Fuel “Born Again” Show Review, The Wheelhouse, August 30th, 2011 By: Matty

September 26, 2011 by: admin

Fuel “Born Again” Show Review, The Wheelhouse, August 30th, 2011

By: Matty

Recently, I had the opportunity to take my significant other and my two friends out for a special birthday party. This friend, whom we shall call Tim, recently turned 30 years old. We decided to go check out Fuel with opening acts Park Lane and Man Made Machine at The Wheelhouse in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

First of all, I have never experienced better acoustics in a venue than I have in The Wheelhouse. It had a club atmosphere, in fact it used to be known as Shag’s, however, they decided to create a concert venue in an effort to bring more live bands, acts to Iowa. I just wanted to give mad props to the owners of The Wheelhouse for embarking on this new venture. It’s a club that holds approximately 500 to 700 people, yet they’ve received some big name bands there such as My Darkest Days, Puddle of Mudd, and Bobaflex. The lighting also provided a big concert atmosphere at such an intimate venue.

With the concert being on a Tuesday night, I was still expecting a sellout, however there was maybe 150 people at the show. After all, Fuel obtained huge amounts of popularity with the songs “Bittersweet”, “Falls On Me”, “Bad Day”, and their most well known song “Hemmorhage(In My Hands)”, which received an increased amount of notoriety when Chris Daughtry performed that song on the hit television show “American Idol”, and Fuel asked Daughtry to assume the lead vocal duties when Brett Scallions left the band to pursue other musical endeavors. Fuel recently reunited with Brett Scallions as the vocalist/rhythm guitarist in the band. Fuel has added some new members to the band, gone are the two other original members Carl Bell and Jeff Abercrombie, and replacing Carl and Jeff are Andy Andersson on lead guitars and on bass Brad Stewart, who was formerly a member of Shinedown. Fuel also obtained Kevin Schalk on the drums, replacing Tommy Stewart, who used to drum in Godsmack, Lo-Pro, and Everclear. I was wondering if some “Fuelies”, (Fuel’s fan base) would be disappointed in the departure of Carl and Jeff. More on Fuel later.

Cedar Rapids, Iowa based band Undisclosed opened up the show. I really enjoy concerts where the local, unsigned talent receives opportunities to showcase their talents by sharing the stage with nationally touring bands. Undisclosed did just that. Picture the sound of Lamb of God meets All That Remains, with modern-rock tendencies like Breaking Benjamin(R.I.P.) and you get Undisclosed. I was impressed with their tight musicianship, and their confident stage presence. Undisclosed is comprised of John Silhacek(guitars/vocals), Kris Wagner(guitars/vocals), Tyler Nesvik(bassist/vocals), and Tom Cranston(drums). I see Undisclosed doing very well for themselves in the future. Usually local bands tend to be nervous and also have the tendency to “try too hard” getting the crowd involved, but Undisclosed didn’t fall into that trap. They had quality musicianship, a confident stage presence, and they even found their niche with an audience that was there for a “radio-rock” concert. Please go to www.facebook.com/undisclosedonline and “like” their page please. I also noticed that members of Man Made Machine and Park Lane were impressed with Undisclosed. After Undisclosed, Man Made Machine came out on the stage.

Man Made Machine is a five-piece band based out of Chandler, Arizona. The Razor & Tie group was produced by Chad Gray, who is known for being the vocalist for Mudvayne, V-Shaped Mind, and Hellyeah, and mixed by Jeremy Parker, who is known for working with Evanescence and Godsmack. Man Made Machine seemed quite confident in their stage presence. I can tell that they are an extremely hard working band. They’ve toured with a wide range of acts from Escape The Fate, to Dr. Acula to Winds of Plague. They built a niche by working hard and performing well during this concert. I was impressed with the confidence and vocal range that vocalist Joe Cotela possesses. Their music offers a wide range of topics ranging from partying to the meaning of life. Apparently, they want to showcase their collective personalities and display that to the audience, and they did just that. I noticed some of the crowd sang along to their single that’s currently receiving airplay entitled “Victim”. Please check them out at www.facebook.com/manmademachine and hit the “like” button. Park Lane was next.

Park Lane stole the night! I was completely impressed with their set. I even added the guitarist Mike Keller to my Facebook. I could tell that this was their dream and that they were living it. Park Lane is a band from Bay Area, California. Park Lane has Carley Coma as their vocalist. If you’ve heard of genre-breaking metal band Candiria, then you’ve heard of Carley Coma, as he was the vocalist for Candiria. Park Lane is also comprised of Mike Keller and Grayson Hurd on the guitars, Clayton Wages on the bass, and Cameron Stucky on the drums. The five piece band, who I’m hoping to interview for MUEN Magazine in the near future, brought it! I really look for musicianship instead of a band jumping around and going crazy during a show. Park Lane brought just that. I remember getting goosebumps when they played the song entitled “The Edge”. The harmonics on the guitar were jazz influenced, yet had a psychedelic feel to it, the riffs are unforgettable, the bass and drums flow together like two raging rivers colliding, and you get Park Lane. Park Lane is a band that I HAD to get to immediately know after their set. I was blown away by Park Lane. Park Lane definitely had the crowd warmed up for Fuel. Please check out Park Lane at www.facebook.com/PLband. Also, if you haven’t picked up “Letters From The Fire” yet, I highly recommend you do so on I-Tunes or Amazon.

Fuel, with original front man Brett Scallions, took the stage. I remember seeing Fuel providing direct support for 3 Doors Down in Mankato, Minnesota. I remember Brett Scallions climbing on the speakers like a madman while pouring his heart and soul into the music at the show in Mankato. Fuel does that, they played that night like they had a chip on their shoulder. Fuel was throw off to the wayside like yesterday’s newspaper when Brett Scallions left the band. Fuel reminded the fans that they’re back with a vengeance. They opened up the show with “Last Time”, which flowed effortlessly into “Empty Spaces”. Fuel ripped through the classics such as “Bittersweet”, “Shimmer”, “Jesus Or A Gun”, and so much more. They incorporated more musicianship than they did when they provided direct support for 3 Doors Down. Andy, Brad, and Kevin seemed to be quality replacements for Carl Bell, Jeff Abercrombie, and Brad Stewart. Fuel played like they had something to prove, and that is that they’re back. They did play a couple of new songs to “road test” the new material, and I was impressed with the musicianship and a heavier feel to the Fuel sound in the new material. The crowd only seemed to be heavily involved when Fuel played their two biggest hits entitled “Bad Day” and “Hemorrhage”, in which that’s how they closed their set. It was a great night of music. I really hope that you enjoyed reading the review.

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