Three Days Grace had returned home.
As a black-clad Gontier moved fluidly in and out of the spotlights, the now world-famous band from Norwood launched into a show that included a wide selection of the songs they have written over the course of their rise from a first incarnation as Groundswell in the early 1990s to the release of their most recent CD, "One X. "
Many of the songs, especially from the first album, "Three Days Grace," were about growing up in a small town and the fight to find their own identity and course in life, Gontier told fans.
But with that identity found, the band responded to the needs of the community and returned Saturday, April 19 to play an intimate show for many of the fans who watched them grow as a band to become an award-winning act big enough to set off on a two-year world tour.
At the same time, Three Days Grace helped the Norwood Lions Club raise $50,000 to fulfill its $300,000 commitment to help pay for the multi-million dollar recreation facility, which has become one of the focal points of community activity since it opened in 2004.
Opening for Three Days Grace was another band with an evocative name and roots in the local community. My Darkest Days members Brad Walst, Brendon McMillan and Doug Oliver all went to Norwood District High School and, with the older band as an example, are developing into a musical force in their own right. Together they gave the fans a double-edged performance of music inspired by the likes of Nirvana, Pearl Jam and other alternative, grunge and post-punk rock bands.
Before the show, a lineup of expectant fans stretched from the front door of the community centre and extended around the edges of the parking lot. Among them were Cathy Robitaille of Hastings and Bill Collins of Norwood and his daughter Madison. Robitaille and Collins said the return of the band for a fundraising concert is a boost for the community.
"It is tremendous for the community," said Robitaille, who was wearing a black Three Days Grace T-shirt. "And this is giving local fans a chance to see them up close. They are giving back to the fans."
Judy Langstaff and Dave Mark came from Beaverton to see Three Days Grace, one of their favourite bands.
"We’re big fans, big, big fans," said Langstaff, who was impressed that the band returned to its rural roots for a fundraising concert. "They came back to their hometown to do a concert for a good thing."
Three Days Grace is just amazing.
And now they are finally home. Where they write the best songs. But we all know that they will not be rushing into that too soon. Because unlike most bands, who try to quickly write songs so that they can be aired on the radio super duper fast, Three Days Grace takes a lot of time to create an album. They start writing each song with acoustic guitars and a hand drum. Because they say that if you can take away everything and the song still works, then you have something good on your hands. Three Days Grace makes sure that each song on the album is just right so that there is not just one song that really stands out as being amazing.
For example, look at their album "One-X".
There were many hits on that album. Not just one or two. And they have to keep working like that. Because this is why Three Days Grace has become world popular. And of course, where does all of this happen? In their hometowns. Sitting around campfires. Being with family. This is what inspires their work (along with real life situations of what they have seen and experienced). So I can promise that the next album will be better than the last. Because Three Days Grace only gets better and better!