Three Days Grace, Live in London

US arena rockers squeeze into sold-out London club

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Three Days Grace played their first UK gig in a decade in London last night. Here are five things we learned...

Three Days Grace do their best to bring their Stateside show across the Atlantic

While Three Days Grace are an arena-packing smash hit Stateside, they’re a lesser known entity on our shows. That’s not to say they’re without their fans as people have been queuing for this gig from the early afternoon eager to finally get to see them after such a lengthy wait. While they can’t quite replicate an arena show in terms of production in the humble confides of Camden’s Electric Ballroom, they give it their best shot. A huge, moody backdrop of stormy skies, a raised platform for Neil Sanderson’s drum kit and a dazzling light show, results in a bigger production than you’d normally expect from this venue.

New frontman Matt Walst has fitted into his new role with ease

The departure of long time frontman Adam Gontier last year was met by a mixed response from long term fans, but any negative feelings aimed at replacement Matt Walst have clearly had little effect on him. His repeated marching on the spot might be a bit odd, but he has a fantastic voice and wastes little time in courting the crowd’s attention centre stage. There’s the occasional flicker of a wide eyed grin that suggests he can’t quite believe, but is nonetheless very happy with his new job.

There needs to be a time limit placed on drum solos

It’s about time we look into getting a bill passed to actually imposes restrictions on drum solos. With a few exceptions, namely the likes of Tommy Lee, Travis Barker and Joey Jordison tub thumping while upside down and spinning round, drum solos are incredibly boring. Tonight’s is no exception, a piano and drum interlude gives way to Sanderson faffing around on his drums for what seems like an eternity. It kills any momentum of the show, and just comes across as tedious and self indulgent. It’s not the only rock ‘n’ roll faux pas committed tonight as Matt Walst repeatedly chants his own band’s name and there is a god awful cover of Break Stuff.

Tonight offers some insight into the lack of UK success for this band

The band not replicating their Stateside success here in the UK could be down to a few factors. Undoubtedly the serious lack of touring hasn’t been winning them any fans, but through the course of the evening another reason becomes apparent. Much like apple pie, baseball and obesity, some things are synonymous with the good ol’ US of A, the US radio rock of Three Days Grace is another one of those things. While many of the bands who deal in this have also gone onto have some success on our shores, it’s the songs themselves that let them down. With the exception of Matt Walst the band lack energy, and the likes of The High Road and Misery Loves My Company, along with much of the set all start to blur into each other offering vey little to get excited about.

The saving grace comes in the form of their biggest hits

With that said the two of the biggest hits in their arsenal go a long way to explaining their success and the big singalongs they provoke offer some proof as to why there are those who remain so besotted to this band. Breakthrough hit I Hate Everything About You and Animal I Have Become stand head and shoulders above the rest of the set. Gritty angst wrapped in big hooks that provide an awful lot of fun to shout along and spill beer to. It’s just a shame these highlights come so late in their set and Three Days Grace don’t have more of this in their arsenal.