Breaking Benjamin Plays Bangor

As if the weather wasn’t an indication, summer is coming to a close whether we like it or not. However, Wednesday’s show at Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion sent the season off with a bang, as hard rock giants took the stage for one last ride.

First to the stage was Boston native Diamante. The sapphire-haired, head banging vocalist gave fans a perfect introduction to the evening, pairing an edgy, alternative sound with the best of classic rock. The vocalist, whose first album entitled “Coming in Hot” dropped in 2018, definitely garnered new fans on her trip up the coast during her set, and made time to greet fans new and old throughout the evening.Though her set was on the shorter side, Diamante gave a high energy performance including hits like “Haunted” and “Hear Me Now”, her collaboration with Bad Wolves.

Diamante’s Bangor debut was quickly followed by Dorothy, another incredible female-fronted band. The stage felt ethereal as fog and wind spilled into the crowd and surrounded vocalist Dorothy Martin as she spun and stretched across the stage. The group seemed eager to play for such a receptive crowd, and Martin sung praises to Bangor, most notably to resident Steven King, who inspired her witchy sensibilities. The group played a set showcasing their bluesy-rock, featuring “Raise Hell”, “Down to the Bottom”, and “After Midnight”.

Next up to bat was Three Days Grace, whose much anticipated set got the crowd to their feet and marching with “The Mountain”. Led by vocalist Matt Walst, fans were treated to a set filled with with new and old favorites, as well as a few surprises, including show-stopping solos, and a verse of the White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army” tucked into their own “Animal”. The groups set also included tracks “Home”, “The Good Life”, “Pain”, “Infra-red”, “Break”, and “Never Too Late”.

Without a doubt, Three Days Grace proved to be a fan favorite as the crowd chanted their name, holding up threes between each song . The chants only got louder as the night went on, with the crowd split in two screaming the chorus of “I Hate Everything About You” and moshing along to “Riot”. Once again,Three Days Grace delivered a powerful set, leaving fans ready for the next leg of the evening’s hard rock triple threat.

After only a year away, Impact Festival veterans Chevelle returned to the waterfront stage to put on a set which showcased hits from their expansive 20 year career. Through the group joked about being too sluggish to play because of all the lobster rolls, Chevelle did not disappoint. The group gave high intensity rhythm and killer quick basslines with every song as lead vocalist and guitarist Pete Loeffler sung alongside the crowd.

The group catered to new and old fans during their time under the lights, with a mix of more recent tracks including “Door to Door Cannibals” and “Young Wicked” as well as “Vitamin R (Leading Us Along)”, “Send the Pain Below”, “The Red”, and “Still Running” for their veteran fans. With a tenth album in the works, and another successful Bangor set in the books, there’s no doubt Chevelle will be back to rock again in no time.

And then there was one. As rain began to fall, the larger-than-life silhouette of singer Benjamin Burnley appeared behind a monstrous curtain, signifying the long-awaited arrival of Breaking Benjamin. The curtain dropped, and fans were greeted by the ever-watching eye featured on the cover of the band’s latest album, Ember, along with a wall of sound. Beams of fire and dazzling fireworks shot from the stage as the group began the opening lines of “Red Cold River”.

The standout performance of the evening came from an eclectic medley consisting of
“The Imperial March”, “Cowboys From Hell”, “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “Enter Sandman” and “Bulls on Parade”, which Burnley lovingly dedicated to his fellow nerds who “refuse to let the child in them die”. The medley was followed by a showcase of drummer Shaun Foist, whose impressive solo featured impossibly fast bass hits, paired with splashing water with each strike, and ever-flipping drumsticks. In addition, the group treated the Bangor crowd to favorites like “I Will Not Bow”, “Breath”, “Failure” and “Torn in Two”.

Towards the end of their time on the waterfront stage, Burnley did nothing but praise the crowd in between each song, almost at a loss for words of gratitude for the fans gathered. The group triumphantly closed the night with their megahit “Diary of Jane”.

There are still plenty of chances to catch this lineup in action, as they head off to play Gilford, NH on the 30th, followed by a stop in Wantagh, NY on the 31st.

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