Medicine Hat Media

Three Days Grace, The Used, & Default Review

On Saturday, November 28, Taylor and I went to the Three Days Grace show opened by The Used and Default at The Medicine Hat Arena. Overall it was a good show and one of the few non-punk rock shows I have been to.

Default is a fairly good band, and it being the first time I have heard them since about 2003, I enjoyed their performance except for the fact that the lead guitarist, Jeremy Hora, looked very apathetic. It looked like he could care less that he was in front of a thousand people. Luckily Default’s bass player, Dave Benedict, who bore a striking resemblance to Liam Neeson, used his Qui-Gon Jin Force powers to get the crowd pumped for the upcoming acts.

The Used probably had the best stage presence of the 3 bands in terms of engaging the audience, but that fact was dampened by the lackluster lead singer, Bert McCracken, who kept calling everyone in the crowd a “little bitch” and saying he was going to “F— everyone in the crowd.” I looked around at the crowd and realized the show was All Ages, so I imagine the very young impressionable minds ate it up and the older crowd must have thought “What kind of a show is this?” In addition, although the music itself sounded good, it was nearly impossible to hear Bert McCracken’s voice over the roar of the instruments.

Three Days Grace, who I have not listened to since their first CD, put on a great performance. I found myself pretty stoked to see them, especially their drummer, Neil Sanderson. Being a drummer myself, I usually fixate on the drums during any band performance. I found Neil Sanderson’s technique quite interesting if for no other reason than he most often keeps time with his left hand on a right handed kit.Something that I have never seen before at a show, was the pyrotechnics. The show had about 8 torches that lit up during key parts of the performance. The enjoyable side effect was that it instantly warmed the very cold arena. The negative side effect was that after their performance, I noticed the sheets of insulation on the roof above the torches begin to fray and peel.

My interest in Three Days Grace slightly diminished when Neil Sanderson performed a long drum solo on a rotating stage. I am not a fan of self-indulgent solos, especially when the rest of the band leaves the stage (also the main reason I did not entirely enjoy The Trews concert). However, it did serve a purpose. While the solo was happening the lead singer, Adam Gontier, ran to the sound booth unnoticed while the rest of the band went back to the stage to continue the show. After singing behind the sound booth for a few verses, Adam jumped down and returned to the stage.

It is kind of weird that I am a drummer that dislike solos. I had a sneaking suspicion that upon seeing his drum kit set up on a platform higher than the stage that it would rotate. I have seen this before on the DVD Anatomy of a Drum Solo featuring Neil Peart of Rush. The “spinning drum set” trick¬† probably stems from Buddy Rich’s floating drum set.

Apart from all of that, all three bands changed guitars almost every second song, which is something I do not see often in Punk Rock.  This observation has provoked me to jokingly claim that I will switch my drum set every other song when I play a show.

All in all the show was a good one, despite Bert McCracken’s insulting and inappropriate comments.

Neil Peart – Anatomy of a Drum Solo:

Buddy Rich – Floating Drum Set:

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