Muses by Tom


Project Cinco

Okay so Cinco de Mayo… another reason for everyone to get drunk and rowdy and have a good time. My 5/5 this year, however, was spent at the Project 9-6-1 Cinco de Mayo party–an annual concert held on May 5 by the radio station (96.1). This year’s concert was held at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Alpharetta, and the line-up consisted of Chevelle, Seether, and Three Days Grace.

A local Atlanta band named Kadense won a contest held by the station and got to open up the show.  They hit the stage pretty much right after the doors opened while the venue was still nearly empty. While I am a supporter or underground music and local music, I cannot say I was a fan of Kadense. They sounded kind of like they were trying to revive nü-metal by copying bands like Staind and Disturbed.  If that wasn’t bad enough, I noticed they threw several of Atreyu’s guitar riffs and lyrics into their songs. So much for originality.  Some of the band’s songs were a little catchy, I’ll give them that, but they have a long way to go before they’ll be headlining any shows.

Next up to bat was the only American band on the bill (Kadense excluded), Chevelle. I haven’t seen Chevelle live since they replaced their bass player but there hasn’t been a Chevelle record I haven’t enjoyed and I knew the pace was about to pick up.  The band pretty much split their set evenly between the Wonder What’s Next, Vena Sera, and Sci-Fi Crimes albums. I was surprised they didn’t touch This Type of Thinking Could Do Us In or Point #1. At first I was a little upset that Chevelle were the first direct support band on, but I suppose when you have three kick ass rock bands on a roster it’s hard to pick a running order. Chevelle opened with Family System and rocked all the way through to the end. Chevelle is one of those bands that sounds just as good live as in the studio. Set list (not in order) included: Sleep Apnea, Jars, Letter From a Thief, Well Enough Alone, I Get It, Family System, Send the Pain Below, and The Red.

Now that the bar had finally been set and the momentum was pushing forward, it was time for South Africa’s Seether to take the stage. Being higher up on the bill than Chevelle they had more time to play and what seemed like a better sound system.  Seether covered more of their discography than Chevelle did, picking out the most upbeat and/or crowd pleasing tunes to get the now-bigger crowd moving. The music was high energy all the way through, only slowing down for Broken. I’m just glad Amy Lee didn’t come out on stage and butcher the song with her duet. As soon as that was out of the way the catchy riffs and lyrics continued as Seether flew through the rest of their set list (which came to an end way too soon). Shaun Morgan’s impressive vocal range was highly evident through the set list as he went from his trademark raspy singing to the in-your-face screaming to the haunting, mellow style. For a rock star, this guy is one hell of a singer, and the Nirvana influence was definitely apparent. Set list (not in order) included: Careless Whisper, Gasoline, Needles, Fine Again, Driven Under, Broken, Fake It, Breakdown, and Rise Above This.

Seether had set the bar even higher when they left the stage and the screaming crowd was hungry for more music. Canada’s Three Days Grace were up next and on a mission to deliver. I didn’t know what to expect from this band as it was my first time seeing them live. I was confident they’d put on a good show, though.  The band stormed the stage and tore right into Break from their newest record, Life Starts Now. From then on it was no holds barred.  The band played tracks from all of their albums and even played I Don’t Care, the song frontman Adam Gontier originally recorded with Apocalyptica. This was quite a pleasant surprise and very nice addition to the set list.  The band also played a pretty decent cover of In The Air Tonight, which I also wasn’t expecting. I’m not taking anything away from Chevelle or Seether because they delivered big time, but Three Days Grace put on such a high energy show start to finish.  These guys know how to rock an audience. There wasn’t a dull moment. The sound was great, too.  As a drummer, nothing sounds quite as awesome to me as a live kick drum hit coming through a drum mic. Ah, the simple things. Anyways. Three Days Grace engaged the crowd with their 90 minute set and the only “mellow” songs in their set list were Last To Know and Never Too Late, which is always a great sing along tune. Even as they played tracks from their debut album, it was evident the band has evolved and matured so much in style, musicianship, and song structure.  Even as they played their debut material all these years later, it sounded a lot better than on the album.  Kudos to the guys for that. The band left on a high note, even though they didn’t come back for an encore.  That’s okay, though, they played a hell of a set and had the VZW Amphitheater rocking. Set list (not in order) included: Break, The Good Life, Last To Know, Goin’ Down, Bitter Taste, Pain, Animal I have Become, Never Too Late, Riot, Just Like You, I Hate Everything About You, Home, In the Air Tonight, and I Don’t Care.

Aside from the music there were also some great (drunken) sights…. something every good rock show should have. Scantily-clad women, drunken hillbillies, and people making general asses out of themselves.  All in all, Project Cinco 2010 was a great success and was a fantastic line up.

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