Breaking Benjamin Kicked Off Their Tour in Saint Louis With a Show That Set the Bar High

Breaking Benjamin performing at their tour kickoff at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

 

–By Valerie Helton

–Photos by Sean Derrick

Breaking Benjamin opened their 2019 United States tour in St. Louis on Sunday, July 21st at Hollywood Casino Amphitheater and brought with them Diamante, Dorothy, Three Days Grace and Chevelle as support acts. The night started out very hot and humid, but that didn’t keep fans from filling the amphitheater, including the lawn section, to a near capacity level.

Diamante performing at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre for the tour kickoff Sunday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

 

Diamante, a hard rock band with the namesake of vocalist Diamante Azzura Bovelli, kicked off the tour with a rock solid high energy set that set the stage for the rest of the night. Diamante was both visually and audibly stunning, with her sapphire colored hair giving extra oomph to her metal whips and killer vocals.

Diamante performing at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre for the tour kickoff Sunday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

 

Dorothy came on next after a delayed start from technical issues, which shortened the time of their set. This was the first time I heard Dorothy’s music. It had a bluesy feel, and the lead singer, Dorothy, had a great voice.

Dorothy performing at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre for the tour kickoff Sunday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

 

Three Days Grace was up next, and got the crowd amped by piping “Living On A Prayer” by Bon Jovi through the sound system before coming out. The stage had two screens behind them playing different clips and graphics with their songs. Lead singer Matt Walst also switched between his old timey mic and newer mic for a few songs, and really added a cool effect to his vocals.

Three Days Grace performing at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre for the tour kickoff Sunday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

 

I used to listen to Three Days Grace years ago, so I was nervous hearing them for the first time with “newer” lead singer, Matt Walst. His vocals were a little rough the first song, and a bit here and there throughout the entire set, but once they started playing “Animal”, he really proved himself. “Animal” was my favorite song they performed, mostly because it included a snippet of “Seven Nation Army” in it.

Three Days Grace performing at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre for the tour kickoff Sunday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

 

Three Days Grace played most of their older singles, which the crowd LOVED. They started chanting “THREE DAYS GRACE!” between songs multiple times. Walst yelled at the crowd to start mosh pits while jumping off speakers and chanting “Riot!”, before playing the crowd’s’ favorite song. He really knew how to work the stage and keep the crowd entertained and it showed in his performance.

Three Days Grace performing at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre for the tour kickoff Sunday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

 

Three Days Grace Setlist:

The Mountain Home

The Good Life Pain

Infra-Red

I Hate Everything About You

Animal I Have Become (with snippet of “Seven Nation Army”)

Never Too Late

Riot

 

Chevelle was up next and opened their set with some of their newer songs. Pete Loeffler’s vocals were on point as usual, and sounded just like their CD. At first, their stage set up seemed extremely basic with 3 silver shiny squares behind them, but as the set went out, the squares lit up with different colors and patterns.

Chevelle performing at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre for the tour kickoff Sunday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

 

I used to listen to Chevelle years ago, so I don’t know many of their newer songs, and it seemed like the crowd felt the same way. During the first 5 songs, the crowd didn’t seem to be as interactive with the band, and walked around and talked to each other. This completely changed once “Hats Off To The Bull” started playing.

Chevelle performing at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre for the tour kickoff Sunday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

 

As usual, Chevelle sounded pristine with crisp vocals, guitar riffs, and heavy hitting bass licks. They finished the set by playing what seemed to be the crowd’s favorite song; “I Get It”. Everyone was singing and jumping around, and showered the band with approving cheers as they left the stage.

Chevelle performing at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre for the tour kickoff Sunday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

 

Chevelle Setlist:

Young Wicked

Get Some

Face to the Floor

An Island

Door to Door Cannibals

Hats Off to the Bull

The Clincher

Send the Pain Below

The Red

I Get It

 

Now came the band everyone was waiting for. While Breaking Benjamin set up, they had a large white sheet hiding the stage, which they later used during the opening for some cool shadow effects. About 15 minutes before Breaking Benjamin came on, Tony Patrico from The Rizzuto Show on 105.7 came out to introduce them. He said “Let’s start a slow clap” which everyone followed, but eventually died out after he said it would be a few minutes. This was my third time seeing Breaking Benjamin, and they always put on a good show, so I was excited to see what they were going to do.

 

Breaking Benjamin started their set about 15 minutes later than scheduled. The large white sheet had fog lit up behind it that kind of looked like clouds and lightning. The sheet dropped a few moments into “Red Cold River”.

Breaking Benjamin performing at their tour kickoff at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

 

The stage set up was similar to last year, with the drummer being elevated higher than the rest of the stage. It also had sections for fireworks and fireballs to shoot out during multiple parts of the set.

 

After Breaking Benjamin finished playing their opening song, frontman Benjamin Burnley stated how he couldn’t even hear anything, the crowd was SO loud. He also said that tonight was the start of the tour, and he regretted starting here because none of the other shows will compare. I’ve heard before that Breaking Benjamin has their biggest following in St. Louis, and they aren’t even from here. You could really tell that they have a huge local following.

Breaking Benjamin performing at their tour kickoff at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

Benjamin Burnley was the most interactive with the crowd that I have ever seen in a front man, which I really love. It’s good to see his personality and how much fun he has on stage. He sang directly to a little girl in the front row, while holding her hand (which he later brought on stage with her brother and dad).

He was also comical and entertaining, during one point of the set, he sat right in front of the AC vent tube because it was extremely hot. He also threw water bottles to the crowd towards to the end of the set, making sure it only got to the females. He told them they could share it with the males around them if they wanted to.

My favorite part of the show was when Burnley started playing a drum set that had Star Wars type Lightsabers attached to it, that actually made the sound when he touched it. They also played famous covers from bands such as Nirvana, Metallica, and Rage Against The Machine, which I always love.

Breaking Benjamin performing at their tour kickoff at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

Breaking Benjamin ended their set with Benjamin Burnley in the middle of the crowd singing. As always, they put on a great show. Their sound was amazing, and kept the crowd entertained the entire time, even though this set seemed to be almost identical to last year’s set.

Be sure to check out the photo gallery from the evening after the last setlist.

 

Breaking Benjamin Setlist:

Red Cold River

I Will Not Bow

Never Again

Breath

Sugarcoat

Polyamorous

Medley:The Imperial March / Cowboys From Hell / Smells Like Teen Spirit / Bohemian Rhapsody / Enter Sandman / Bulls On A Parade

Drum Solo Sooner or Later

Blow Me Away

Tourniquet

So Cold

Angels Fall

Dance with the Devil

Failure

Torn in Two

Encore:

Rain

The Diary of Jane

 

 

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