I must admit I was a bit skeptical how Times of Grace and their entire audience would fit in a lil' place like Tropics Cafe. The band is made of founding members of Killswitch Engage, and if you were one of the sardines packed up against the stage during their set at Pipeline Cafe a few years back like I was, you would be too.
It was surprising to see so few people there. Of course, I didn't see anyone complaining that frontman, Jesse Leach & guitarist, Adam Duktiewicz were eye level & within an arms reach of their fans the entire night. It was humbling to see such big names on such a tiny stage. They even took the time to just walk around the bar and talk story with everyone who happened to be around, before & after the show. It was nice for once that such a big band were so down to earth. Heck, they set up their own equipment and I was even standing right next to Jesse Leach upstairs and didn't even realize it till their set started.
At first listen, I have to admit I wasn't a huge fan of Times of Grace's debut release, Hymn of a Broken Man. It was just a bit too uplifting for my death metal ears. But after witnessing it live & having my brain rattle from Jesse Leach soaring vocals, I can see how much of their own tough experiences & their will to truck through it all positively, came to be the foundation of the album. In the end, it was an incredible, mindblowingly epic show. A big ol' thanks to Jack & Robb from Underworld Events for putting this all together.