Concert Review: Bad Wolves – From Ashes To New
Written by Jeff Ramella on July 2, 2018
By: Chris Annunziata
The increasingly popular Bad Wolves came to New York City this week. For those who are not familiar with the band, Bad Wolves is a supergroup consisting of vocalist Tommy Vext (ex-Divine Heresy, ex-Snot), drummer John Boecklin (ex-DevilDriver), lead guitarist Doc Coyle (ex-God Forbid), rhythm guitarist Chris Cain (ex-Bury Your Dead, ex-For the Fallen Dreams) and bassist Kyle Konkiel (ex-In This Moment, Vimic). Along with them, they brought the Linkin Park inspired, From Ashes to New and the Californian rocker, Diamante, to open their show.
Since their inception, Bad Wolves has quickly become a topic of discussion, mainly due to their talented cover of the top hit from the Cranberries, “Zombie”. Their rendition had hit #1 on the U.S. Mainstream Rock Chart for Billboard and the debut record charted at #3 on U.S Rock Charts. With this success, the band has already been able to headline their own tour, playing in venues with a capacity of 600+ people. Generally, bands have to be around for quite some time before they are provided with that opportunity. The band had a great turnout at the Gramercy Theatre on Tuesday and there were a lot of familiar faces in the crowd. I ran into AJ Channer of Fire From the Gods, Tim Goergen formerly of Within the Ruins and heavy metal chef Chris Santos. Due to Tommy being raised in Brooklyn and Doc being from New Jersey, it makes sense why many of their friends and family came out to this show.
Before the band kicked off their set, everyone in the band came out on stage and expressed their respects to the late vocalist of the Cranberries, Dolores O’Riordan, who had recently passed away in January of this year. O’Riordan was actually going to perform on their cover of “Zombie” but had passed away a couple of days before recording was set to take place. Due to her untimely death, the band had vowed to donate all of the proceeds from the cover to O’Riordan’s children and they have held true to their promise. Before performing the song that night, the band presented a check of $250,000 to the O’Riordan’s family right on stage.
Having only released one album, Disobey, Bad Wolves was basically able to play the entire album. The only song that was not performed that night was “The Conversation”. The band sounded pretty tight for most of the show but to my surprise, their live songs did not sound as heavy as you would hear them on the album. I have found that it is usually the other way around where songs performed live tend to sound much heavier. The band’s mix was fine, but there was a level of thickness lacking during their live performance. The frontman, Tommy, was pretty solid throughout the performance, but seemed a little taxed during the really powerful, melodic choruses of songs such as “Learn to Live” and “Remember When”. The audience seemed to have been really into the tracks, as they jumped around, joined the circle pit and moshed continuously throughout the set. To no one’s surprise, the band closed with their most successful song, “Zombie”. Tommy sounded great during this track and really got into the moment. This last song probably meant the most to the band because the parents of the late Cranberries vocalist, Dolores O’Riordan, were in the crowd. Unfortunately, technical difficulties showed its head at the worst time and Doc’s guitar died and cut-out as soon as it was time for his solo. Despite this glitch, the band powered through and gave a great performance.
Overall, it was a great show, with a good turnout. The band has a bright future ahead of them. The only concern is that, hopefully, they don’t fall down the same path as Alien Ant Farm, who have just mainly been known for their hit cover of “Smooth Criminal.” With such great talent and promise, it would be ashame for Bad Wolves to become solely known for their rendition of “Zombie.”