Photo and Review By Jimmy Abgarian
With only about 500 tickets sold Canadian Rockers Three Days Grace seemed to be on the losing end of a successful Philadelphia return. There were a few things working against the band in their defense. Firstly it was Yom Kippur, The holiest of Jewish holidays. And secondly the preparation for the Papal visit had the city pretty much on lockdown with Center City looking like a ghost town until Saturday’s arrival. With that being said the band performed as if it were a sold out show.
Finger Eleven opened the show and I was shocked at how much different they were from previous appearances here. Their 10-song set featured their 2 hit songs “Paralyzer” and “One thing“.
As well as a cover of “Another Brick in the Wall” thrown in the middle of “Paralyzer”. Finger Eleven is one of those bands that have all the tools to make it to the next level. The only problem is a lot of people have seemed to have forgotten or have never heard of them. It’s sad because they are entertaining and sound great. The highlight of the band is Guitarist James Black. He is non-stop from beginning to end and a blast to watch. After the show Singer Scott Anderson went into the lobby and met with fans and took pictures. I can’t stress enough how important things like this are for fans. He was appreciative and took his time and answered everyone’s questions. They get bonus points for that simple gesture.
Up until the second 3DG took the stage Finger Eleven’s banner hung against the backdrop. I really thought it was a mistake and that someone was going to be working at WAWA the next day. Thankfully it was part of the show and as the band took the stage the banner came down revealing 3DG’s album themed backdrop. Their production was very cool with ego ramps and a full lighting and sound production. It’s evident that they are ready and full prepared to start playing bigger venues. This being their first time in Philly with new singer, Matt Walst, we were all trying to be optimistic. To no one’s surprise Matt handled the vocals exceptionally well in theory. He sang the songs pretty much the way they were recorded and he sounded even better in some spots than original singer, Adam Gontier. What was missing was the pain and feeling that Gontier has. He did however sing the songs great and did more than justice to them. Guitar player, Barry Stock is a phenomenal player who goes all out at every show. The Rhythm section was a tight as ever.
When you change singer/front men, there is always a risk of comparisons, especially when the Former singer was such an integral part of the songs and the way they are written. Matt Walst seems to have studied Coby Shaddix from Papa Roach to a Tee. He performed like a thinner version of Coby, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing it’s just the same thing. It was weird because Matt Walst has been around for a while having previously been the front man of My Darkest Days. I really have nothing negative to say about the show because it was great. They really held nothing back throughout the 13-song set. They played all of their popular songs as well as the new with the same caliber. I can see them touring with either Breaking Benjamin or Shinedown and being hugely successful. If you get a chance to see 3DG, you wont be disappointed.