Sunday, April 19, 2015 | 10:34 p.m.
Three Days Grace Human Race
Canadian alternative metal band Three Days Grace has become as commonplace as apple pie over its 17-year music stint.
With a recent transition in the band’s architecture as frontman Matt Walst became the official replacement for former singer-songwriter Adam Gontier in 2014, critics wondered what structure would be built with their 2015 album “Human” and subsequent tour.
Las Vegas was about to find out with the Friday night show at the Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel.
While Walst recently received his Three Days Grace title, he has been part of the family since the band’s inception. Walst is the younger brother of Three Days Grace bassist Brad Walst and assisted in writing the self-titled debut album and forth studio album, “Transit to Venus.”
The newly renovated band began its set with “I Am Machine,” the second single from “Human.” The biomechanical backdrop from the album’s cover seemed fitting, as this machine appeared to have undergone a smooth transition from past to present.
The gears kept turning as Walst un-mechanically marched into former chart-toppers “Pain” and “Just Like You.” If critics had questioned his ability to take over the throne, the Las Vegas audience seemed unfazed by the “Human” transition of Gontier to Walst.
“Thank you! F*ck, I love Vegas, man! You can gamble, you can drink on the streets, you can party all night!” said Walst to an eager Las Vegas crowd. “Who’s f*cking partying tonight? In Las Vegas, it’s always a f*cking party!”
This party was an amalgamate of old and new, embodying the former sound with a slightly more aggressive undertone. The latest album is darker, dirtier and angrier than “Days” past.
Place that in combination with a grittier frontman, and there is a new depth that welcomes seasoned and new fans alike.
In addition to the standard set repertoire, the show had a few honorable mentions. Keyboardist Dani Rosenoer soothed the crowd with a melodically eerie solo, followed by a 5-minute jackhammer drum solo by stickman Neil Sanderson.
While Sanderson’s drums tend to be straight in complexity, his sound has been the consistent backbone of Three Days Grace that has kept this “Human” standing upright.
One of the Three Day’s tour mainstays has been playing a cover of Limp Bizkit’s “Break Stuff” with tour manager Shawn “Hammer” Hamm. “Hammer” hammered the show home, with his funky rock/rap vocals and amped up the crowd for a nailed-in finish.
The show concluded with the 2006 hit “Riot” as Walst finished the set with a guttural growl and figure skating-esque full rotation jump from the upper stage to the floor.
Three Days Grace has a past and present, and with Matt Walst the band appears to have a promising future. His influence on past albums can be felt, and he brings a familiarity to the current presentation that won’t leave any veteran Three Days Grace fan disappointed.
Arguably one the coolest joints in town, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino houses some of Vegas' best entertainment, restaurants and nightlife.
At Hard Rock, it's all about the music. From the light fixtures made out of drum cymbals and guitar shaped door handles to stage costumes and tools of the trade of legendary musicians displayed on the walls, the hotel screams rock and roll. The Hard Rock's Joint has hosted some the biggest names in music — from The Who to Bob Dylan to hometown heroes, The Killers.Aside from the music venues, the pool at the Hard Rock is one of its biggest attractions. Spread out over 4.7 acres, the pool area features swim-up blackjack, a bar and grill, private cabanas, a bevy of secluded nooks, a waterfall and an extensive live music venue with a dance floor. During the summer, the pool transforms into the Rehab club on Sunday afternoons.
The resident nightclub Body English fuses European elegance with a rock star bachelor pad and it often a hot spot for visiting celebs and popular DJs. Vintage rock memorabilia lines the walls at Wasted Space, Hard Rock's anti-club.
Restaurants at Hard Rock are just as hip as the rest of the casino. Pink Taco serves up Mexican dishes, as well as a Central American and Caribbean menu. Nobu, one of five worldwide Japanese-specialty restaurants from famed Nobu Matsuhisa, satisfies a different taste. For round-the-clock cuisine, Mr. Lucky's 24/7, is sure to ease your appetite even after a Vegas-all-nighter.
Melina Robinson is a Las Vegas-based freelance journalist.