I think he needs his own band, his own songs, and his own style. It is likely that I have seen him perform with My Darkest Days at a rock festival, but I do not recall. Wikipedia tells me that MDD even toured with Papa Roach. I wondered if Walst’s performance style was the same back then, although I doubt it. Looking at old YouTube videos, it’s hard to get a real idea. There are some elements of the style – like the posturing on the speaker and the hand movements – in some of the live recordings from 2010. Now, though, Walst incorporates far more elements of Jacoby’s style. The overall look is a part of it, but after looking for images of both, it’s a relatively small part. Appearance-wise, it seems Walst has changed both his hair style and color over the years, but his look reminded me more of Good Charlotte than Jacoby Shaddix.
The fact that the look isn’t what the parallel hinges on bothers me even more. It makes me more confident that Walst has stolen elements of Jacoby’s style, because despite all of the concerts I have been to, I have never been so appalled by a performance. Granted, other performers may copy from other performers without me noticing, but I have never seen a performer so closely copy Jacoby Shaddix.
On the bright side, my disgust led me to look into what happened to Adam, and I found out he started a new band named Saint Asonia. They are currently on tour with Seether – another amazing band.
Saint Asonia is amazing. Adam Gontier is incomparable. I do not like replacement singers at all. I can think of only one that is a decent replacement, William Duvall of Alice In Chains. I’ve seen a ton of replacement singers lately and really do not like any of them. I am a purist. ~Suzie