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From The Pit To The Crowd: Chevelle with Black Map and Dinosaur Pile-Up

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Wednesday, July 19th was a special day for House of Blues Orlando attendees as Chevelle finally made their way back into town. It had been a few years since the band visited us and when fans found out they were returning, they came out in droves. So many people wanted to see Chevelle they sold out the show! And with good support from both Black Map and Dinosaur Pile-Up this would be a show fans would remember.

Dinosaur Pile-Up was on stage first. The band from Leeds, West Yorkshire in the United Kingdom was visiting Orlando for the second time in 3 months. They were recently part of the WJRR Earthday Birthday 24 lineup where they rocked out the crowd and said themselves how much they were enjoying Orlando FL. Formed back in 2007, Matt Bigland (vocals, guitar), Mike Sheils (drummer), and Jim Cratchley (bass) provide an alternative rock style with influences from bands like Nirvana (which is ironic since I’ve heard multiple people tell me how they feel Matt looks like Kurt Cobain on stage) and the Foo Fighters. They’re most recent album was ‘Eleven Eleven’ released in 2015.

From their set list that night “Grim Valentine” from ‘Eleven Eleven’ is one of those songs where you can hear that Nirvana like influence. Matt’s vocals and guitar playing has a nice hook and cadence that will have you singing along quickly. “Red and Purple” also from ‘Eleven Eleven’ shows more of their own alternative rock influence. I love Jim’s bass line during the song as it provides that headbanging up and down beat. Mike rips out some nice quick beats on the drum through the song and lays it all out at the end of the song too.

“Might As Well” also goes back to that Nirvana style of music. It’s melodic pace is catchy and the higher notes Matt puts in there gives the song some flair. Though I hear the Nirvana comparison, Dinosaur Pile-Up has a unique sound of their own. I like during some of the instrumentals how they drag out the guitar and bass sounds before going back into the normal sound. The band wrapped up with “11:11” the title track from their most recent album. It’s definitely one of their harder sounding tracks, which I love. Matt gives the guitar a deep dark riff, almost bass sounding and mixed in with Jim’s bass line it gives it a real heavy sound. During the chorus Matt goes for broke with the vocals. I’d love to hear them do more songs in this style. Overall, they provided the fans with a great set getting the crowd riled up for the following bands.

Next up was Black Map from San Francisco, CA. I recently saw them perform at the Danny Wimmer Presents festival Chicago Open Air. The band is a supergroup consisting of members from other bands to form Black Map. Ben Flanagan (bass, vocals) did vocals and guitars for The Trophy Fire, Mark Engles (guitarist) played guitars for Dredg, and Chris Robyn (drums) played drums for Far. They are currently touring on their latest album ‘In Droves’ that we released in March 2017. WJRR’s Supa Dave stepped out to talk to the crowd and introduce them on stage.

From their set list that evening “Ruin” from ‘In Droves’. The hard rocking song has an excellent deep bass riff in contrast to Mark’s high pitched guitar. Ben is a great vocalist ranging from middle to high note pitches. “No Color” has more of Mark shining forth with nice guitar riffs with bass taking a backup sound. Chris’ drums provide a solid back beat to the song. I love the bass like Ben drops in during the chorus as it has a hook that will draw you into paying attention to it.

“Octavia” is definitely heavier than the other songs with Ben, Mark, and Chris equally driving the song. Ben’s bass riff takes more precedence during verses and is quick matching Chris’ drum beat. Ben also lets his voice go full out providing a more metal sound to the song. “Run Rabbit Run”, the first single of ‘In Droves’ stays just as heavy as “Octavia” with Mark ripping out some speed metal like riffs. Chris also speeds up the drum beat to give this a much heavier sound. And Ben truly goes out vocally with some screaming during the chorus. The crowd truly enjoyed the set they played that evening.

The original brothers trio of Chevelle from Grayslake, IL made their impact on the world back in 2002 with the album ‘Wonder What’s Next’ and showed no signs of stopping. That album was certified platinum and charted well on Billboard. After the youngest brother Joe left the band their brother-in-law Dean stepped in and they continued to hit the charts. The band has release 8 albums with The North Corridor released in May 2016. The band consists of Pete Loeffler (vocal, guitar), Sam Loeffler (drums), and Dean Bernardini (bass).

This time WJRR’s LT and Supa Dave introduced the band. As the band stepped on stage the crowd roared. Besides the House of Blues lighting the band brought out their own lighting set that was incredible. Strobes and high spot beams made it an incredible view for the fans. Though, not so great for the photographers at times. They started out with “Another Know It All” from “This Type of Thinking (Could Do Us In)” and followed it up with “The Clincher”. Great vocals, heavy bass riffs, along with stellar guitar and drum work was making Chevelle’s return amazing.

The band played a large number of the popular singles from their history including “Jars”, “Vitamin R (Leading Us Along)”, “Face to the Floor”, and “Still Running”. All the while provided some great sounds and lighting displays. They wrapped up their set with “Hats Off to the Bull”, the title track from the 2011 album. As the band screamed and hollered for them to come back they did so and encored not 1 or 2, but 4 songs! They obviously wanted to make a lasting impression and they did performing “The Red”, “Comfortable Liar”, “Forfeit”, and finishing with “Send the Pain Below”. Chevelle provided the fans with a lengthy and phenomenal performance of great selections from their song catalog. Let’s hope they don’t wait a few more years to come back to Orlando to perform for us again.