Alternative rock group Chevelle made a special appearance in St. Louis Sunday night as part of a radio show for 105.7 The Point. They are not currently on tour but were coaxed out for a special show by a station that has shown them support for their entire career.
The show was supposed to be a three band show. However, the first opening band- Hail the Villain- never showed, due to inclement weather. So the show started 30 minutes late with Finger Eleven playing a longer set than originally planned to make up a bit for the no show of the prior band. Finger Eleven, of “One Thing” fame played for over an hour, mostly covering new material off of their latest CD “Life Turns Electric”. The obvious highlights of their performance were, “Paralyzer” and “One Thing”, as well as the absolute uniqueness of guitarist Rick Jackett, who looks like he’s having some kind of seizure when he plays. His antics were definitely the highlight of their set considering the rest of the set seemed non-exceptional and forced.
Chevelle came out and tried to fare better. However, only playing 5 shows since August may have kept the guys from Chicago, Illinois from being at their best.
They started their set with “The Clincher” and “Get Some”, followed closely by “Jars”, “Sleep Walking Elite”, “Send the Pain Below”(which saw a brief response from the crowd), and “Comfortable Liar” in rapid succession before the crowd really came alive when the first chords to “The Red” screamed out. “Oh, you know this one?” asked guitarist/singer Pete Loeffler.
Pete Loeffler, along with his brother Sam Loeffler on drums and their brother-in-law Dean Bernardini on bass, have a sound that has been compared to Tool, though the band has tried to distance itself from those comparisons. Chevelle showed how different they are from Tool with heavier riffs that bordered on speed metal and a more upbeat attitude.
The upbeat attitude did nothing for the lighting. With virtually no spotlight, only overhead stage lighting used, the band seemed to blend in with the background. Maybe that was the idea, but the way the lighting was set up it didn’t help ramp the energy up.
With the rest of the set incorporating a wide variety of songs from their entire catalogue the trio shuffled through songs like “Letter From a Thief”, “Vitamin R”, the bass iinfused “An Evening With El Diablo”, the slashy vigor of “Straight Jacket Fashion”, with very little interaction with the audience before ending the main set with a vibrant version of “I Get it”.
“Forfeit”, “Shameful Metaphors”, and “Sleep Apnea” rounded out the encore and left the crowd seemingly fulfilled, but not much in the way of being overly memorable.