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On left, guitarist Barry Stock, seen here with lead singer, Matt Walst…taking in the crowd’s energy, which he would give back in spades. Photo: Terry Steeves/Apt613.

Bluesfest Concert Review: An evening of supreme rock by Three Days Grace

By Terry Steeves on July 16, 2018

The final day of Bluesfest 2018 brought another evening of supreme rock to the main stage. As the sun set low on the horizon, fans gathered to see one of the greatest Canadian rock bands to come out of the cusp of the millennium, Three Days Grace, who are busy hopping the globe touring their new album, Outsider. Four musicians boarded the stage one by one, while the crowd began to chant the band’s name.

Lead singer/frontman for Three Days Grace, Matt Walst. Photo: Terry Steeves/Apt613.

The band came out of the gate with powerful new single, “The Mountain”, which resounded in its positive message of perseverance, and instantly drew an intense wave of crowd reaction. The band is known for their dark yet melodic style, bold sweeping rhythms, anthemic chorus hooks, and heavy power chord riffs that often match the mighty rhythm section, made up of bassist Brad Walst and Neil Sanderson on drums. Intwined with lyrics reflecting life and societal challenges, the music offers a potent cocktail that has drawn them devoted fans worldwide.

A similar description could be said with hit single “Break”, that dropped into a cool half-time segment which featured a ripping solo by guitarist Barry Stock. Lead vocalist and frontman Matt Walst’s textured vocals of clean vs. gritty shone, as he constantly worked the stage with his eyes locked on the crowd, and a give-and-take connection that was electric.

“Let’s party tonight!“ he yelled before diving into the widely popular, “Pain”, that shook with thunderous head-banging intensity. The fist pumping continued with “A World So Cold”, and some great vocal sustains by Matt, who also sang into a secondary grill mic hooked up to radio edit effects.

Three Days Grace from left to right: Barry Stock (guitar); Neil Sanderson (drums); Matt Walst (lead vocals); and Brad Walst (bass). Photo: Terry Steeves/Apt613.

Video images on the backdrop, combined with audio effects, added dramatic dimension to the start of every song. Matt also shared many of the song’s meanings, as with newest single “Infra-Red”: “This song is about finding those people in your life that you communicate on a different level with”, then, “Let me see ya jump!” to which everyone complied. I became immediately hooked to the music’s heavy flowing rhythm and infectious chorus which wound its way through to a final primal scream.

Later in the show, the crowd was led in some call-and-answer on the band’s debut hit single, “I Hate Everything About You”, another fan favourite that catapulted the band to stardom some 15 years ago. “You want one more? This is your last chance to sing!”, bellowed Matt and led them in a chant of the final song‘s title, “Riot” before the band plunged in. Collective voices rang out, while the mosh pit ensued, fuelled by the song’s galloping beat and chant-inducing chorus.

The night reminded me of the same charged-up energy we experienced during the Foo Fighters show just five days ago on this very field. Hats off to this great Canadian rock band, whose success continues to grow.

Apartment613 photographers shot every night of Bluesfest 2018. See their gig photos here