Last night the Fillmore played host to the Jagermeister Music Tour featuring Buckcherry, Hellyeah, All That Remains, The Damned Things and local metal band Switchpin. With three big headlining names on the bill it seemed like a no-brainer that this would be one of the more impressive rock shows of the new year, but unfortunately inconsistencies in sound and an odd progression in musical styles left this one falling a bit short.
Following the night’s two openers, All That Remains hit the stage and were immediately plagued by what seemed to be inner ear monitor issues for vocalist Phil Labonte during their opening song, “Two Weeks.” Fortunately the problem was resolved quickly and the band put on one of their more memorable performances to date.
All That Remains has some of the greatest melodic choruses in the metal circuit—I just wish Labonte would actually sing them. Songs like “Forever in Your Hands” and “This Calling” are usually highlights of their set. but it was incredibly frustrating to hear only the crowd sing the best parts. Crowd participation can be both the highlight and downfall of any concert and there are moments when hearing the entire venue singing along can create an incredible connection to a piece of music, but every once in a while singers should turn the mic around and sing the lyrics that fans paid good money to hear them sing.
Heavy metal super group Hellyeah hit the stage next with horns high — literally. The band’s hybrid style of metal-meets-outlaw country was on full display with their signature bull skulls adorning each side of the satge. The veteran band comprised of Mudvayne front man Chad Gray and guitarist Greg Tribbett, Nothingface guitarist Tom Maxwell, Damageplan bassist Bob Zilla, and former Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul delivered the most solid set of the night and songs like “Hellyeah” and “You Wouldn’t Know” were some of the show’s biggest crowd-pleasers. What warranted the biggest crowd response of the night, however, was Gray’s introduction of each member (as if they needed introductions); particularly Vinnie Paul.
By the time Buckcherry hit the stage around 10 p.m., the Fillmore was still buzzing and a slow but steady stream of concertgoers finally managed to fill the auditorium floor. The Los Angeles hard rock band is in a class all their own when it comes to style and there is something about vocalist Josh Todd that is rock ‘n’ roll personified. The heavily-tattooed singer’s uninhibited energy, huge voice and frequent drug references are what defines a Buckcherry set and they certainly delivered that last night. Songs like “All Night Long,” “Lit Up” and “Crazy Bitch” are the types of songs that you have to sing along with and remind you that you are at a real-deal rock show; but their straight-forward rock ‘n’ roll style seemed out of place following the metal/country sound Hellyeah and the much harder All that Remains.
Paige Montgomery is a Denver-based freelance writer. Check out more of her work on MySpace.
Tina Hagerling is a Denver photographer and regular contributor to Reverb. Check out more of her concert photography.