“You left me here like a chalk outline” – the chorus to the first single off of Three Days Grace latest disc ‘Transit of Venus’ rang out almost prophetic in nature as the band took the stage to ravage a rock-hungry New England crowd on a freezing February evening in Lowell, Mass., on Wednesday (Feb. 20).
Shortly before the co-headlining tour with Shinedown kicked off, former Three Days Grace frontman Adam Gontier unceremoniously up and left the band without much notice, leaving them in a bit of a bind. Luckily, the music genes seem run deep in bassist Brad Walst’s family and he was able to recruit his brother, My Darkest Days frontman Matt Walst, to fill in on the trek. While this left Matt with some large shoes to fill and certainly sky high expectations, he seems to have settled into the role as the (temporary?) Three Days Grace vocalist with ease.
Shinedown were up next, starting off their set with a bit of a surprise. Drummer Barry Kerch walked onto stage solo and took his place behind the kit. As the music for their song ‘Enemies’ engulfed the arena, fans were searching to see where it was coming from. They only had to look back to the mixing board to see a separate smaller stage where vocalist Brent Smith, guitarist Zach Myers and bassist Eric Bass were getting the night started, rocking their hearts out. Halfway through the song, the three darted through the crowd and back to the main stage for a proper introduction to the near capacity venue.
P.O.D. got the night started with a short set that featured hit tunes like ‘Alive’ and ‘Youth of a Nation.’ Before their time was over, frontman Sonny Sandoval jumped off the stage and right into the fray to visit the fans in the front row and sing a song with them.