Words / Photography by: Joshua Habtwold

Monday, September 2nd, 2019, will be marked as the Labour Day that every Canadian who was at the Budweiser Stage that night, celebrated the homegrown talent with Norwood, ON band Three Days Grace blessing the stage with Breaking Benjamin and others. This was also an exciting time for me since it was the first time that I would capture a band that I have listened to as a child, by listening to their music through tribute music videos on YouTube from shows like South Park, Degrassi, Naruto, Bleach, and many more. I would rage toward the music and feel a sense of enjoyment and revival through their captivating lyrics and intense verses about mental health, human emotion, and much more. Both bands are mid-way through ‌finishing‌ ‌their‌ ‌2019‌ ‌North‌ ‌American‌ ‌co-headlining‌ ‌tour,‌ ‌with‌ ‌openers‌ ‌like‌ ‌Roc Nation-signed band Dorothy and hard rock solo artist ‌Diamante.‌ ‌

Starting up was Boston-based singer Diamante, and she came through with her band to perform a selection of her tracks, such as “Sleepwalking”, “When I’m Not Around”, “Haunted”, and “Bulletproof”. She also performed her collaborative tracks, including the Bad Wolves track “Hear Me Now”, and the All That Remains (Garth Brooks) track “The Thunder Rolls”. She managed to play some great tracks, managed to gain great energy through her stage performances with her band, and have fun with the crowd so much. Diamante also had a unique and great personality. She also manages to love the country and performed an unreleased track for her upcoming EP. With the blue hair that she has, Diamante brings a much bubbly personality by the way that she acts and how she incorporates her personality to the stage and crowd.

Next up, Los Angeles-based band Dorothy came through to serenade the crowd with timeless bluegrass tracks and soft-eyed soul music with what they had. Dorothy Martin, the lead singer of the band was spotted in all-black clothing, as a way to reminisce the crowd of her musical style and her wicked personality, based on her past relationship experiences, lifestyles, and much more. She also has a strong alto vocal range, and the way she deepens her octaves, from track to track, made the show much more soothing to listen to her. With the tracks that she performed like “Flawless”, “Who Do You Love”, “Raise Hall”, “Down to the Bottom”, and much more, Dorothy Martin’s musical style kind of reminds me of artists like Brandi Calile, Stevie Nicks, and Adele. But the way she incorporates her orchestration is much similar to the likes of Deep Purple, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Creedence Clearwater Revival. The band managed to perform quite well and manage to be in sync with Dorothy, as much as they could. Her tour guitarist brought so many good guitar solos and it was an exquisite way to hear and see them perform.

With Dorothy finishing her set, Three Days Grace came by with Matt Walst, the new lead for the band to perform many tracks off their latest and older projects, in which that was something new TDG fans liked. TDG started their intro walkthrough with “Living on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi being played as the intro track, and they started off performing tracks like “The Mountain”, “Home”, and “The Good Life”. Matt managed to make the band more interesting to me, through his young, inspiring and reviving vocals to the way he joins in on Barry Stock’s guitar solos to the way he jumps down to the sound systems to check out the crowd. The stage board was very unique to me and the orchestration of the band was set at an all-time high for me. The energy, charisma, gracefulness and unique personalities of all members of the band were amazing to see and capture, and the way that they are dedicated to performing was something that blew my mind away for the entire show. With the craziness of the crowd mosh pits to people dancing around and vibing out the music, it was a set that must not be turned away but acknowledged and appreciated. Matt also brought his twelve-year-old nephew, James Walst, to perform with his guitar to the stage, to “Animal I Have Become”. After that song, they managed to finish their set with their cult classic, “RIOT”, and the vibrations and rage through their performance increased by adrenaline and energy, in which I felt like my life was complete by seeing their set.

After the TDG set, Breaking Benjamin came by to perform a variety of their older and new tracks for their day one and new-aged fans. They started with tracks like “Red Cold River”, “I Will Not Bow”, and “Never Again”, and the emotion and raw sound of Benjamin Burnley made me respect him more as an artist and a unique creative of the mainstream metal sound. The show started with a lot of fireworks, displayed on stage and VIP fans in the stage on their section, excited and happy to watch them perform. The stage lighting and projection was set at a certain low, but the intimacy of all members together, plus with the fans makes the show a remarkable one. Their stage and orchestration performance was amazing and it was a worthwhile performance of what they did. During the middle of their set, they played a medley of classic rock and metal tracks like “Cowboys from Hell”, “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “Enter Sandman”, and “Bulls on Parade”. The unique medley was followed up by a drum solo; also, the sound that they portrayed was exactly what the fans wanted and it was unique that they performed well live. Jasen Rauch and Keith Wallen, both guitarists of the band, brought some unique guitar solos, which brought excitement for the fans and how everything will be set out. For their encore, they managed to bless their fans and the stage with both of their cult classics, “Rain” and “The Diary of Jane”.

Three Days Grace Setlist:
Livin’ on a Prayer (Bon Jovi song)
The Mountain
The Good Life
Right Left Wrong
La Grange (ZZ Top cover) (Intro only)
I Hate Everything About You
Animal I Have Become (With Seven Nation Army Interlude)
Never Too Late

Breaking Benjamin Setlist:
Red Cold River
I Will Not Bow
Never Again
Evil Angel
The Imperial March / Cowboys From Hell / Smells Like Teen Spirit / Bohemian Rhapsody / Enter Sandman / Bulls On Parade / Drum Solo
Sooner or Later
Blow Me Away
So Cold
Angels Fall
Dance With the Devil
Torn in Two
The Diary of Jane



Three Days Grace

Breaking Benjamin

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