Words and Photos:
As the vibrant and diverse Nashville crowd gathered at the iconic Municipal Auditorium on a crisp October evening, they knew they were in for a rock spectacle of epic proportions. Three Days Grace, Chevelle, and Loathe took the stage in a triumphant triple bill, delivering a night that will be etched in the memories of all who attended.
Opening the night with an electrifying performance was Loathe, a British metalcore band known for their dynamic and boundary-pushing sound. The moment the lights dimmed, and the hauntingly atmospheric intro filled the arena, fans felt the anticipation rise to a fever pitch. The stage was shrouded in darkness, except for the dimly lit silhouettes of the band members. The audience was chanting the lyrics with hands in the air. As the first thunderous note echoed, the explosion of energy was undeniable.
Loathe’s setlist was a rollercoaster of emotions and technical brilliance. Songs like “Is It Really You?” and “New Faces in the Dark” showcased their ability to seamlessly blend brutal, down-tuned riffs with haunting melodies. Kadeem France’s guttural vocals were hauntingly beautiful, contrasting with his charismatic stage presence. The dual guitar work of Erik Bickerstaffe and Sean Radcliffe was mesmerizing, and the rhythm section, consisting of Feisal El-Khazragi on bass and Sean Kelly on drums, was a thunderous force that rattled the auditorium.
What was most striking about Loathe’s performance was their ability to create an immersive experience. The shifting lighting, the stark visuals, and the ethereal soundscape transported the audience to a dark, mesmerizing realm. This was especially evident during “Two-Way Mirror,” where the combination of eerie visuals and emotional lyrics left many in the crowd spellbound. Their spellbinding performance was a testament to their artistry and their unique approach to metalcore, and they left the stage to a resounding applause.
Next up was Chevelle, the Chicago-based alt-metal stalwarts. The moment they hit the stage, the hall reverberated with their iconic, bone-rattling sound. Chevelle wasted no time in making the night unforgettable.
Pete Loeffler’s hauntingly rich voice, paired with his brother Sam Loeffler’s thunderous drumming, set the tone for an intense and visceral performance. Dean Bernardini’s pulsating bass lines added depth to the already heavy sound. The stage was adorned with striking visuals, a chaotic blend of lights, shadows, and mesmerizing graphics that perfectly complemented their sonic assault. Chevelle’s setlist spanned their illustrious career, from early hits like “Send the Pain Below” to newer tracks like “Self Destructor” from their album “NIRATIAS.” The crowd sang along with fervor, creating a powerful sense of unity. The highlight of their set was “Hats Off to the Bull,” a song that was delivered with an energy that had the entire arena bouncing to the rhythm.
The band’s interaction with the crowd was both genuine and appreciative. Pete Loeffler thanked the fans for their unwavering support and expressed their love for Nashville. This connection with the audience made the performance all the more special, as it was clear that Chevelle was not just here to play a show but to make a lasting memory. As Chevelle’s set came to a close with its iconic “Family System,” the audience erupted in cheers and applause. The band left the stage for a standing ovation, and it was evident that they had succeeded in revving up the crowd for the main event.
The anticipation for Three Days Grace was at its peak as the stage was prepared for the headlining act. As the lights dimmed and the intro music began, the cheers and screams of the Nashville audience reached a crescendo. The Canadian rockers took the stage amidst a spectacular display of lights and visuals making their intro like true rockstars.
Lead vocalist Matt Walst, who has seamlessly integrated into the band since joining in 2013, was a powerhouse of energy. His passionate and gravelly voice resonated throughout the hall, instantly connecting with the fans. Guitarist Barry Stock, bassist Brad Walst, and drummer Neil Sanderson provided the sonic foundation, delivering each song with precision and power. The band’s setlist was a well-crafted blend of their extensive catalog. Hits like “I Am Machine,” “Pain,” “Riot,” and “Animal I Have Become” had the entire venue singing along at the top of their lungs. The emotional high point came during “Never Too Late,” a song with a message of hope and redemption that resonated deeply with the audience.
Three Days Grace’s stage presence was dynamic and captivating. The visuals, including a massive video wall and intense lighting effects, complemented the music beautifully, creating an immersive experience for the fans. The band’s interaction with the crowd was genuine, and Matt Walst frequently engaged the audience, expressing their gratitude for the fans’ unwavering support. The band also performed some of their new material from their latest album, “Explosions.” The title track “Explosions” and “So Called Life” were well-received, indicating that Three Days Grace’s music continues to resonate with both longtime fans and newcomers.
As the night drew to a close, Three Days Grace unleashed a torrent of energy with their encore performance. “Chalk Outline” and “I Hate Everything About You” left the crowd in a state of euphoria. The night concluded with the emotional and anthemic “The Good Life,” leaving the audience on a high note.
In the end, this triumphant night of rock in Nashville was a testament to the enduring power of rock music and its ability to connect with fans on a profound level. Loathe, Chevelle, and Three Days Grace each brought their unique styles to the stage, creating a diverse and unforgettable musical experience. Nashville was treated to an evening of intense, emotional, and captivating performances that will surely be remembered for years to come.