Three Days Grace and Shinedown rolled into frigid Madison, Wisc. on Feb. 2, 2013 for a co-headline gig that also featured P.O.D. The show was just the second night of the tour, which runs through the end of March while meandering across the Eastern U.S.
Vocalist Matt Walst (My Darkest Days) has replaced original Three Days Grace frontman Adam Gontier for the tour. Gontier walked away from the band just over a month ago due to "non life threatening health concerns." The move was a shock to the band and Walst's stepping in as a replacement has been, thus far, termed as a temporary solution.
A "Welcome to Fabulous Las Venus" sign, a replica of the famous Vegas sign that greets visitors to the Strip, was illuminated as Three Days Grace approached the stage and "Wisconsin" had been spray painted over "Nevada." Opening with "Chalk Outline" from their most recent "Transit of Venus," they hit the stage with intensity as a burst of flames erupted from four steel oil drums that rested in front of the drum riser.
Bassist Brad Walst, Matt's brother, and guitarist Barry Stock looked possessed as they roamed the stage, obviously ready to rock Madison. Matt's voice is a full octave higher than Gontier's and suffered from pitch issues at times. However, his strong stage presence and eagerness to take control quickly won over the crowd, who were into the show from the start. Matt sounded at his best when he wasn't trying to push into Gontier's vocal range and instead settled within his zone.
The next 75-minutes saw Three Days Grace roll through a myriad of hits that included "Break," "The Good Life," "A World So Cold" and "Lost in You." Matt belted, "Sometimes people try to drag your name though the mud, I'd like to thank you for sticking by Three Days Grace. We choose to take the high road," leading into "The High Road."
Neil Sanderson performed a lengthy and entertaining drum solo midway through the set. Starting with soft sticks with keyboard accompaniment, he quickened the pace alone on the kit after switching to standard sticks. He mixed in several different sequences coupled with a few rounds of well-timed pyro.
Stock paused to address the fans toward the end of their set, "We'd really like to thank this guy. He's family, he's a friend and he's been kicking your ass on vocals. Please give it up for Matt Walst." The crowd responded with a loud ovation and they closed with their popular live anthem, "Riot."
P.O.D. landed on this tour fresh off their stint supporting 3 Doors Down [review] and Daughtry [review] late last year. They gave a solid performance despite lackluster fan support; and many were still trickling into the venue. Opening with "Lost in Forever" and "Boom" got a number of fans into the moment. Always a class act, P.O.D. still gave it their all and pounded out a tight 35-minute set.
Three Days Grace setlist:
Just Like You
The High Road
Get Out Alive
The Good Life
Misery Loves My Company
World So Cold
I Hate Everything About You
Animal I Have Become
Never Too Late
Break Stuff (Limp Bizkit cover)