Knoxville-based 10 Years is one of the bands I didn’t fully appreciate until I saw them live. If you’ve ever been to a 10 Years concert, you might know what I mean. If you haven’t, you really need to get out more!
10 Years is a band with staying power, and I think a lot of it has to do with their connection to their fans.
Their lyrics are about the things we all go through…loss,betrayal, self-doubt, disappointment, and loneliness, along with hope, growth, passion, determination, and unity. And although 10 Years’ music is sophisticated and complex, it’s completely unpretentious, especially when it’s performed - loudly - by dudes in ripped jeans, Vans, and baseball caps.
Lead singer Jesse Hasek could easily play the part of the aloof rock god but instead chooses to bring the audience into every performance. Throughout the set, he continuously engaged the fans by making very direct eye contact, singing into cell phones, touching hands and bumping fists, and even climbing into the crowd. I honestly can’t say whether this was a great idea, but I can tell you that for the people who experienced it, those contacts were both very much needed and appreciated. Based on the huge smiles on Hasek’s face, I’m guessing it was mutually beneficial.
Lead guitarist Brian Vodinh and rhythm guitarist Matt Wantland, along with bassist Chad Grennor and drummer Luke Narey, performed skillfully and flawlessly all night. Their energy wasintense, yet controlled, with the self confidence of seasoned artists. I especially enjoyed watching Grennor – he was quite obviously doing what he loves.
One of the things that I like about 10 Years is that they continuously change up their setlist. Saturday’s show began withdark and heavy “Russian Roulette” from the “Division” albumand ended with the aggressively defiant “Shoot it Out.” In between were 16 songs from 10 Years’ multiple albums, including their 2020 release, “Violent Allies.” You can listen to my favorite cut from that, “Déjà vu,” right here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZklRosbVFo
There are only a few stops left on 10 Years’ Violent Allies tour with BLACK MAP and VRSTY, but the band will be playing several gigs in the US this spring and summer before heading to Europe and the UK with Three Days Grace. More information on that here: https://www.10yearsmusic.com/blogs/whats-going-on