It’s been just over 10 years since Knoxville-based rockers 10 Years hit the national airwaves. Originally formed in 1999, it wasn’t until 2002 when the band recruited current frontman Jesse Hasek — whose vocals have been compared to both Tool’s Maynard James Keenan and Deftones’ Chino Moreno — that things really began to take off for 10 Years, with the release of the group’s major label debut “The Autumn Effect” in 2005.
The national recognition that came from the major label aside, two of the songs from the group’s 2004 independent release (and the first with Hasek) are still among the band’s most popular — “Wasteland” and “Through the Iris.”
Those songs and other hits were all on display, including a few from the upcoming release “From Birth to Burial” (due out in April), on Friday night, Feb. 27 at Houston’s Scout Bar.
I see a lot of shows at the Scout Bar. It’s the kind of place where the live music fans go to get a bit ‘closer’ experience than the bigger stages in town at places like the House of Blues and Bayou Music Center. Bands always seem to like it for the same reason. There’s an ‘accessibility’ that venues holding just a few hundred people offer, and 10 Years reveled in it.
Unfortunately for me, the ridiculously inconsistent Texas weather and resulting traffic nightmares resulted in my typical 3-hour drive from Austin stretching into a seemingly endless 5½-hour drive, costing my opportunity to sit down and talk about the group’s upcoming album with Jesse and guitarist/founding member Ryan ‘Tater’ Johnson.
When I finally arrived, the line stretched from the front door and about half a football field’s length across the center that houses the Scout Bar. With 30 minutes before the first band was to hit the stage, the sold-out club was turning away patrons who hadn’t thought ahead to buy tickets before making the trek to the southeast corner of the metro. I felt for them, though a few hardy souls stood outside waiting on ‘standby’ — and I think I saw a few make it in later.
With strong opening acts like The Glorious Sons (these Canadians were a pleasant surprise, maybe the find of the year so far) and Las Vegas veteran rockers Otherwise, even a band with a following as strong as 10 Years had a challenge ahead of them. Fortunately, the guys were more than up to the task.
Opening with “Backlash” (from 2012’s “Minus the Machine”) and then hitting “Empires,” the band next made it’s way to “Fix Me,” from “Feeding the Wolves” (2010) — a song that became a sort of anthem for me a few years back… and apparently for a few hundred packed into the Scout Bar as well. That song was a real turning point in the show, as the crowd began to show its familiarity with the music. From that point on, as heads bobbed, mouths moved as well, singing along with old and new songs.
“Beautiful” and “Wasteland” — at the midpoint in the set — elicited a strong reaction, as did “Actions & Motives” as the show began to wind to a close.
However, there’s not doubt the band knew which song would draw the biggest response from a crowd of loyal fans, and Jesse evoked the crowd to clapping and chanting along with “Shoot It Out,” just before the group closed out with the title track from the upcoming album, “From Birth to Burial.”
The band sounds just as good live as you’d hope, but the hallmark of the show wasn’t just the packed house singing along. It was the undeniable connection the fans had with the band and the music. The songs clearly mean something to the band’s fans. The lyrics are as relevant and powerful today as when they were written, and the songs resonate.
Find a gallery to some of the photos from the show here.
Cover photo – Publicity photo by Travis Stevens. Live photos by Scott W. Coleman.