I took my 16-year-old daughter and 12-year-old son to the Pillar/Thousand Foot Krutch concert here at the Little Rock Clear Channel Metroplex on Thursday last week and we really enjoyed it. It was definitely a hard rocker that met all expectations. Well, except that TFK didn’t show up. I’ve heard the story goes something like this:
Lead singer Trevor McNevan went to spend the night at a friend’s house in Canada (where TFK is based.) While he was there, someone apparently stole his vehicle which had all of his personal effects (including his passport) in it. Someone said that the thieves took his wheels for a joy ride and then set it on fire.
Basically, he was left without a passport and thusly wasn’t able to get into the country (the U.S.) Bummer.
I was really looking forward to hearing them. I haven’t had time to try and verify the story (edit: it does seem to have some validity, based on posts at thousandfootkrutch.com), but I assume that it’s all true since I heard it from someone that got the story from a Clear Channel employee. Also, the signs posted outside the venue said that TFK wouldn’t be there because they couldn’t get into the country. Consider this a still-open invitation to Thousand Foot Krutch to come to Little Rock to play, though. I would still love to see them perform live.
Since TFK didn’t make it, we were instead given the treat of hearing a local band, Wake the Dawn, who stepped in at the last minute. They were excellent (mad props to Bryson, the lead singer, who has a great voice.) I highly recommend them. They had a nice hard edge to their music, but very melodic at the same time. It was also fun to see the members of Pillar occasionally peek out and watch some of WTD’s show.
After Wake the Dawn finished their set and cleared the stage, the Pillar crew started setting up. Then, Lester himself came out to sound check his drums. I don’t think many folks knew that it was him (the hat with the word "Roadie" emblazoned on it didn’t help), but a young lady behind me pointed him out and then called out his name a few times. He kind of looked up sheepishly and then grinned. It was a nice moment.
After all the setup and sound checks were done (they seemed to have some trouble with the front mic and the two center monitors) the lights went down and the theme some from Kill Bill (by Hotei) began playing. The guys took the stage and plowed right into their sophomore album’s title track, Fireproof.
They followed that with Ashamed, also from the first album. Then they moved to their new album’s material Where Do We Go From Here? with Underneath It All.
They slowed things a bit with more classics, Echelon (one of my favorites) and Further From Myself.
They kept things mellow with Rewind, a song about regretting past mistakes, from the new album. After that, Rob asked the crowd if they were still awake (which was met by an enthusiastic "Yeah".)
Then they moved into a great cover of the U2 classic Sunday, Bloody Sunday, which they did for a tribute album to benefit AIDS victims in Africa. It was most excellent, much harder edge than Bono and the boy’s version.
It was after this song that Rob disconnected the two front monitors. I guess they were giving him trouble, but it wasn’t noticeable in the crowd.
They played one more classic, Behind Closed Doors, before moving exclusively into all new material, all hard rockers: Simply, Frontline, and Hypnotized.
They finished the set with the radio-hit Bring Me Down, which had the crowd bouncing throughout and singing along.
They left the stage and, after a few minutes of chanting by the crowd, returned for an encore, playing another great rocker from the new album, Let It Out (which they said they hadn’t played live very often, so we were getting a treat.)
Rob finished the show saying that if anyone had any questions or wanted to discuss anything with the band, they would come out after a little bit to meet the crowd.
As they were leaving the stage and tossing stuff, I managed to catch one of the song lists they had used on stage during the show. (We were front-center, right against the stage.) Another fan had caught a corner of the paper and we made eye contact. He paused for a minute, then said that he already had one from another show, so we relinquished it to me. (You don’t find that at many concerts nowadays, do you?) I didn’t catch his name, but I’d like to thank him now!
After about 15 minutes, the guys came out to meet and greet the crowd. They seem to be genuinely nice fellows who are concerned about their fans, especially since all four of them were there getting their pictures taken with fans, talking and laughing and signing autographs for quite a few folks. They even recognized some of the fans from other shows, which I found very impressive.
They all signed the song list, which greatly impressed my teen-aged son and daughter.
All in all, it was a great show.