Breaking Benjamin, Three Days Grace rock Rupp [ Slideshow ]

By Matt Murray

Rupp Arena was thunderously loud. The ground shook. People screamed. Only this time, it wasn’t for the basketball team.

Amidst palpable testosterone, crowd surfers and drunken shouting, Breaking Benjamin and Three Days Grace put a stranglehold on a  crowd of roughly 10,000, and didn’t let go for 3 hours.

Texas-based band Flyleaf warmed up the crowd, and while they wouldn’t live up to their peers that would take the stage after them, they certainly didn’t put the crowd to sleep.

Lead singer  Lacey Mosley ‘s voice is undoubtedly bigger than her 5-foot-and-change frame would suggest, however poor mixing led to it often being swallowed up by the group’s muscular guitar riffs.

After a lightning-quick set change, Breaking Benjamin took the stage and took no time getting to the punch as they opened with their deafening single, “I Will Not Bow.” Without a single ballad in their repertoire, the band’s rendition of Aerosmith’s “Dream On” was a refreshing change of pace as screens behind the band paid homage to dead musicians that had influenced the band, ranging from Kurt Cobain to Elvis to Michael Jackson.

After what felt like 10 minutes (It had really been about 75) Breaking Benjamin left the stage, making way for Three Days Grace. The Canadians also opened with their current single, “Break” and ran through a well-selected set of songs ranging across all three of their albums.

The highlight of Three Days Grace’s set came midway through the show as a staggering drum solo concluded, and led the audience to find that lead singer Adam Gontier made his way to the soundboard in the middle of the floor, where he sang the first refrain of “Never Too Late” before making his way back to the stage.

They too would pay tribute to their influences as they slowed their set down with an abridged version of Phil Collin’s “In the Air Tonight.”

As each of the individual acts wrapped up their sets, it was hard not to be left with a sense of wanting more. But if the biggest problem an audience member has at a show is being left wanting more, it’s safe to say the bands have done their job.