August 15, 2016 Chevelle Breathe Life Into The Paramount Huntington, NY 8-2-16 w/ Black Map
Born from a working class attitude back in 1995, Chicago, Illinois’ Chevelle was born when brothers Pete Loeffler (vocals/guitar), Sam Loeffler (drums), and Joe Loeffler (bass) set out to make their Rock-n-Roll dreams come true in their parents garage. Recording a seven-track, they gained the attention of Squint Entertainment, whom signed the aspiring band, thus releasing their 1999 debut album, Point #1. Continuing to attract attention, Chevelle was swiftly signed by Epic Records and their next release, 2002’s Wonder What’s Next, soon peaked at No.14 on the Billboard 200 list and achieved platinum status within a year of its release.
With such notoriety so early in their career, it was no wonder 2004’s This Type Of Thinking (Could Do Us In) would be another popular hit album, attaining gold status. Since then, Chevelle has continued to dominate the Hard Rock genre with each passing release, having sold over four million albums in the United States alone. Now two plus decades into their career, Pete, Sam, and brother in-law Dean Bernardini (bassist since 2005) return once again in 2016 with what is being called their heaviest album to date, The North Corridor. Their second consecutive album to peak at number 1 on the US Hard Rock charts, The North Corridor is being justifiably flaunted across North America all summer long with live shows. Spending time off and on co-headlining with Bush, on the hot summer evening of Tuesday, August 2nd, Chevelle made a stop as solo headliners to visit the beautiful The Paramount in Huntington, New York. Their third visit to the venue since it opened its doors back in 2011, fans formed a long line around the block eagerly waiting for the doors to open for a chance to see Chevelle once again.
Once everyone filed inside, they were treated to the supporting act going by the name Black Map. Based in San Francisco, California, the band features Ben Flanagan (vocals/bass), Dredg’s Mark Engles (guitar), and Far’s Chris Robyn (drums). Coming together, they soon released their Trophy Fire EP and full-length album, entitled And We Explode, in 2014; an album that won them the Independent Music Award For Best Album – Rock or Hard Rock in 2015. With an obvious fanbase clinging to the fence on the general admission floor, Black Map greeted them with their heavy songs, “Code” and the title track to their album, “And We Explode.”
Flanagan stopped to introduce the band, saying where they were from and commented, “We are a long way from home.” The crowd’s cheering let them know that even though they were far from home, they were definitely welcome. Continuing on, they played “Head For The Hills,” Eyes On The Prize,” and “Gold.” Feeling comfortable in his surroundings, Flanagan smiled as he said, “This is our first time coming here, thank you for coming early and seeing us.” Closing out with “I’m Just The Driver,” Black Map had fans, old and new, screaming for them and wanting more. Recently signing on with eOne Entertainment, there is no doubt everyone will be seeing and hearing more from Black Map.
During the intermission, the already heavily occupied floor packed out even more as fans continued to squeeze in tight to the stage, hoping to get as close to the action as possible. Many were overheard speaking about Chevelle, their music, and the experiences people have in relation to their music. There was no doubt Chevelle held a place in the heart of the mass gathering, and these songs were much more than causal Rock tunes; they cut deep into everyone’s souls. Then, after a period of complete darkness on the stage, the stage lights lit brightly as Chevelle came out and hit them hard and heavy with 2009’s “Sleep Apnea” and 2014’s “Take Out the Gunman.” Already provoking a stir of emotion from the audience, they introduced everyone to their new music with “Last Days,” from The North Corridor.
Receiving warm cheers, a female voice emerged hollering, “We love you!” as Bernardini quickly responded with, “Thank you sweetheart! We think we love you too!” Keeping the momentum going, they blasted the fans with three tracks off of This Type Of Thinking (Could Do Us In) with “The Clincher,” “Vitamin R (Leading Us Along),” and “Get Some.” Continuing to converse with the audience, Bernardini exclaimed, “We are just getting warmed up for you!” A wonderful thing to hear from the beloved fans, Chevelle presented the lead single off The North Corridor, “Joyride (Omen),” with energy rising both on stage and off as a small mosh pit was forming. This pit began to build, and everyone went wild during La Gargola’s “An Island.” Packed tight, within the first notes of “Hats Off to the Bull,” heads started bobbing in unison, and during 2007’s favorite, “I Get It,” fans were now crowd-surfing to the stage. Feeding off the energy around them, Chevelle kept it heavy with“Door to Door Cannibals,” “Jawbreaker,” and the politically driven “Face to the Floor;” a song that everyone can relate to when it comes to corporate corruption.
With all the activity from the crowd on the floor and the screaming from the upper level competing to make some noise, Pete playfully looked up to say, “It’s ok … you can scream!” Elated that the vocalist acknowledged them, a deafening roar came next and Pete replied, “That’s our payoff.” Smiling and taking it all in, he then said, “Hope you enjoy this next one,” and they rocked into 2002’s “Forfeit.” Now, with the stage lights dimming, smoke bellowed from beneath the drum riser as they finished the set with “An Evening With El Diablo.” Waving goodnight, the trio graciously bid the audience farewell, or so it seemed…
Given a moment to catch their breath, re-energized, the crowd whistled and hollered as a soft roar morphed into a chant of “One more, one more.” Answering the call, Chevelle returned to the stage to an outburst of cheering as the stage lights went red. This could only mean one thing. Yes, it was time for “The Red.” Devouring the song, everyone sang along to every word and clung on to every moment, many of them captured the moment with risen cell phones. Completely taken by the audience’s reaction, Pete made one last announcement saying, “I think this is the third time we have been here. Thank you so much! I hope you have us back,” before they concluded with “Send the Pain Below.” Met with more cheers, the crowd just let it all loose, and it was easy to see they also hoped to have Chevelle back again.
Tireless, Chevelle put on a powerful performance with a dynamic and colorful light show. Three very strong musicians who effortlessly showcase their talents and blend seamlessly together, Pete’s vocals were brilliantly clear while his pitch was perfect. That being said, Chevelle is a band not to be missed, so catch them live while the tour continues into late October.