SHOW REVIEW: Fuel / Bad Axis

Fuel/Bad Axis
July 20, 2012
Another Hole in the Wall
Steger, IL


Patrons eagerly began piling in as soon as the doors opened this past Friday evening at Another Hole in the Wall in Steger, IL.  Reason being was that the double platinum selling rock band Fuel would be performing this evening.  Original front man Brett Scallions had left the band on amicable terms back in 2004 leaving many fans heartbroken and disappointed.  Since 2011 however, Brett has reformed the band now consisting of Andy Andersson – lead guitar, Brad Stewart of Shinedown – bass, Ken Schalk of Candiria – drums, and Brett Scallions – vocals and rhythm guitar. Fuel brought Nashville, Tennessee modern rock quartet Bad Axis along with them, and local support for the evening was provided by MainLine and Dawn BeginsMainLine sold a tremendous amount of tickets for the event, that rendered a huge crowd that was all their own to pile in amongst the Fuel fans.


Once the local support had finished up Nashville, Tennessee’s Bad Axis was next to take the stage.  The band’s name is defined as “The illogical, irrational, necessary pattern of living one must endure to succeed”, and there is not a much better way to describe the influences and motivation within the band’s music.  Their stage presence was quite captivating ranging from mellow and calm to erratic and thrashing as their music deemed it necessary.  Lead vocalist and rhythm guitar player Drew Molleur‘s somber and crisp vocals captivated the crowd’s attention as they blended beautifully with the band’s music.  To further engage the eager crowd, the band put a down a 5 minute medley of multiple cover songs meshed into one song ranging from Collective Soul to Pantera and more.  The crowd loved every second of these guys performance and with good reason.


Bad Axis has a unique sound and style that is all their own, that consists of progressively well written melodies and harmonizing vocals set to a lively and engaging stage performance.  The band certainly picked up many new, loyal fans with the night’s performance, and that seems to be a regular occurrence at every venue they encounter.  A live performance certainly not to be missed, their music draws listeners in with its harmonic pull.  Bad Axis consists of Drew Molleur – lead vocals and rhythm guitar, JJ Keenan – lead guitar and backup vocals, Paul Buccholz – bass and backup vocals, and Mike Snyder – drums.  Follow them online through the links below to get up to date news, tour info, and to also pick up a copy of their debut album “Come Alive” an eclectic culmination of the band’s diverse and well rounded style.


Next up on the stage were the evening’s headliners.  The band whose fans stood at the front railing from the moment the venue doors opened until the moment the band left the stage for the evening.  Yes, that’s right it was now time for Fuel to take the stage.  The lights went out and Family Guy‘s Brian the dog and Stewie the baby began singing for the band’s intro.  Most of the crowd laughed and applauded while others just seemed confused.  Before anyone could think too in depth about the intro, Fuel had arrived on stage. Screams echoed throughout the venue immediately as front man Brett Scallions had barely even placed a foot on the stage.  The band went immediately into an upbeat and energetic set consisting of all of their original fan favorites along with new unreleased material currently being recorded.


The crowd was ecstatic at the opportunity to hear new unreleased music from the band.  Lead singer Brett Scallions informed the crowd that newly formed Fuel lineup had been busy in the studio the past few months working on a brand new album.  Once the cheers and screams died down some Brett was able to go on to explain the band felt the need to take a break from the studio.  They had been working tediously day in and day out writing and recording new material and just needed to get out and clear their heads.  What better way to do so than to go on tour were the band’s thoughts and that is exactly what they did.


One of the highlights of the evening consisted of Brett dedicating the band’s performance of a new song to the Colorado movie shooting victims from earlier that Friday morning.  The song’s title “Time For Me To Stop” is about alleged child murderer found innocent, Casey Anthony, whom the singer admitted to the crowd he initially was a supporter of early on and then quickly was opposed to, as is the majority of the world.  Nonetheless, the crowd was extremely perceptive of the song, and the rest of the band’s new and unreleased material that they performed.  Some of the new material performed also included “Headache“, “I Can See the Sun“, and “What We Can Never Have” all of which the crowd loved every note of.  The new material also showed a heavier side of the group.  The band is tentatively planning the release date for their new album to occur within 2012 which is rumored to be including 18 tracks of new material currently.


Fuel played all of their fan favorites for the crowd also.  One over served patron was screaming a request for “Shimmer” two songs after the band had already played it. Brett politely responded with “I’m sorry, but you must have been in the bathroom when we played that one,” as the crowd burst into laughter.  The finely orchestrated set list of new and old material rocked out for a solid hour when the band quickly said “Later” to the crowd and immediately exited.  The crowd stood silent and confused for a few moments.  The band exited so swiftly that half the audience had not even realized they had done so.  Within a few moments members of the crowd realized that the band had yet to play two of their biggest hits “Falls On Me” and “Hemorrhage (In My Hands)“.  Between that, and the fact that the house lights for the venue had not yet turned on, an encore chant quickly erupted.  Within just a couple minutes Fuel was back on stage just as fast they had disappeared from it.  Many members of the crowd sang along word for word as the band played “Falls On Me” followed by “Hemorrhage” to properly finish off their performance for the evening.


All of the bands for the night put on an excellent performance.  Spectators were treated to an amazing evening full of diverse, good old fashioned rock and roll.  For diehard Fuel fans the show was a dream come true, and nothing short of a miracle.  Great things can happen over time, and Brett, along with his new-found group of just as talented and motivated individuals, set off to begin a new chapter within the rock and roll legacy that is Fuel.  A new generation a fans has begun to spawn, as well as a reuniting of the original fans, leading the band’s following to continually grow since their rather recent reincarnation.  Catch Fuel‘s next local area performance on August 16, 2012 at Club Fever in South Bend, Indiana.  Brett Scallion’s wife’s band, Slunt, will be Fuel‘s supporting act for the show.  Abby Gennet (Brett‘s wife) has been lead singer and rhythm guitarist for Slunt since the band’s inception ten years ago.  Bad Axis will be performing in Rockford, IL on August 18, 2012 at Brewsky’s.  Be on the lookout for either band along with the local acts as they all put on a great performance.  Keep up to date with the latest updates, tour info, and more from each band by following the links below.