July 17, 2014 Chevelle sellout The Wiltern Theater Los Angeles, CA 7-11-14
On a sunny July 11th Friday evening, a crowd lined up at The Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles, California. Everyone in attendance was very eager to see their favorite band Chevelle rock as they support their latest album La Gárgola. The Chicago, IL hard rock band has been putting out hit songs over a decade while touring consistently and remaining one of the most relevant acts on the scene. With strong terrestrial radio air play through the Midwest, they manage to draw huge crowds in cities across North America year after year, and this show would be another sell out for Chevelle.
First to take the stage was Highly Suspect all the way from Brooklyn, New York. Playing a short set, the trio consists of twin brothers, bassist/vocalist Rich and drummer Ryan Meyer and their best friend vocalist/guitarist Johnny Stevens. Starting out playing the shores of their hometown, Cape Cod, the band moved to Brooklyn as they gained popularity. This was their first time touring the west coast and as unknown openers in this area, the pressure was on.
Singing Blues influenced progressive rock songs from their Black Oceans EP, the audience was drawn to their energetic performance. Stevens has a very powerful and soulful voice that seemed very fitting with the band’s style. Still new to the west coast, those which arrived early were attentive to the set and Highly Suspect is definitely a band that people should not sleep on and check out when they come around.
Next up was Black Map from the bay area of Northern California. This trio consists of experienced rock musicians, guitarist Mark Engles (formerly of Dredg), singer/bassist Ben Flanagan (The Trophy Fire), and drummer Chris Robyn (formerly of Far). Releasing their first EP Driver February 25, 2014, which has been getting high marks, the fairly fresh band has been gaining their popularity amongst audiences everywhere.
Blowing away The Wiltern with some progressive rock, the audience seemed to really enjoy their performance and quite a few heads were seen swaying side to side to their songs. Black Map were able to deliver a great performance leaving their audience reminiscing of the 1990’s and excited to see what Black Map will have in store for the future.
The time came for the most anticipated band of the night, Chevelle, to be summoned to the stage. Consisting of brothers Pete Loeffler (guitar/vocals) and Sam Loeffler (drums) along with Dean Bernardini (bass), the trio sold out their last show in San Diego two nights earlier making this their second consecutive sellout as they make their way up the West Coast. With a packed house, as soon as Chevelle hit the stage, the crowd erupted with high energy having their hands and cell phones up in the air. They opened the night with ‘”The Clincher” from This Type of Thinking (Could Do Us In) (2004) to start out the night. Playing through heart-stopping angst inspired hard rock tunes, they achieved their greatest response on “Send the Pain Below”. Chevelle put on a top notch performance singing old and newer songs such as “Take Out The Gunman”.
Normally when someone hears Chevelle’s music, a mosh pits is usually not something that would come to mind, but at certain points of their performance, the audience really got into it with a few breaking out on the main floor, especially when the trio played the crowd’s favorite “I Get It” off their chart topping album Vena Sera (2007). Their ninety minute set seemed to go by quickly as the audience sang along with every song the band played. During their encore they performed another classic “The Red” off their second album Wonder What’s Next (2002), and there was a point when Pete Loeffler let the audience take over the singing to the breath taking song. Magical to hear the unified sounds of voices, this was a climactic beginning to an encore which concluded with “Comfortable Liar” and “Face to the Floor”.
Chevelle went beyond the audience’s expectations with their performance. It is no wonder that they have been topping charts and selling out shows. Their concerts are a must to attend for anyone that is looking for a solid performance that will last a lifetime of memories!