Supergroup Art of Anarchy rocks the house with support from For We Are Many, Marc Vargas Band, and Social Impact.
It is quite early and the doors have not opened, but there is a line of fans waiting to enter the VIP meet and greet including a mom bringing her young son to his first concert. It is great to see artist’s music reaching out to fans of all ages. It is even greater to see them make the trek to a smaller venue on a weeknight that is a solid 40-minute drive from Detroit.
Providing support for the headliner tonight are two local Michigan bands and one from Ohio. Up first on the main stage is Social Impact from Toledo, OH who play what they describe as party rock. They play a brief but enthusiastic set that gets the crowd warmed up for the headliner. They even take the time to bring the young boy in the audience on stage and give him a t-shirt that they say they will autograph later. It makes his evening and the smile on his mom’s face says it all.
On the lounge stage, we have Marc Vargas Band. They are a four-piece band from Southeast Michigan that mixes alternative and hard rock with electric blues. No strangers to the Detroit area, they open for many national bands but are looking to venture into bigger venues in Michigan and surrounding states. They are currently working on their debut album self-titled “Marc Vargas”.
Next on the main stage is For We Are Many, a metalcore band out of Dearborn, MI. They are extremely entertaining and several things stand out about this band. First is that several of them appear to be quite young, but that does nothing to limit their talent. Second is that they have a great stage presence like seasoned veterans.
Drummer Johnpaul plays with speed and precision that is beyond his years. On top of that, he also provides vocals, which is not something that is easy to do when you are drumming like crazy. He along with bassist Emilio Flores provide the pulse that powers the songs along.
Guitarists Nathan Tabor and Hector Dominguez provide the riffs that are the foundation of metal songs. Not only do they rip off notes at blazing speed, they also know how to work the stage, posing together while shredding and whipping their hair around.
And last, but not least is vocalist Logan Trupiano who never stands still. While singing he paces about the stage and throws in jumps, stomps, and poses. His face shows the emotion of the songs.
Although quite a departure from the sound of the headliner tonight, the audience greets them with great applause after every song. The future looks bright for this young band as they will only get better with time. Be sure to check them out if you get a chance.
Anticipation for Art of Anarchy to take the stage for many of the fans in attendance is an understatement. Between bands they reminisce about previous concerts they attended and most of the conversation centers around lead singer Scott Stapp. That comes as no surprise given the legion of fans he has from his days in Creed.
The lights go dim and the band takes the stage and launches into “Echo of a Scream”, one of the fastest songs on the current album. The crowd erupts with loud cheers and they waste no time getting their cell phones out to capture pictures and video. The lights on the stage tonight make for capturing great memories.
Art of Anarchy lets the music do most of the talking and the sound is dialed in tight across all the band members. There are no special stage props; no ramps, risers, smoke or fog, or strobes. The only thing is a backdrop with the band name. The fans don’t seem to mind as they are fixated on the lively performance and the great rock music.
They are touring in support of their latest album, The Madness. Most of the set tonight comes from that album, which is getting plenty of airplay. It is also garnering positive reviews and the video for “The Madness” has been a chart-topper.
The majority of the songs are upbeat rockers, with aggressive vocal passages and powered by hard-hitting drums and bass on songs including “1000 Degrees”, “No Surrender”, “Dancing With the Devil”, “Afterburn”, and “The Madness”. Drummer Vince Votta pummels the skins with authority and his drum set is large, almost completely blocking him from the view of the audience from high atop a raised platform. However, the way the changing colors light the drums adds a cool vibe and stands out on stage.
Bassist John Moyer is no stranger to many tonight being a part of one of the most popular metal bands today, Disturbed. He works the stage like the seasoned pro he is as he pairs up with both guitarists, poses, whips his dreads, and most importantly provides the tight bass lines.
Guitarists Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal and Jon Votta are masters of their craft and drive the sound of Art of Anarchy, even on the slower songs. There are plenty of catchy riffs on songs like “Changed Man”, but it’s the aggressive songs like “Echo of a Scream”, “Dancing with the Devil”, and Afterburn” that really show off the skills of these axe men. On several songs including “Echo of a Scream”, Bumblefoot and Jon Votta trade off on guitar solos. Bumblefoot is hard to miss with the double-neck guitar he plays throughout the set.
Many of the songs are filled with lyrics that are built around the issues and struggles that have plagued Scott Stapp. For example, “The Madness” contains the lines “The other side of fear is freedom / The other side of pain is healing / The madness keeps me from the other side / the truth, the lie, the shame, the glory”. Many of these lyrics are hard-hitting and a lot of the fans relate to them.
Scott sings these songs with conviction and energy and you can see the emotion in his face. He only briefly addresses the audience about his issues a few times tonight before playing songs like “Somber” and “Changed Man”. The latter could easily be an arena power ballad with its powerful lyrics and sing-a-long chorus. It is also the song that closes out the main portion of their set.
After a short break, they return to the stage for an encore and tear through the title track off the current album. It is a fitting end to a great evening of music. Before leaving, several of the band members shake hands with fans upfront, and Bumblefoot even comes down into the audience to take some pictures with fans.
The members of Art of Anarchy have collectively sold tens of millions of records with the other bands they were / are part of including Disturbed, Creed, and Guns N’ Roses. Each member brings something unique to what can be labeled a supergroup. The vocals of Scott Stapp are easily identifiable, but varied enough such that the sound is different than his solo efforts and with Creed. As a whole, the music of Art of Anarchy is nothing like Disturbed, Creed, or Guns N’ Roses. Hopefully, they continue to record more music and tour for the fans.
The complete setlist for Art of Anarchy is “Echo of a Scream”, “1000 Degrees”, “No Surrender”, ”Won’t Let You Down”, “Afterburn”, “Til the Dust is Gone”, “A Light in Me”, “Somber”, “Dancing with the Devil”, “Changed Man”, and “The Madness”.
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Event Date: 11-APR-2017