Las Vegas, NV – We traveled all the way from Los Angeles, Ca to the Brooklyn Bowl in Las Vegas to see the second to last stop on The Make America Rock Again tour since there would be no California dates this time around. Being as I had never been to this venue before, I really did not know what to expect. The venue was a big as any club we have attended in the Los Angeles, Ca. area but what was unique about this awesome place was the bowling lanes on the left side of the stage. They had big screens over the lanes so people could enjoy the show without stopping their bowling fun, and this would be a night of great music that you wouldn’t want to miss.
Las Vegas’s own Adelitas Way came out to a lot of familiar faces from all the shows they have played locally. The band consists of lead vocalist Rick DeJesus, drummer Trevor “Tre” Stafford, guitarist Ryan Guanzon, and bassist Andrew Cushing. They played some songs like “Ready for War (Pray for Peace)” and “Notorious” off their new album of the same name that drops 10/20/17 and older songs like “Alive”. Before leaving the stage, they noted that this was the shortest set they have played in Vegas and vowed to come back and play a longer show for all who came out. I was very impressed with AW, this being the first time seeing them live and only knowing a few of their songs. They are one of those bands that are even better live, so definitely check them out.
Trapt would be the next band to come out and play for the crowd. The band consists of lead vocalist Chris Taylor Brown, bassist Peter “Pete” Charell, guitarist David Sudock, and drummer Brendan Hengle. The audience would be singing along while they played songs like “Bring It”, “Who’s Going Home With You Tonight”, and “It’s Over”. At one point in the show, Chris would break out the acoustic guitar and sing “Echo” like you have never seen it before. They would end their set with arguably their most well known song “Headstrong” with help from the crowd singing along.
As soon as Sick Puppies started to take the stage, the crowd roared with excitement. The Australian rock trio consisting of bassist/vocalist Emma Anzai, lead vocalist/guitarist Bryan Scott, and drummer Mark Goodwin. Emma, the only remaining original member, is a maniac on the bass and her vocals reminded me a little of Amy Lee of Evanescence. Bryan Scott who came a board last year is an amazingly ebullient front man who got the audience moshing during their set. Bryan’s vocals were tip top, and the band was on fire. They played the first single off their last album, “Stick To Your Guns” and would sing a song to their past selves to show that everything works out in the end, “Odd One”. They would close out with “You’re Going Down” and the crowd just went berserk. Sick Puppies has proven to be nothing short of unstoppable since coming onto the scene in the late 90’s. They were extremely impressive.
When Drowning Pool took the stage you could feel the intensity fill the venue air. The band consists of vocalist Jasen Moreno, guitarist C.J. Pierce, bassist Stevie Benton and drummer Mike Luce. I have never witnessed another human with so much energy in my life than Jasen Moreno who came out in his “No Gods” shirt, jokingly saying, “We don’t worship Satan. We are just really good friends on Facebook,” and commenting that everyone really needs to stop getting butt hurt about everything, it is not all that serious people. Drowning Pool would really show us their hard and heavy background on this night playing songs that included “Sinner” and “Feel Like I Do” and closing with “Bodies” that would have Jasen ending up moshing with all the metal maniacs on the floor.
Scott Stapp of Creed would close out this awesome night of music. He is always amazing and between his vocal abilities and the band’s huge sound, it takes your breath away. His set was not an acoustic show but it still carried that Storytellers vibe as he would give us all some insight into his inspiration for some of the songs. You can really see how much he enjoys performing live. He opened with “Bullets” and then would go into the only one of his solo songs he would play this night, “Slow Suicide” which is just crazy coincidental when you think of what would happen 2 nights later in that very city. These songs led into “Overcome”, “My Own Prison” and “What If”. Before he started singing “Arms Wide Open”, he would tell the audience how this song was inspired by the birth of his 1st son and then would tell all that he and his wife are expecting their 3rd child in Nov. Finishing his set would be “Higher”, “One Last Breath” which he told us was written out of a place of suffering, and lastly “My Sacrifice”. Through out Scott’s whole set, the audience was singing along word for word, even me, and this seemed to just encourage him to give us everything he had. Numerous times that night, he would be standing in front of me, him on stage and me in the audience, and he would be looking at me while we both were singing, and it seemed like he was singing his songs directly to me. This was quite the spiritual experience for me as his songs had helped me through some very rough times and still do. What I love about Scott’s stage presence is that he can hit every single note on stage that he does on the CREED albums, so not only is his show rad to watch, but it sounds better than the disc! By the end of the show, every person, including me, was sweating and tired but there was a sense of being energized. Keep in mind, I hadn’t been this moved by a set in many years since covering bands. It was a very positive and memorable show, one that I hope all of you will have the gift of witnessing at some point.
After all of this you would think that Scott had nothing left to give but in fact would stay and personally meet everyone who signed up to sponsor a child through the Childfund booth. Childfund is an organization that helps deprived, excluded and vulnerable children have the capacity to improve their lives and the opportunity to become young adults, parents and leaders who bring lasting and positive change in their communities. Scott and Jaclyn Stapp, like most of us, believe that every child deserves to live a life free of deprivation of any kind and they use their own foundation, the CHARM (Children Are Magical) Foundation, to partner with other foundations and organizations, like Childfund, to provide children and their families the resources to help overcome challenges in their life. To find out more information on how to sponsor a child through Childfund, please click the link.
Make America Rock Again:
ADELITAS WAY – http://www.adelitaswaymusic.com
Drowning Pool – http://www.drowningpool.com
Scott Stapp – http://www.scottstapp.com
Sick Puppies – http://sickpuppies.com
Trapt – http://www.trapt.com
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