Three Days Grace, Wage War and Zero 9:36 took over the Hollywood Palladium and started a “Riot”! This was a night of onstage collaborations and a tsunami of crowd-surfers. All shows are fun, but I especially love end-of-tour shows, because of the chaotic energy!
This was the second-to-last show of this tour and all bands were just having a lot of fun!
Zero 9:36 kicked off the night! We met Zero at his San Diego show; he is so gracious and really chill in person, but when he gets onstage, his talent explodes! Towards the end of his set, he said, “If you don’t know these next two songs, then you really have never heard about us before.” The songs in question were “I’m Not” and “Adrenaline” that are constantly played on Sirius XM’s Octane. The first onstage collaboration of the night was Brandon Saller from Atreyu joining Zero for the last song “Break”!
Waiting for Wage War to start, we met a few fans on the rail! Vincent was celebrating his birthday with a big sign saying “It’s my birthday! Can I get a pick?”. Hopefully he got that pick! We also met another mother-daughter team Kenda and Gimi; I always love seeing the different generations loving the same music, just like us (Heather and Kaiya!). Something I’ve never seen before is bartenders on the rail, selling drinks between sets. I thought they were just handing out free shots, so I got all excited and then I realized that you had to pay!
If you follow us, you hear us mention all the time about bands we hear on Octane or Liquid Metal hosted by Metal Ambassador Jose Mangin (who was also at the show!). We like them over the radio, but then to hear the featured bands live is like ‘wow’! We first saw Wage War in Tampa and Orlando in April. They are so amazing live and with each show, I love them more! Cody Quistad seems like the quiet guy over there, just chilling on rhythm guitar, but then he steps up to the mic with beautiful clean vocals. Dirty vocalist Briton Bond asked “how many of you out there, this is your first time seeing Wage War?” and a lot of hands went in the air. They dedicated their next song “Take the Fight” to their driver Dan. They hit some obstacles and if it weren’t for Dan, they wouldn’t be performing tonight. We’re all grateful to Dan! They dedicated “Never Said Goodbye” to anyone that has lost someone, stating, “It’s been a rough couple of years.” Collab #2 was Zero joining them during “Manic”, which so happens to be my favorite Wage War song!
Zero brought such a cool element to the song that just made the whole experience that much better!
The lights went down and house music started playing “Jump Around” by House of Pain. No one can’t not jump around and have a good time to that song! From the shadows we saw Three Days Grace take the stage. Starting off with “So Called Life” off their latest album, Explosions, lead singer Matt Walst said that he joined this band 10 years ago when he came to LA. Everyone welcomed him as the new singer with open arms and he was so thankful for that! He introduced his brother, Brad Walst, who is the bassist and co-founder of Three Days Grace. I think it’s so awesome that they get to share the stage together!
For the third onstage collaboration of the night, they brought back up Briton Bond from Wage War to sing “The Mountain”. About halfway through their set, they slowed it down and played a couple sit-down acoustic songs, “The High Road” and “World So Cold”. It felt like we were hanging out in a garage with 1,000 of our friends, having funny drunk conversations. Drummer Neil Sanderson asked why Matt introduced himself as “Jimmy”; apparently, Party Matt has an alter ego name Jimmy! Neil and Matt (or Jimmy) chugged their drinks as they were “peer pressured” by the crowd yelling “Chug!”. They talked about the alter ego and guitarist Barry Stock’s beard, how to get that kind of beard, and that his beard actually sings the higher octaves of the songs!
After talking for a while, they were all like, “Are we going to start the song now?”
During “Just Like You”, Matt brought out Jonathan Young and asked if anyone else in the crowd could sing and wanted to come up. Lead singer Amanda from We’re No Gentlemen jumped onstage. I’m not sure if it was setup or legit on-the-spot to choose her out of the crowd, but the performance honestly made me so uncomfortable. Matt was on one side and she was trying to sing with him or follow him and so he would go in the opposite direction. It just felt awkward to us. Introducing the song “Never Too Late”, Matt said, “Never give up. If you know someone is going through a hard time, reach out and tell them it’s never too late to turn around. Nothing can defeat hope!” There was a couple in front of me and mid-song, I saw the tears start to flow from the man. I don’t know his story, but it just shows how music touches us on so many levels!
They closed out with “Riot”, creating the biggest circle pit of the night allowing even more crowd-surfers! I’ve been to festivals with a ton of crowd-surfers, but this was the most I’ve seen at a show! There were so many that the people in the air were overlapping each other! It was crazy! I feel so cliché talking about ‘the energy’ all the time, but it IS the energy of the band and the fans together that make a memory last. People won’t remember what you said, but they will remember how you made them feel. We walked from this show on the Explosions Tour with ‘that was fucking amazing!’ feeling! The collabs, the stories, the dedications, THE ENERGY… Amazing! Our recaps are never complete without a Blue Ridge Rock Festival mention, so be sure to catch Zero 9:36 and Wage War at Blue Ridge in just a couple weeks! Follow us for full coverage!
Photography by Heather Vandemark; recap by Kaiya Vandemark