The trio came onto the stage after a subpar opener, Tinted Image had warmed up the crowd with Tracy Chapman and Lady Gaga covers, met with equal parts excitement and “really?” reactions from the crowd. There’s something about transitioning from a stripped down, only half-way-through-the-song version of Gaga’s “Born This Way” into TR3’s devastatingly rocked out version of Neil Young’s “Ohio” that just didn’t feel quite right.
Regardless, just minutes into TR3’s set, anything that came before was out of sight, out of mind. Dressed casually in t-shirts and jeans, with messy hair and a visible “I don’t give a fuck” attitude, the trio just dug in, bobbing their heads and interacting with each other throughout their varied set. Some tunes were pure tributes to guitar greats that came before, others leaned toward a jammy Phish-esque sound and others were pure metal, one of Reynolds biggest loves.
In my interview with him just a few weeks ago he gushed about his metal crushes, but was careful to clarify he can’t claim to be “hands down all metal.”
“I like a lot of different bands and all genres…I just like music, the feeling really. It has to make me feel something,” he said. “But the last show that really impressed me was in Chicago last year – The Deftones, Alice in Chains and Mastodon. I got shoved into the pit a couple times and it was kinda funny. It was awesome to be there with that energy and be close enough to hear the band coming off the stage sound as opposed to the big PA sound. It was fucking great. I love the Deftones. It makes you want to jump up and down and yell and stuff. After Mastodon and the Deftones, Alice in Chains had a great live show, but it was very sedate. Once [Chino] Mareno of the Deftones gets on stage, pretty much nobody should play after that because they just totally rule.”
It’s lucky that once TR3 got on stage, no one had to follow. Bassist, Vaughn had an energy and facial expressions just as wild and exaggerated as Flea of the Chili Peppers, shaking his head and throwing out a Kiss-type tongue here and there. His and Reynolds’ bizarre interactions, staring at each other and swaying back and forth, added a new dimension to the face-melting music.
Then, just when you thought they couldn’t get weirder, Reynolds made it a point to introduce the forth member on the stage – a mannequin head with goggles, perched on a stick that they had named Philipe. The pale head made several central appearances throughout the set including when all of the lights went off and the band all turned on their blue light-up goggles and slithered back and forth like snakes eyeing up their prey. Philipe had blue light-up goggles, too. Naturally.
It was a very. weird. show.
But, an awesome one.
And one that made you think, “I bet they are SO much fun to party with…”