Updated: Aug 25
The entire venue went into a craze of loud cheers and screams as drummer John Boecklin, of the metal/hard rock supergroup Bad Wolves, hit the stage while the band’s intro track played over the PA inside Bell MTS Place. Shortly following Boecklin were the remaining Bad Wolves members, Tommy Vext, Doc Coyle, Kyle Konkiel, and Chris Cain. They took their places on stage and opened up the night with the number “Learn to Live.” The band went on to play other tracks like “Officer Down,” “Remember When,” and “Hear Me Now” however label mate and solo artist Diamante wasn’t with the group to perform the latter as a duet.
Bad Wolves saw their rise to fame after the release of their cover of The Cranberries’ 1994 hit song, “Zombie” in 2018. The track was released just three days after the untimely death of Dolores O’Riordan, who was set to record vocals for the band’s rendition of the 90’s classic. Back in the summer of 2018, the band donated earnings from the single, $250,000, to O’Riordan’s children. The climax of their performance in Winnipeg came with the performance of “Zombie” with the lights off inside Bell MTS Place and a request of the Winnipeg audience to raise their phone lights and/or lighters in memory of O’Riordan.
Following Bad Wolves, Jonny Hawkins, Mark Vollelunga, Daniel Oliver, and Ben Anderson, members of the alternative rock band, Nothing More, took the Winnipeg crowd on a whirlwind of a performance. Vocalist, Jonny Hawkins, who was once the band’s drummer, began the set standing on a platform filled with drums, percussion, and what appeared to be a keyboard. Unlike anything I’ve ever seen before, this structure was constructed by the band and was built using scrap metal and salvaged auto parts. Weighing in at approximately four hundred pounds, the platform is aptly named “The Scorpion Tail.” Rigged with various instruments, The Scorpion Tail allows Hawkins to create digital electronic sounds and effects during their performances.
Nothing More blistered through their songs, “Do You Really Want It?,” “Let ’em Burn,” and “Don’t Stop.” Already giving a pretty unconventional performance, the band’s bassist, Daniel Oliver, proceeded to put his bass guitar on a weird contraption the band has dubbed the “Bassinator.” Three of the four members of the band began to surround the bass guitar and play it and eventually spin the bass around on the contraption.
Nothing More went on to play many more songs including, “Go To War,” the heart wrenching “Jenny,” and ending their fantastic set with a cover of the Skrillex song, “First of the Year (Equinox)” which had Hawkins’ “Scorpion Tail” raise fourteen feet above the stage as he performed the band’s final song of the night.
It was now time for the Canadian alternative rock band Three Days Grace to rock the Winnipeg crowd. The calm, patient atmosphere changed in an instant as drummer Neil Sanderson was the first to make it out to the stage. He immediately stood high above his drum kit, edging on the crowd to scream, cheer, and get rowdy for them to perform. Momentarily, guitarist Barry Stock was next to brace the stage and made his way to stage right. Bassist, Brad Walst followed and stood stage left, and finally, vocalist/guitarist Matt Walst made his way to center stage.
With all of Three Days Grace now on stage, the band opened up their seventeen song set with “The Mountain,” “Home,” and “The Good Life,” which the band sped through back-to-back-to-back. The band performed plenty of fan favourite material from their now extensive six-album discography such as “Pain,” “Just Like You,” “Painkiller,” “World So Cold,” “I Hate Everything About You,” and “Animal I Have Become.”
Three Days Grace, nearing the end of the set, decided to tone things down a little bit by performing a couple of songs, “Love Me or Leave Me” and “Get Out Alive” acoustically for the Winnipeg fans. Just prior to the acoustic tracks, the band performed their 2016 cover of Phantogram’s hit song, “You Don’t Get Me High Anymore.” The band also performed an encore, which consisted of the band’s songs “Never Too Late” and “Riot,” off their 2006 album, One-X.
All photos by Samuel Stevens Photography.