Wayland, who provided direct support for Josh Todd and The Conflict at Rochaus (formerly Clearwater Theater) in West Dundee, Illinois, made one thing very clear right from the start of their set. They aren’t messing around. Even as far back as 2012 when I first saw the band live, you quickly saw the fire and passion they had for their music and giving their all to the crowd in front of them. This performance was no exception. I guess when you play 300+ shows a year you not only perfect your craft, you know what works and what doesn’t.
What else worked to their advantage? The songs from their most recent album, Rinse & Repeat. Overall it’s a solid piece that could stand up to any other modern rock record today. They started the night with the first track, Ghost, which is not only bold and in your face, the multi-vocal harmonies are ridiculously good. They kept the pace upbeat with a combination of hard driving Fire Down Below that easily rolled and continued to build with musical intensity leading to Bloody Sunrise. With skilled playing from lead guitarist Phillip Vilenski and bassist Dean Pizzazz, both also provided backing vocals, it was easy to see why the crowd was fully on board and along for the ride.
The band as a whole have always worked well together. With the addition of Nigel Dupree on drums and backing vocals, the band continues to be a cohesive mesh of what makes a band great. Plus, Wayland’s songs tell a story where both lyrical content and music are paired perfectly. Shopping For A Savior was a real church of Rock ‘n’ Roll moment that night. Not only is the groove down and dirty, the song found a way to seep into your very being. Lead singer, Mitch Arnold nailed the vocals on this one and left everyone wanting more. They slowed it down a bit with two more new songs, All We Had and Come Back. The latter of which has a line that has stuck with me for the past couple months, “Come back to me, I was never bulletproof without you.” There is an honesty and vulnerability about it. They closed out their set with the older but mighty Welcome To My Head, fast-paced new song Through The Fire and the super catchy sing-along, Reno.
Through and through, Wayland are the working man’s band. Not only are they road dogs, they have a passion towards pushing themselves to be the best and create quality music for themselves and their fans.
Find all Wayland tour dates here.
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