Saliva – First Avenue – Minneapolis MN – October 3rd 2023

Saliva and Drowning Pool with Adelitas Way and Any Given Sin – First Avenue – Minneapolis, MN – October 3rd, 2023

Review and photos by Kate Klaus

The Snafu Le Tour, an epic lineup of hard rockers, headlined by Saliva and Drowning Pool and supported by Adelitas Way and Any Given Sin made a stop at the iconic First Avenue in downtown Minneapolis on October 3rd, 2023.

Maryland rockers Any Given Sin opened the night with commanding energy, with lead vocalist Vic Ritchie delivering powerful vocals with an almost blues-rock feel and raw emotional that immediately drew the crowd in.  Guitarist Mike Conner provided heavy and tight guitar riffs, and despite lacking a bassist at this show, the booming rhythm and depth of the songs was felt throughout the venue.  They were a great start to a night stacked with heavy hitting rock.

Adelitas Way was up next, and the Vegas based rockers hit immediately hit it hard with “What it Takes” off of their 202 release “Shine On”.  Vocalist Rick DeJesus commanded the stage with his always genuine and emotional delivery of their powerful lyrics, with poignant messaging about looking out for each other as a preface to “Ready for War (Pray for Peace)”.  Guitarist Grayson Erhard and bassist Andrew Cushing both gave energy and intensity to the music, and the booming drums of Tre Stafford brought power to the always powerful and meaningful lyrics.  Closing with “Invincible”, they left their loyal fans with a memorable performance.

Drowning Pool followed up on that energy and even raised in another level, with lead singer Ryan McCombs, who returned to the band in March of this year, commanding the stage with his deep vocals, powerful drive, and the quiet smile of a man who truly connects with the music, his fans, and the performance.  Their energy on stage is infectious, with guitarist CJ Pierce playing intense riffs and a charismatic stage performance that engaged the crowd.  Bassist Stevie Benton brought the cool-guy vibe with his on stage shades, flashy shirt, and equally catching bass riffs, and he and drummer Mike Luce filled First Avenue with thundering rhythm.  Their set ended with crowd-favorite “Bodies”, with McCombs venturing over the rail and into the crowd to end the set with his fans, somehow managing to powerfully deliver the song while being encircled by moshers singing along in what was surely a night to remember for those fans.

To close the night, rockers Saliva delivered an intensely powerful and moving performance. On the heels of their newly released album “Revelation” and the untimely death of guitarist Wayne Swinny this past spring, it was an emotional and intense performance in an iconic venue that most surely had Swinny smiling down on in pride for his brothers and sister in rock.  Vocalist Bobby Amaru is both an extremely passionate and technical vocalist, with a dynamic range, and a flawless delivery of both beautiful melodic tones and heavy rock growls.  They opened with “Come Back Stronger”, off their new release, with lyrics capturing the strength and perseverance of their drive to continue delivering these amazing performances.  Bassist Brad Stewart (Shinedown, Fuel) is a powerhouse of both energy and musicality on stage, and with drummer Sami Jo Bishop, delivered a thundering rhythm, particularly dark and heavy on their newer tracks “Crows” and “High on Me”.  And the void left by the legend Swinny was humbly and beautifully filled by the duo of Josh Kulack and Sebastian LaBar on guitar.  While LaBar delivered the classic rock demeanor and power, with both a physical presence and swagger that honored and captured Swinny’s memory,  Kulack provided intricate musicality and intense guitar solos of the caliber that Wayne was always so proud to see when Kulack filled in for him on previous shows.  It is no doubt a challenging and emotional feat to produce such a captivating show after such a profound loss, but Saliva did that and more to end this amazing night of rock, community, and healing at this iconic and powerful venue.