Concert Review: Islander/Three Days Grace

Taken from band's facebook

Taken from band’s facebook

Juan Barragan

Islander / Three Days Grace

House of Blues San Diego

April 10, 2015


House of Blues San Diego had another sold out show this past weekend. This time, it was expected, since the band that would headline the venue had not played this market in years. Fans outside the venue without tickets had to wait in hopes of finding a scalper willing to sell a ticket for a reasonable price. Nevertheless, those who showed up early for the opening band were in for a treat.

The band Islander, hailing from Greenville, South Carolina, opened up the show to an already packed venue at around 8PM. The band’s second song was a heavy tune called “Counteract.” The sound of this band can be described as rap-rock at times, similar in style to the local band, Payable On Death, more commonly known as POD. Interestingly enough, the vocalist of the band, Mikey Carvajal, was sporting a shirt by “The Whosoevers,” which is a group that POD is very closely connected to. For more information on The Whosoevers, read the exclusive interview with Mikey Carvajal. A strikingly great song was delivered shortly thereafter, titled “Cold Speak,” featuring a fast chugging of the guitar, courtesy of J.R. At the very end of the song, Eric Frazier did some fills on the drums that truly showcased his ability to shred. For most people, this was the first time seeing this Nu-Metal band. Slowly but surely, however, the band was able to slowly get the crowd to get into their set. Although there was no moshing, hands were in the air and judging by the cheers of the crowd in between songs, Islander was able to gain a plethora of new fans. The band closed out strongly with the song “Pains”, leaving the fans ready for more.

Not too long after Islander left the stage, the lights dimmed and Three Days Grace came out on stage after an introduction about machines. Surely enough, the band started their set with, “I Am Machine,” from their newest album, Human. An interesting distinction to make with this set is that this was the first show in San Diego that Three Days Grace did with their replacement vocalist, Matt Walst. Walst’s voice has been in other bands, such as My Darkest Days. The first song that the crowd went wild for was for an older song titled, “Pain,” from the album One-X. Any songs that were played from the first two albums were sung by the crowd at the top of their lungs, showing the band that San Diego had been waiting for years to sing these songs live. A song that was as well received as the older songs was, “Break,” which turned out to be a fan favorite. When the band played, “Human Race,” from the new album, it was clear that the band has evolved musically quite substantially. The song itself is a slow-ballad with guitar solos, but the verses feature a sort of quasi-rap style to it that would make the song appeal to new segments of the music world. Probably the loudest and most enjoyable song played by Three Days Grace that night was “Home,” due to its easy to remember chorus and it’s touching lyrical content that so many of the crowd members resonated with when they were in their early teenage years. The band ended their set with “Riot,” and after that, folks were pretty content with the show they had witnessed. Judging by the age of the concertgoers, it seemed clear that this show was more of a nostalgic trip to the past more than anything. Luckily, it was a good trip for everyone involved.

Although the show only featured two bands and ended a bit early at around 10:45PM, no one seemed to complain or mind at all. If anything, folks could then go on to another show for the night and continue the party at another venue.