Three Days Grace / Bad Wolves Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     October 22, 2018    
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Three Days Grace / Bad Wolves - The O2 Ritz, Manchester (UK) - 09 October 2018

Due to extensive roadworks in and around Manchester city centre I was late for the Bad Wolves support set but arrived just in time to catch the last song. Their cover of the Cranberries 'Zombie' was very popular several months ago, and as a result, the profile of the five-piece rose considerably. If I'm honest, I prefer the Breed 77 take, although I seemed to be in a minority inside the packed Ritz as lighters, mobile phones and voices were all raised to join in with the song. It was noticeable that the crowd thinned slightly before Three Days Grace took to the stage, but as the temperature in the room was a million degrees to begin with, there were no complaints from me as I ventured forward to take my place in the photo pit for the first three songs.

Bon Jovi's 'Livin' On A Prayer' encouraged great audience participation before Three Days Grace made their way on to the stage and began the show with 'The Mountain', a new song from the recent 'Outsider' album. That release was something of a mixed bag for me and the band's identity seems to have been changing in recent years, due I'm sure to the influences of former My Darkest Days vocalist Matt Walst who joined a few years back following the departure of Adam Gontier.

Three Days Grace Live 3

Though he did share some writing credits on the earlier albums, the sound has taken on a slightly more Pop edge, even though in the live environment it retains some of the aggression associated with the first four Gontier-fronted albums. The set was a nice mix of older and more recent songs and it was good to see Walst embrace the band's past by singing favourites with as much passion as the songs from 2015's 'Human' and this year's 'Outsider'.

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'Home', 'The Good Life' and 'Pain' were greeted like long-lost friends and 'Infra-Red' (also from 'Outsider') made me re-assess my original opinion of this year's release. I could have done without the Phantogram 'You Don't Get Me High Anymore' cover, as I don't think the song is particularly good, but the acoustic versions of 'Love Me Or Leave Me' and 'Get Out Alive' were a welcome addition to the set and highlighted the band's versatility. I was surprised we only got 'Painkiller' from the 'Human' album as some of its songs went down really well the last time they toured the UK in the early part of 2016.

Three Days Grace Live 2

Drummer Neil Sanderson and bass player Brad Walst (Matt's brother) were a rock-solid rhythm section, but I would have preferred guitarist Barry Stock to have been slightly higher in the mix. Into the home stretch and there was no doubt about which songs would be included. 'I Hate Everything About You' and 'Animal I Have Become' were anthemic in their delivery, and the classy ballad 'Never Too Late' even brought a tear to the eye (though it might have actually been sweat running down my brow). 'Riot' closed proceedings in raucous fashion and then it was a relief to get back out into the fresh air, away from the heat and pungent aromas.

Three Days Grace Live 1

Three Days Grace were very good tonight and though they don't seem to carry the weight of some other high profile American Modern/Alternative Rock bands, the songs they have in their arsenal are (in the main) high quality and memorable, and that means an awful lot.

Review and photos by Dave Bott

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