Concert Review: Fuel
Brick By Brick
July 31, 2014
One of the last live music venues to remain open in the Bay Park district of San Diego is Brick by Brick. That wasn’t always the case, however. The venue has just been remodeled after it was bleeding cash due to its suspended liquor license. The venue was supposed to reopen after Memorial Day under the ownership of the members from As I Lay Dying and the management of talent buyer, Alice Stinnett. This plan didn’t go through, and the venue kept its doors closed for a few more weeks. Now that it has reopened after so many setbacks, it looks as if management is looking to bring back the glory days of the venue when it used to host good bands. They did so by booking the late 90’s rock band, Fuel. Although the venue was at most at 50% capacity, the folks in attendance, mostly middle-aged fans, were eager and ready to relive their youth by seeing one of their favorite bands take the stage.
The interesting thing to note about Fuel is that the only remaining original member is the singer. The remainder of the band wasn’t part of the original lineup. But this wasn’t really a bad thing, since the original members gave Brett Scallions their blessing with his plans to continue the band’s legacy without them. When Fuel finally took the stage, the crowd went absolutely nuts by gathering as close to the stage as possible. One fan was so excited that he went on stage to take a selfie with Scallions. The singer’s response was friendly though; allowing the fan to take the picture with him and then having security escort the fan back to the floor. Fuel started their set with “Cold Summer,” from their newest album, Puppet Strings. This was probably the first time that a lot of the fans heard the new material live, but they all seemed to enjoy it. Some fans even already knew the lyrics to the song, so they sang along. They followed that up with “Yeah,” which is also from the new album. The band claimed to get their influence for this new album from a variety of genres, including blues. Another important influence that Scallions mentioned went into the album was his personal experiences with family, which can be a great source for inspiration. Fans that were not too familiar with the new material weren’t disappointed, however. The band launched into one of their hit singles, “Shimmer,” from their debut album, Sunburn. This was a song that everyone was waiting to hear, as the venue roared with excitement and everyone sang along to this famous track. Although the years have passed, it didn’t really seem to reflect on Scallions’ vocal capabilities. His voice is still at its peak, and the crowd had no trouble figuring that out. After nearly ninety minutes of rocking the stage, which boasts new lights, the band decided to give their fans the song that they all had been waiting to hear for years, “Hemorrhage (In My Hands)” from the album, Something Like Human. The crowd exploded with excitement as they sang along to the entirety of the song. Scallions seemed impressed, so he let the crowd take over the vocals for the pre-chorus. The crowd could now hear themselves singing this song, and it was just great, as everyone was surprisingly in tune, loud, and expressively passionate in their efforts to be a part of this band’s history if at least for that song.
Fuel has the potential to make a comeback now that their original singer is at the forefront of the band. As for Brick by Brick, it seems like they could use some help promoting the great bands the are booking, because a band like Fuel should have no problem selling out a small venue like Brick by Brick.