The Rave – Milwaukee, WI
Drowning Pool is:
Ryan McCombs – lead vocals
C.J. Pierce – guitar, backing vocals
Stevie Benton – bass, backing vocals
Mike Luce – drums, percussion, backing vocals
Fans of Drowning Pool know the history of them losing original singer, Dave Williams RIP and trying to find a replacement in Jason Jones to fill those huge shoes. This did not last long after one album and he was replaced.
Being a fan of Drowning Pool back when they first came out with the album, Sinner, they brought on Ryan McCombs and many fans wondered how long this would last. Would they go back to the style of rock that made them blow up in the first place? Seeing Drowning Pool those first years with Ryan, in my opinion, you could tell he was searching to find his place in the band. Although an amazing singer, he did not find that comfort level yet.
In getting a chance to see them live after about a year since I saw them last, I was excited to see how far they have come, because the last show was great. They opened with “Let the Sin Begin” off their 2010 self titled album, Drowning Pool. From the start, you knew this was going to be a good show, with the band sounding as tight as ever.
The guitar work of C.J. Pierce is some of the best playing I have seen in a while, with as much guitar effects he has on his board, he is sounding spot on and as fresh as when they played at Ozzfest back in the days. Stevie Benton and Mike Luce provide a solid, heavy beat for McCombs to prowl the middle of the stage as he sings with this intense passion and conviction. His skills as Drowning Pool frontman have grown to the point where this band is now his and he knows he commands your attention when he is out there.
Some of the highlights of the night were McCombs on his knees in front of the drum set and Pierce’s guitar wailing away as he lights up a cigarette, letting the smoke billowing in the air and with a drink in hand starts to sing “37 Stitches,” one of my favorite songs of the album, Full Circle. With an Alice in Chains vibe to it, McCombs sang this song with such passion and feeling; words cannot describe how amazing this was.
They followed this up with the cover song, “Rebel Yell” by Billy Idol. This song got the whole crowd into it, as everyone was bouncing up and down and chanting, “More, more, more!” Some of the fans were chanting “Bodies,” which McCombs said that “if we play that now, the show is over, so do you want us to keep playing,” which the crowd responded back with approval to keep the show going.
After they played a few more songs, including, “Regret” and “Sinner” before coming back for an encore of “Feel Like I Do” and what the crowd was waiting for – “Bodies.” As they started the intro, (“Bodies” being one of the all-time great rock songs) they were joined on stage by Joey Duenas from Anew Revolution, Leigh Kakaty from Pop Evil and Danny Resnick from Static Cycle as they all took turns singing. This was a great way to end the night and a show of respect they have for each other as artists on tour together.
As I end this, I just wanted to say as a side note that I was able to shoot the whole set for Drowning Pool, which, for a photographer, allows us to capture moments that we can’t always capture in our 3- song allotted time. I hope you enjoy the pics as much as I enjoyed shooting them for you.
Setlist is missing a few songs follows:
Turn So Cold
Feel Like I Do
written by Peter Lizano