There are cool venues for shows, then there are REALLY cool venues for shows. The venue for the Another Lost Year/Drugs Delaney show is classified as one of the latter. Saturday’s show was smack dab in the middle of a world famous brewery, Pearl Street Brewery. Needless to say the beer was beyond stellar, and made showgoers forget how hot and miserable the Wisconsin night was outside the brick walls of the hundred-plus-year-old building.
Peoria, Illinois-based Drugs Delaney took the stage first, reminding all in attendance that Mudvayne, Smashing Pumpkins, and Disturbed are not the only badass bands to come out of the Land of Lincoln. Drugs Delaney is self-described as Alternative Rock, but after watching their show, I tend to want to call them more of a cock-rock influenced, unformatted rock band. Frontman Andrew William Smith, is what all rock frontmen aspire to be, sexy, funny, charismatic, and can sing like a mofo. This man has a stage presence that reminded me of David Lee Roth, pre-crazy Steven Tyler, and a dash of Brent Smith. The crowd was full of people who admittedly had never heard of Drugs Delaney before, and after the band’s set, walked away as hardcore Drugs Delaney fans. Bassist Adam John Kelley has some serious chops, his playing has a unique blend of Tool-esque fervor and straight forward Geddy Lee pro style; in other words, amazeballs. Guitarist Dylon Sekula threw me for a loop with his young baby face look, his performance knocked me on my ass. After watching his style and attack of his licks, I assume he started playing guitar before he was potty-trained, and I doubt he was ever subjected to a monotonous guitar lesson from a 60-year-old retired high school band teacher. The natural talent just oozes out of this fella. Last but not least, drummer Nick McNeely makes drumming look easy. I swear I didn’t see him sweat during the entire set. Nick’s style is a hybrid of all things Alternative drummers should be – creative, aggressive, unrelenting, and always on point. The foursome titillated the crowd, playing many new songs off of their upcoming album, Black Knight Satellite, which will be available July 1, 2016 through Mirage M’hal Records. I am not a fan of covers, but Drugs Delaney laid out a stellar rendition of Cheap Trick‘s “Surrender” that had me looking for Rick Nielson up on the Pearl Street Brewery stage. Drugs Delaney puts on a phenomenal live show and are currently on tour, find them, get to a show and throw your money at them!
On to the headliner, Another Lost Year. In the age of autotune and genius producers, it can be next to impossible to find a band that sounds just as amazing live as on their studio albums. Another Lost Year is one of those rare talented rock quartets that have achieved the goal of sounding amazing live, unplugged and pre-recorded. Musically, these Charlotte, North Carolina natives individually bring massive amounts of creativity and talent to the table. Lead Singer, Clinton Cunanan, presents himself on stage like a sexy boy next door; someone that could be your best friend, your wing man, but would help your grandma move in the middle of a snow storm. Clinton’s vocal range is a solid three octaves, with pure clarity on every note he delivers. The crowd fell instantly in love with his easy going charm and his raw energy. Adam Hall, bassist, is a funny guy but has deep flowing talent that may surprise a first time listener. Adam’s stage presence is easy going and mellow, but his style and form are anything but. Guitarist, Jorge Sotomarino, is pure rock star. Jorge’s stage presence would make many a frontman jealous. The way he wielded his axe, but also interacted with the crowd, was a refreshing site to behold. Aggressive and multifaceted are just two the many adjectives I can use to describe his guitar playing. Rounding out this band of uber-talented lads is drummer Nathan Walker, who has earned his rightful thrown as the time keeper of the band. I am, by no means an expert on drumming, but in my humble opinion after seeing his performance, I would bet that this man has some serious music theory in his blood. There are rock drummers, then there are ROCK drummers, Nathan is one of the latter. I can see his name being on many “best of ” lists in the near future and for many years after. The band played hit after hit from their previous albums plus gave the fans what they really were there for, to see the new songs live. Clinton and his counterparts gave the fans their all, and playing a few of the stellar new songs off the newest album, Alien Architect. Gauging by the reaction of the crowd when the intro hit their ears, the song “Wolves” was defiantly the crowd’s favorite song of the night.
Drugs Delaney and Another Lost Year both put on fantastic sets, and are both well on their way to becoming large venue headliners. I would suggest that you follow the links provided and find out where both these bands are performing and plan to so partake in a show in the near future.