Review by John Jeffrey, Photos by Thomas S Orwat Jr.
North Tonawanda, NY – The members of Buckcherry recently stated that when they perform, that they want their shows to be more than just a ‘concert,’ they want it to be an “event.” On July 15th, Buckcherry (literally) set the stage for an ostentatious event in North Tonawanda, as they put on a free concert, smack dab in the middle of Sunday afternoon, at Gratwick Park. All involved with the making of this event, Cornerstone’s Niagara River Rocks, hope that this will be the beginning of more concerts to be put on at Gratwick.
Opening the show was Fuel, which the group now is merely comprised of original singer Brett Scallions, along with a back up band of replacement members. A matter of fact, Scallions was actually fired from Fuel in 2006, as the ‘real’ Fuel continued on with vocalist Toryn Green, releasing the heavily overlooked gem, “Angels & Devils” in 2007. In 2009, Scallions started up the unit, Re-Fueled, which somehow obtained the legal rights to name ‘Fuel,’ and Re-Fueled eventually became this ‘new’ Fuel. Although the majority of the fans want to hear the songs being sung by the original singer, Scallions voice is not what it once was, and his very pedestrian looking band did not provide an authentic sound to their ‘classic’ material. To make matters worse, the sound itself at Gratwick started off real shaky, as it kept phasing in and out, giving Fuel an amateur sound at best. The crowd did not seem too enthused either, as they did not respond to the needed ‘sing along’ parts of their songs, as Scallions picked up on this an stated, “I guess we’re gonna have to sing this one for you.” He continued half-heartedly joking, “I guess you want us to leave,” which did not receive much fanfare either way.
As the summer sun went down, Buckcherry took the stage, and the whole atmosphere became electric, as the whole demeanor of the waning crowd did a complete 180 degree turn. The future of arena rock, Buckcherry, got the party started long before declaring, “It’s A Party” (from the album “All Night Long”) halfway through their set. While there were still some sound issues, the sonics were much improved from the Fuel set, and it didn’t seem to matter much, as Josh Todd and crew had the crowd of nearly 10,000 rockin’ and fist pumpin’ throughout the whole show. As one could imagine, the biggest crowd response they probably got was when they pulled out their break out hit, “Lit Up” and ended the regular part of their set with the raucous dirty girl anthem, “Crazy Bitch.”
Ending the show with encores of “Out of Line” and “Whiskey in the Morning,” Buckcherry wrapped up things up early on Sunday night, giving the crowd a extra few hours to get their hearing and voices back, as Monday morning always comes too soon!
Special thanks to Sara Spector and Stephen Shaw for helping us with our press credentials.