Article and Photos by: Linda Carlson
Lexington, KY – August 12, 2018 was a big night for post grunge / rock at Manchester Music Hall, which played host to four bands that lit the stage with rock-and-roll fervor.
Tantric started the show with their brand of heavy grunge rock. Formed in 1998, and fronted by the sole remaining original band member Hugo Ferreira, this Louisville KY band is currently promoting the upcoming release of their eighth album, Mercury Retrograde, set for later this year.
SOiL entered the stage next. Bandmembers Ryan McCombs (lead vocalist), Tim King (bassist), Adam Zadel (guitarist) and TJ Taylor (drums) brought their Chicago-rooted rock vibe to this Lexington crowd. McCombs’ performance was fervent. He consistently made engaging eye contact with the audience and at one point left the stage to walk into the crowd and sing several songs surrounded by fans. This sort of intimacy is truly appreciated…the “boundary” between the stage and the fans melted away.
Saliva was likewise ready to put on an amazing show. You can always tell when a band wants to be there, and Saliva absolutely wanted to perform that night. Everyone was on their game, and lead singer Bobby Amaru sang with ardor, and continually gestured into the crowd for emphasis. He wanted the crowd engaged and the crowd obliged. Saliva played their own originals including “Click, Click, Boom,” which was a guaranteed hit. They also performed a compilation of song covers (“Another Brick in the Wall,” “In the Air Tonight”) that was a crowd-pleaser.
While waiting for headliner Puddle of Mudd to take the stage, the venue piped songs through the speakers. Bad Wolves’ cover of The Cranberries’ “Zombie” was playing just as the band came onstage, and the entire crowd was singing along at full volume. Although the song was cut short, the crowd continued to sing. It’s clearly a huge hit right now among rock fans.
Puddle of Mudd fittingly closed the evening with a solid concert. Front man Wes Scantlin was not as animated as McCombs and Amura had been, but his performance was tight and strong. Guitarist Matt Fuller and bassist Michael John Adams moved about more freely, adding energy to a strong set of tunes including several of their chart-topping rock singles.
Touring continues. Check each band’s website for tour information.