Full disclosure, I am a Three Days Grace fangirl, so needless to say I was upset when Adam Gontier, the lead singer of their group, had to leave the group for health reasons. When I found he was performing at Maxwell’s in Waterloo I was beyond ecstatic.
The opening act was a small group from Kitchener called Relic City. I had never heard of this group prior to the show, but I mainly listen to mainstream rock. The first song they performed was their hit “Rebel.” They performed about seven songs. Their powerful vocals along with their stage presence drew me in right away but it was obvious they did not have much experience as their bantering did not seem natural.
Their songs were good, but they did not have an aspect that helped differentiate them from every generic rock band already making music. Their lyrics seemed as though they were put together so they could follow a flow as opposed to for the meaning, which I detest from any musician. Their music lacked depth; however, they could always improve since they are young. Lead singer Taylor Leith mentioned during the performance that “ ‘Animal I Have Become’ changed [his] life” and inspired him to listen to rock. They ended their set with “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen, which was well-done.
After painfully waiting for over an hour during set changes, which should have taken half that time, Adam Gontier finally walked onto stage. He started his set by performing a masterful cover of “I Don’t Care Anymore” by Phil Collins. His powerful vocals completely filled the room and had captured everyone’s attention.
He addressed the crowd of about 200 fans and let them know how “the thing about these intimate shows is that every night is completely different.” He really appreciated from the bottom of his heart fans coming out to see him. It was my first time seeing a concert this small, so I was really impressed with how Gontier could make everyone in the room feel included. He had a very open and receptive energy.
Gontier performed hits from Three Days Grace, his solo work and music from his new band, Saint Asonia. He was joined by the former drummer of Finger Eleven, Rich Beddoe. Together they performed Chalk Outline, the hit from Three Days Grace. The crowd lost their minds, everyone was singing and cheering him on. He performed other hits such as “Fairy Tale,” “I Hate Everything about You,” and “Never Too Late.” During some of his songs he started crying because he was so emotionally overwhelmed and admitted it even happens years after he has gotten used to performing those songs, but mentioned how he really appreciated everyone being there that night.
He said that the show at Maxwell has been his favourite so far; so much so that when the crowd cheered on for an encore, he came back and said he would perform a few more songs as opposed to the usual one or two.
All in all, his energy and ability to engage so many people at once was admirable. The concert was everything I imagined and more. Adam Gontier is still fuelled with passion, which he will hopefully bring to Saint Asonia.