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09/18/2007 Finger Eleven, Sick Puppies, Pride Tiger (Rochester, NY @ The Club at Water Street)

By Eric | September 18, 2007 11:59 pm

I loved the 7:30 start time for this one, as I actually got to eat a real dinner at home first, then leisurely made my way to Water Street, and walked right into the club side. Unbeknownst to me, there was actually a 2nd opening band, by the name of Pride Tiger. Talk about the surprise of the night! These four guys from Vancouver came out with a ton of energy, especially their lead singer/drummer, who was one of the most facial-expressive musicians I’ve seen in quite awhile. But nevermind that, these guys sounded great! They rock a real 70’s album rock type vibe, to my ears they almost sound like Thin Lizzy, or Boston. The songs are groovy, catchy, the guitarists played some rockin’ solos, and the musicianship all the way around was excellent. Quite a nice surprise, and not what I would have expected for a Finger Eleven opener. So after their set, I bought their CD and had all the guys sign it, and chatted for a bit about how they liked touring the states so far. (I subsequently found out after the show that three of the four guys used to be in 3 Inches Of Blood, which is a metal band also from Vancouver, who obviously sound nothing like Pride Tiger!) I can add Pride Tiger to the quite short list of opening bands, who not having heard of them prior, I’ve been super impressed with (only Liquid Gang, Boy Hits Car, Greenwheel, Ra, Toby Lightman, Eric Hutchinson, and Tony C and the Truth come to mind.)

Sick Puppies was next, and these guys are partly famous for having the song in the background of the Free Hugs video that was all over YouTube. They’re a three piece from Australia, with a chick bass player. They were okay, but it was generic alt-rock/post-grunge/whatever you wanna call it. I already like too many bands that sound like them, and they didn’t do anything special that made them stand out any. The half-hour was just enough, and enjoyable, as they certainly weren’t bad by any means, but they just didn’t do it for me. They did a mash-up cover of Destiny’s Child’s “Say My Name”, using those lyrics with the music from Green Day’s “Brain Stew”, which was kinda neat.

Then it was time for Finger Eleven. It’s been over three years since the last time I saw them, which was at Steel with Thornley. I was less than thrilled with their performance that time, and now, three years and a new album later, it was still just okay. Just like the last time, I really like their new album. There’s just something about their performance that makes me say, “blah”. They were into the performance, in fact, Rick Jackett was as animated as I’ve ever seen him. The band sounded good also, including Scott Anderson’s vocals. It started out promising enough, with Good Times, and Falling On. Then it got slower, with Talking To The Walls, but they came back with Suffocate (only like 3 other people did the WE… FALL… DOWN… yell in the chorus, which was majorly disappointing) and Quicksand. Then it got slow again. Obvious Heart was next (and I love that song), Change The World (really slow), Lost My Way (getting better), and Easy Life (more uptempo, but the song’s not that great). Then the big hit (and I still say worst F11 song ever), One Thing. They kept it slow with I’ll Keep Your Memory Vague, and finally got it back up to speed with So-So Suicide and Above. The encore started with a Neil Young cover of Walk On, and closed with Paralyzer. The show was good, but not great. I can’t quite describe what my complaint is, but to me, it’s hard to “get into” their show. Maybe song selection has something to do with it, as most of the last two albums has not been as up-tempo and “hard”, if you will, as their first two. Even still, there were much better songs off of self-titled that they could have played (Other Light, Stay In Shadow) and only one song off of Greyest, and only two off Tip? Boo. And they didn’t play Tip again either. I’m afraid they’re going the way of the Tea Party, playing the same stuff over and over, and ditching the good songs out of the set. I must have to go see them in Canada instead.

One Thing

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