On Saturday December 11th, my partner in crime/photographer, Hailey Williams, and I braved the frozen tundra specifically to see D.R.U.G.S on their first tour. Let me just tell you, that it was completely worth it. And to be perfectly honest, the tundra wasn’t really that frozen, it was just supposed to be. All hellish snow conditions aside, D.R.U.G.S brought everything they had to the Clearwater Theater that night and rocked it out in a way that only a band with a true passion for music could.
After waiting through two mediocre opening bands, the crowd waited in anticipation for D.R.U.G.S to take the stage. After taking their sweet time to set up, the house lights finally dimmed. Through the midst of the flashing light show the band had set up on stage, members of D.R.U.G.S began to take their positions on stage one by one. Although the roar of screaming fans rose with each member who made his appearance on stage, the crowd went completely insane when lead singer, Craig Owens, finally showed his face.
The set began immediately with a song that I honestly never thought I was going to be able to hear live. I’m not positive what D.R.U.G.S is calling it, but when it was leaked as an unreleased Chiodos song, it was entitled “Thermacare”. I was literally just telling a friend of mine maybe two weeks ago about how bad it sucks that I would never be able to hear this song live. Proven wrong! The band honestly could not have chosen a better opener for the set. The song was performed amazingly well, as I expected, and proved to be an extremely pleasant surprise.
Further into the set Craig’s favorite song, “Graveyard Dancing”, showed the crowd just how passionate he really is about what he’s doing. You could literally see the raw emotion on his face as he sang the words “I’m not living for you, I’m living for myself, so chill with your guilt”, or something like that. The lyrics aren’t actually available yet, but I know it was pretty close to that. I took notes! Regardless of how the lyrics actually go, it was absolutely amazing to be able to see how much this particular song, and the entire band in general, really means to Craig.
After playing a couple more songs, Owens opened up to the crowd, (as he often does) regarding his fears about getting back on stage after being let go from Chiodos. He explained to a room full of fans that were it not for their support and the support of his friends and band mates, there is no way he would have been able to set foot on that stage again. He goes on to say how truly thrilled he is to be able to continue doing what he is passionate about and then leads right into the closing song.
D.R.U.G.S closed the set with their first single, “If You Think This Song is About You it Probably Is”. I was very much looking forward to hearing this song live and I was definitely not disappointed in the slightest. Every single person in that room was singing along and there was not one standing still. Owens ended their set on a very strong note with some of the most powerful vocals I have ever heard come out of his mouth.
The band left the stage after this song; however, it was only for a brief time. Soon after walking off stage, the guys came back out with an encore song that they have supposedly never played live before. I, on the other hand, call shenanigans. After so modestly explaining to the crowd that he was probably going to mess this song up, Owens and the rest of the band played the song as if they had been doing so for years.
Overall, my first D.R.U.G.S experience was definitely worth risking a drive in a massive snow storm that didn’t happen until the following morning. It was amazing to see Craig doing what he loves again after almost a year. I am very much looking forward to hearing the album, (which is due in February 2011), and finding out exactly what this group of extremely talented musicians has in store for us.