Three Days Grace

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Heading out to Deep Ellum on a weeknight to visit the new and improved Bomb Factory turned out to be quite the treat. The refurbished facility is stunning!!! It contains 50,000 square feet of space, which is enough to hold up to 4,300 people for a concert. Something new to the music venue scene = 8 really cool VIP suites that are on the second level for optimum sight lines. Since alcohol is a must have, there are five sizeable bars spread throughout the facility. The spectacular amenities continue with one dressing room for the star band and three others for the supporting acts, on-site laundry, a work out facility and state of the art lighting & sound systems. After all of these years attending shows in Dallas, I was actually in awe of a concert hall as soon as I stepped inside.

Moving on to the primary reason we were here, the musical line-up of NeVeRsEt, Aranda, P.O.D. and the headliner Three Days Grace, promised to be an entertaining evening. NeVeRsEt is a Dallas based rap core band that seemed to be fighting microphone problems all night. The lead singer’s voice was barely audible and I found a lot of the songs a bit disjointed at times. There were highlights however – a fairly wicked guitar solo, a new song titled “You Had Me From Goodbye” and Three Days Grace’s guitarist Barry Stock jamming with the guys during one song.

Aranda, a hard rock band from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma was formed fourteen years ago and has been bouncing around under the radar since then. They put together a nice blend of hard rock and rock ballad songs that may not make it to mainstream radio but flourish in littler markets. Interesting side note: they do have one mainstream music fan that loves to cover their songs = Kelly Clarkson. Tonight they graced us with an almost ten song set including their one mainstream hit “Satisfied”. This band brought a lot of energy and many small flashes of brilliance to tonight’s show. The lead singer has a wonderful voice we he really lets go and belts out the lyrics. The addition of a keyboardist was a nice touch and he brought a bunch of wicked sounds to the stage.

P.O.D. (Payable on Death to those not following along) is a “Christian Alternative Metal” band that has been around since the early 90’s. It’s hard to categorize them as such because their music simply rocks and it’s all rock-n-roll to me. They have had a very distinguished career including three Grammy nominations and numerous songs on movie soundtracks. Their ten song set included such radio hits as “Boom”, “Youth of the Nation” and the show ending song “Alive”.  However; the highlight for me was their newest song “Revoluccion” which lead singer Sonny Sandoval introduced as “our punk rock song”. It was indeed… but oh so much more = it started off very punk, slid into a little reggae vibe and then ended with another punk punch to the face.  “Lost in Forever” was a very smooth rocking effort while the aforementioned “Boom” from 2001’s Satellitegot the audience moving when Sandoval jumped off the stage and sang while a few concertgoers held him up for everyone to see. Traa Daniels did an excellent job on the bass, Wuv Bernardo never stopped beating his drums to death and guitarist Marcos Curiel was fantastic throughout the set. If this is a band you have always liked but never saw in concert – do yourself a favor by buying a ticket the next time they are in town.

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Headliner Three Days Grace, from Canada, came out to an incredible stage set with a very high drum riser, multiple ramps to run up & down, and some very wicked lights on stage. They opened with their latest hit “I Am Machine” and the hits just rolled on from there. We were blessed with Barry Stock’s crunching guitars during “Just Like You”, my favorite TDG song “Chalk Outline” and then Stock rocking a double neck guitar (really- who still plays one of those things?) during “Pain” from 2006’s One-X. New singer Mark Walst, formerly of My Darkest Days, was all over the stage and sang like he had being doing all of the songs for years. Knowing that I had an early wake up call precluded me from staying for the whole set but I did get to enjoy a fine synthesizer intro to “Human Race”, Mark having a very twisted conversation with himself during “Home” and drummer Neil Sanderson putting on a great drum solo on “Painkiller”. I’ll have to catch these guys again someday when the roll through Dallas in the future.

A few factors influenced the audience this evening: one being the lack of rock radio station that would actually play a lot of these under the radar bands such as Aranda and NeVeRsEt, the late weeknight gig in which the audience thinned out considerably after P.O.D. and the horrible weather we have had lately. Despite all of those factors, I had a great first taste of the new Bomb Factory & look forward to seeing many more shows here. The massive stage, the awesome upper floor, great sound/light quality throughout and the very cool Edison bulbs in all of the light fixtures should make this a very popular concert hall.

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Photographs taken at The Bomb Factory on April 23rd of 2015 – Three Days Grace

Disclaimer: All photographs are copyright Paul Wilkins Photography and cannot be used/cropped/printed without the consent of the owner.
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