December 18, 2014 Chevelle & Crobot rattle The Paramount Huntington, NY 12-12-14
Chicago three-piece Chevelle has had a big year in 2014, celebrating the tenth anniversary of This Type of Thinking (Could Do Us In), releasing their seventh studio album La Gárgola, and extensive touring. Hoping to add a little more cheer into Hard Rock fans’ holiday season, the band announced a year end finale tour with Crobot, stopping by ten lucky cities in the USA. Always welcome with open arms in the Northeastern section of the country, the tour dropped in to The Paramount in Huntington, NY on Friday December 12th for an evening of pure Hard Rock fury, emotion, and aggression, all wrapped up into one neat little package just in time for the holidays.
Opening the show, embarking on their first national tour was LA-based Dance-Punk band Raw Fabrics. Still in their early 20s, this band, which came together two short years ago, did not appear to be fazed as the reluctant early crowd shuffled in closer to have a look at the spry three-some. The crudely spray-painted band name on a stretched out white drop cloth behind the drum kit gives off a very “Punk” vibe in the sense that the band probably does not put much stock in trying to shove a branded logo down your throat. Relying more on showcasing the music and having fun, vocalist Jack B. Franco, dressed in ripped black jeans, leather jacket, and Converse, did his best to entertain any would-be new fans as he raced back and forth across the stage and occasionally off of it while intermittently strumming his guitar. Bassist and backup vocalist Justus Dixon alternates between his guitar, a MPC, and keyboard, providing a solid foundation of funky Clash-like bass lines to complement drummer Jon Fredrik’s simple, but time-tested dance grooves. Their debut EP Gold Handcuffs is out now.
Hailing from Pottsville, Pennsylvania, Crobot prepared to take the stage before a now-crowded venue. No strangers to The Paramount, the band made their first appearance at the venue on October 16th 2012 opening for Buckcherry and Lit while still unsigned. Showing they were headed for big things, in two short years, the band has been signed to Wind-up records and featured on a long list of Hard Rock’s best tours. Releasing their debut album Something Supernatural just a few months ago, Crobot are now one of the hottest bands on the scene.
Opening their set loud and proud, Crobot practically surprised the audience with the opening number. Sporting a killer pair of mutton-chops, vocalist Brandon Yeagley channels both Robert Plant and Chris Cornell in terms of stage swagger and a powerful, yet soulful delivery. At times one could feel as if they were at a concert in the ’70s watching a band like Deep Purple at the height of their popularity, but do not be fooled Crobot’s affinity for well-groomed mustaches and bell-bottoms, these guys are no gimmicky throw-back band. Bassist Jake Figueroa rocks feverishly back and forth while hunched over his instrument under a forest of long, curly hair (a la Side-Show Bob of The Simpsons cartoon TV show). Brother and drummer Paul Figueroa is a machine behind the drum set, switching gears effortlessly between Hard Rock grooves and slow, bluesy ballad tracks. This is a man who has a clear understanding of the dynamics of his kit and how and when to use them. Rounding out the band and the only member sporting a shaved head is guitarist Chris Bishop. Pulling out all the stops as the only guitarist in the group, Bishop strummed out the big fuzzy Rock riffs while covering a lot of ground stylistically. Dotting the slower songs with very tasteful Blues licks and solos, Crobot definitely evoke a kind of Clutch-like vibe while incorporating some elements of Post-Hardcore and even early Black Sabbath. Playing songs like “The Legend of the Spaceborne Killer” and single “Nowhere to Hide,” this band had a little something for almost everyone. Crobot finished their performance confident, setting the tone for the evening, leaving the Chevelle fans amped and eager for more.
Marking their second appearance at The Paramount, the first with Bush back in 2011, Chevelle and followers were ready for their return to Long Island. Considered one of the most consistent Hard Rock outfits from the USA, Chevelle has sold an impressive four-million plus records in their time. Formed nearly two decades ago by brothers Pete Loeffler (guitars/vocals) and Sam Loeffler (drums), the list of anthem-like emotional Rock songs this band has pumped out has been long and impressive. Clearly enthusiastic to see the band perform, fans bustled toward the front awaiting for the show to begin.
Wasting no time and bringing the energy, headliner Chevelle kept things kinetic, blasting out “An Island” to an already electrified audience. As the audience stirred closer to the barricades, small mosh pits opened and closed. For a band comprised of only three members, they make as much noise as Slipknot does with literally a fraction of the line-up. Diving into older material, “Vitamin R” and “The Clincher” off This Type Of Thinking (Will Do Us In) had everyone singing along, word for word, with lead man Pete. Sam appears to almost beat through the skins on his kit, but remains poised and focused – even stoic in composure. Brother-in-law bassist Dean Bernardini held down the low end frequencies as he should, occasionally stepping to the microphone to harmonize with Pete.
Despite the intensity of Chevelle’s music, the band maintains a relatively even-keeled disposition about them. Encoring with crowd favorite “The Red,” Pete encourages the crowd to sing along while only he plays guitar. Soon, the whole band joins and mosh pits erupt once again for “Comfortable Liar” and set closer “Face To The Floor.” Chevelle absolutely dominated the stage as a power-trio and this brief tour is certainly a force to be reckoned with. It will be compelling to see what Chevelle has planned for their twentieth anniversary in 2015. Do not sleep on the next opportunity to see these guys!