How many satisfying riffs can one band wring from drop tuning, 24 frets, and a wah pedal? The answer Chevelle provided at the Hollywood Palladium Tuesday night - and over their last 23 years of existence - is a lot.
Unlike most of their early-00s rock radio peers, Chevelle are a career band. Across their nine studio albums it’s debatable they haven’t missed once, and if you like even one of their songs you’re guaranteed to like plenty more. I should know, their 45-minute set opening for Three Days Grace on their co-headling tour wasn’t nearly long enough for me as I was left pining for a few personal favorites like “Well Enough Alone” or “Letter From A Thief.” What I did get, however, was one of the loudest (read: best) metal sets I’ve seen this year.
Making the most of their too-brief appearance, Pete Loeffler and company played a series of songs that each mashed on the same pleasure button as the last, delivering a bevy of satisfying verses that climb into catchy choruses then drop into breakdowns so expectantly exhilarating that Loeffler made sure to set a few up with a “Here it comes!” warning.
Seeing a band as frequently taken for granted as Chevelle command the crowd in a venue as renowned as the Palladium begged the question: why haven’t guitar riffs as satisfying as these received the same acclaim as Sonic Youth or My Bloody Valentine? Is it because the choruses are too catchy? Are the songs too succinct? No matter the reason, the energy and consistency of their performance left no doubt that the next time Chevelle comes to town they are not to be missed.