Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Otherwise and Wayland Rock Central Illinois at Top Fuel Saloon in Braidwood, Illinois

Top Fuel Saloon, Braidwood, Illinois March 31st, 2018
Review and Photos by Jeremy Rickman of JKR Photography

Top Fuel Saloon has been called the CBGB of the Midwest. Owner Freak is a local DJ at the metal station at Q-Rock 100.7 at the moment but has been a staple for Rock and Metal for the last 25 years in the Chicago area including 9 years as a sidekick to Madcow's Morning Madhouse. Opening 2 years ago Top Fuel Saloon has been a stop for up-and-coming bands as well as major headliners to stop and rest, relax, jam out, and have a place to call home if only for a night or two. On March 31st they celebrated their 2nd Anniversary and Otherwise, Wayland, Vital Empire and Backlash helped party the night away.


Hailing from the small town of Coal City, Illinois this band comprised of Ryan "The Kid" Sorensen, lead guitarist Vaughn Reed, Bassist Kirk Rode, and drummer Mike Quarles, took the stage to setting up the crowd with original songs "God of Destruction", "Last Chance", and "Desperado" the sound charismatic and blistering and their inspiration from bands like Metallica, Pantera, and Mastodon coming through quite clearly. Closing with two cover songs and finishing with the powerful, "Over The Top" which was fitting as the crowd was worked up. These fresh faces to the Chicago Area have earned their place opening for many bands that come to the area.

Backlash Facebook page

Vital Empire

Next up this Dallas, TX based band set to release their first album "Terrified" this year is on their first tour. The pure sound and powerful lyrics kept the momentum of the show. Lead singer Aaron voice dominated the crowd along with JP on lead guitar, Jess on drums and guest bassist Jaron (of NY based band Mother) opened up with "Beautiful Disease" and "Now or Never" the small venue was packed full to a sold out crowd and when time came to close with their Album titled single "Terrified" the crowd insisted on one more song and they kept it going with encoring with, "Runaway"

Vital Empire Facebook


Celebrating their new Album Rinse and Repeat Wayland took the stage with lead guitarist Philip Vilenski clear acoustic sound opening up with "Rabbit River/Otherside" joining in drummer Nigel Dupree set the tempo building up speed to then be joined by bassist Dean Pizzazz until vocalist Mitch Arnold took the stage with his strong voice and clear lyrics. This Michigan based band formed in 2010 frequently plays in the Midwest to sold out and packed venues and for good reason. With lyrics that speak to many different fans it's no surprise that they have built the following they have. Playing fan favorites, "Through the Fire", "On My Knees" and "Nobody's Perfect" the crowd was amassed and singing along it is no wonder why the band plays hundreds of shows during the year. They closed the set with, "Reno" and true to their bio the classic influences shine through with every chord, beat, and lyric.

Wayland Website


Las Vegas rockers Otherwise was next to headline this amazing night of good music and great fans. Lead singer Adrian Patrick was brought out to the stage by the owner of Top Fuel Saloon Freak who announced to the fans that it was also Adrian's birthday who all joined in singing "Happy Birthday" the the Otherwise front man. Shortly after the lights dimmed and the crowd waited for the beginning of the final band to take the stage. Lead guitarist Ryan Patrick, Bassist Tony "The Beast" Carboney, and drummer Brian Medeiros exploded on stage with hits, "Won't Stop", "Beautiful Monster" and "Heaven". It was easy to see why this band was able to sell out the building. The interaction of the band with their fans is like no other. Closing out the show with "Soldiers" Adrian walked through the crowd and the entire venue including behind the bar and the merch areas to have fans sing out the chorus before returning to the stage and closing out with "I Don't Apologize" True to his word the band played till after midnight and fans were able to hang out and meet all the bands and take pictures until the venue closed down.

Otherwise Website

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