FORT WAYNE – A lot has happened in the past two decades. The stage show for Nonpoint certainly has had its share of aesthetic looks, but the energy given and the brute force of their concert package hasn’t been compromised in all these years.
Standing before a loyal fanbase Sunday night at The Hub – formerly Piere’s – in Fort Wayne, Nonpoint brought its usual high energy show and brazen attitude to a blistering set on the million-dollar stage.
On the strength of its latest LP, “The Poison Red”, the band mixed in several of the new tracks with old favorites and a few songs that haven’t been on the regular performance list.
The first single from Red, “Generation Idiot”, was among the lot along with tracks “Divided…Then Conquer”, “My Last Dying Breath”, and a smooth mashup of the old school “Rabia”, from 2004’s Recoil album, with 2016’s “El Diablo” from the Red album. The style and delivery of “El Diablo” mimics the essence of “Rabia”, and to put the two together, Spanglish and all, was a treat.
Of course the band had to hit the mandatory staples including “What A Day” and the closing “Bullet With A Name”, along with its opener “Pins And Needles” and “Breaking Skin”, both from the well-received 2014 album “The Return”, “Breaking Skin” being the album’s overwhelmingly most recognizable song among the newer tracks.
Sticking with works as well as staying true to form. For lead singer Elias Soriano, along with drummer Robb Rivera the two original founding members of the band in 1997, the formula to success isn’t difficult.
With guitarists Rasheed Thomas, BC Kochmit and bassists Adam Woloszyn now in tow for a second album and a third year, the band is as strong as ever.
“We’ve been blessed that we know how to do it, the way we do it, and to continue to do it the way we do it,” Soriano said before the show in the green room at The Hub. “You always want to aspire to do more in this industry, and if not, you’ll die out quickly. We love playing arena shows, but we know that the smaller clubs have their appeal and need, too.
“We know that what also works well. We try to preach the gospel of what works within the band. And that’s the fans and staying true to us. You work your butts off on stage, caring about the band and wanting to carry on. We know what also works, which is promoting the band, which includes the Facebook, getting out to the merch tables every night and talking to our fans, which is more than 99 percent of the time at our shows. That’s our formula.”
Opening support for the Nonpoint show included a host of different styles that all seemed to gravitate to the same, hard rock theme.
South Bend’s Second Season played a short but catchy set, which led into the dark and storytelling dialogue of Emily Lazar and her ‘soul reapers’ from September Mourning. In what is a dark storyboard, Lazar’s September character takes the audience through the dark as the band lends a thrashing support line that makes it all work. Think In This Moment meets Avatar meets Black Veil Brides.
Beyond Threshold didn’t mince words it came to throwing down heavy metal, its riffs and growly vocals easily the heaviest of the night. Sidewise, in a change of pace, brought its Kansas City blend of melody and approach to a set that picked up as it went along, “The Fool I Am” easily the most recognizable tune of the allotment.
The Hub – Same Look, Slightly Different Attitude
“Our concert venue is our bread and butter, and we’re not going to pretend like anything has changed in that regard,” said The Hub general manager Ray Bolster, speaking outside the venue Sunday night before Nonpoint’s concert. “It’s a nightclub, and eventually, we want all five clubs back open again.”
The Hub, which was nationally known as Piere’s nightclub until this summer, shut its doors quickly and quietly in early August, much to the surprise and wonderment of the Fort Wayne area as well as a host of national bands booked to play the venue including Nonpoint and In This Moment in mid August.
A change in ownership had the doors open back up in about two to three weeks, per Bolster, to which the five-pronged nightclub is now a triumvirate of karaoke, dance and the live music room, which has brought in some of the most notable music acts in the country.
“We’re always a work in progress,” noted Bolster. “The new owner retained most of the old staff. It’s been a lot of time and effort getting the word back out there that we’re still here and making the effort to bring a better product to the people.”
Bolster, who also is maintaining much of the social media and promotional detail, noted The Hub is still housing some of the top musical acts in the country, including Nonpoint this past Sunday, Adam Gontier of Saint Asonia in an acoustic show on election night, and upcoming shows like Hellyeah, Buckcherry, and Pop Evil headlining the 98.9 The Bear’s Electric Christmas.
A full list of entertainment coming to The Hub can be found on their Facebook page.