On Saturday February 22, 2014 at Starland ballroom in Sayerville New Jersey, the sign off the main road glowing bright reads Buckcherry tonight; insinuating it was time to rock. Buckcherry is a 100% American rock band from Anaheim, CA founded almost two decades ago. Led by vocalist Josh Todd, guitarist Keith Nelson, guitarist Stevie D., and drummer Xavier Muriel; the band has branded their name as road warriors over years of tireless touring. After jump-starting their career with their major label debut Buckcherry (1999) followed by Time Bomb (2001), the story of the band appeared almost over by the summer of 2002 upon their break-up. To the surprise of fans, the band was resurrected in 2005 by core members Todd and Nelson and has not looked back since with an impressive four straight successful albums and becoming bigger than they ever were before. Buckcherry released their sixth album, Confessions, on February 19th, 2013; they continue the supporting tour cycle in 2014, this time bringing along Monster Truck and 3 Pill Morning for the ride of rock-n-roll chaos.
Opening the show were Minneapolis, MN natives 3 Pill Morning. Formed in 2004, the band has evolved from a rap-rock act to an anthemic hard rock band. No one can deny the resilience of 3 Pill Morning through the years of 500+ concerts and a few member changes that did not break their will. Consisting of Jeff Stebbins (vocals), Ryan Walch (guitars), Ryan Lee (Bass), and Trent Laugerman (drums); it is safe to say the guys have found a chemistry together and the formula for success.
With their 2012 album Black Tie Love Affair as there backing, 3 Pill Morning rocked Starland Ballroom like they owned the place. Stebbins impressed all with his stage presence and energy, while Walch, Lee, and Laugerman kept the rock hard sound incredible tight. Providing fans a heavy dosage of Black Tie Love Affair, they also prescribed a few tunes from their Take Control (2011) album, which mixed in well. Full of passion and excitement the band lit up the stage so fast that even those in the audience there just to see Buckcherry were 3 Pill Morning fans by the time their set came to a close. Keep an eye out for 3 Pill Morning on their headlining tour until the end of March before the guys head into the studio to work on their next album.
Next up were Canadian rock band Monster Truck. Formed in 2009, this hard working band of musicians consist of Jon Harvey (bass & lead vocals), Jeremy Widerman (guitar & vocals), Brandon Bliss (organ & vocals) and Steve Kiely (drums & vocals). After self releasing two EP’s, the band put out their high octane new album Furiosity in 2013 and are ready to show more and more audiences the true essence of down and dirty rock-n-roll.
Watching Monster Truck perform brings you back to a time of super catchy riffs and vocal overlays, long untamed hair, and blasting your cassette tapes while drinking some Miller . Everyone in Starland Ballroom was head-banging along as the band ripped through each tune. Songs like “Sweet Mountain River” and “Righteous Smoke” were just a few of the highlights of the set. It is clear to say these guys are live and die through their music and their performance was evidence of such. With two big tours coming up supporting Alter Bridge in April and Alice in Chains in May, it is safe to assume you will be seeing a lot more people catching onto Monster Truck.
The time had arrived that all had been waiting for, and that was a Saturday night party with none other than Buckcherry. Starting off with enough fog and lights to make an alien space craft jealous, the band arrived on stage to get things started with the fan favorite “Lit Up”. Starland Ballroom broke into frenzy as the momentum kicked in through “Wrath”, “All Night Long”, and “Fall”.
Providing their fans with the diversity of tracks they crave, the heart-warming “Everything” went into the sorrowfully beautiful “Sorry”. Todd sang at extraordinary heights and gave a sensational performance he has been known for through songs like “Out of Line”, Porno Star”, and “Ridin'”.
The Confessions portion of the set marched on through the new hit “Gluttony” leading into the catchy “Water”; this is when things became really exciting. The band broke out a tune seldom heard live in recent years but a song fans have great affection for, and that was “For The Movies”. Being one of the very first Buckcherry tunes many heard, it was electrifying to hear the song live again. Applause rained down on the stage and that led into the band’s most popular song “Crazy Bitch”. This is the type of song made for playing live, and men and women of all ages let loose dancing and singing.
Feeding off of this insane love, Buckcherry came back out for two more songs; one of which was a parody cover of Icona Pop’s hit “I Love it”, instead chanting “Say Fuck It” resulting in smiles and laughs all around. The whole night was filled with rock-n-roll joy and Buckcherry showed exactly why fans keep coming back to see the guys’ performance when they roll into town. Do not make the mistake of skipping out on seeing Buckcherry if they come through your area, it is well worth taking the time to experience this rock show.Written by Jesse Murch