LIVE REVIEW – Saving Abel Play Rascals in Moline, IL

Saturday night, December 7th in Moline IL, the rock band Saving Abel played the bar Rascal’s. In general this is a smaller venue for a band of Saving Abel’s popularity, but due to some last minute scheduling conflicts in Des Moines Iowa, the good folks at Rascals made the show happen. The four bands on the bill were Aterra Tale, 3 Pill Morning, 3 Years Hollow and Saving Abel. “Zoiks Online,” Rascals and Three Years Hollow are all based in Moline, IL so we were excited for a good time.

I had never seen Aterra Tale before; I’d seen every other band multiple times. Aterra Tale had a good sound and a decent stage presence. I’d like to see them again because I didn’t know any of their songs going in and I like to know some of the music in order to form a proper opinion.

 3 Pill Morning is a band that I wouldn’t want to follow. Their stage presence is great and their intensity is even better. Every time I’ve seen them they’ve amazed me. Saturday was no exception. I love these guys. It’s very likely next time 3 Pill Morning is in town I’ll stop by to see the show. It’s even possible that I’d make the trip to Chicago, Milwaukee or Peoria to see them…depending on the day. They’re a great live band.

3 Years Hollow is another band I’ve seen a million times. As of late they seem to get better with each performance. Tonight you’d have assumed they were the headliner with as packed as Rascals got. I really thought this may have been the best show I’ve seen them perform…probably because I’m starting to learn their songs. One thing I never noticed was how fucking amazing Chris Cushman is. Three Years Hollow’s music probably doesn’t allow him to show off his skills as much as he could, but I think he might have been the most talented musician to take the stage that night.

At this point the night started to get disappointing and it wasn’t because of Saving Abel. The boys in Saving Abel left everything they had on the stage and nobody in the crowd cared. I love the support our community has shown Three Years Hollow, but I can’t stand the fact that we don’t show up for anybody else. Saving Abel has seven hit singles, five in the top ten and three in the top three. In any other town these guys could play a room two to three times the size of Rascals.

Front man Jared Weeks tried to interact with the crowd with no response. Normally a band can feel the energy of a crowd while they are on stage. I could feel the energy of the band while I was watching the show in the back of the venue because nobody was giving it back. At one point somebody heckled the band for trying to bring something out the audience. I’ve never been so ashamed to be apart of a crowd. Now don’t get me wrong we didn’t all suck in the crowd, but far too many of us did.

Let’s talk about the song “Addicted.” I knew the words to that song before I even heard that song. Everybody knows the words to that song and next to nobody sang it when the band played it. I was shocked and disappointed. Now I am in no way affiliated with Saving Abel, in fact when I ran into guitarist Jason Null after the show I went to apologize and he told me that it was weird, but every crowd is different and it was cool and that it was always awesome to be up on stage playing music.

I also want to make sure that I mention that I think Rascals in a great venue for live music. Rascal’s is within walking distance of my house and I had never been there before. Kenny has a nice little establishment and I can’t wait to go back. The bands were great, the atmosphere was amazing, the crowd started out ok, but I kind of felt like we disrespected Saving Abel a little bit. With that said, Saving Abel was fantastic and I can only imagine how amazing they would have been in that atmosphere with a better crowd. One last thing, I am in no way shape or form associated with Saving Abel or Rascals, this is just me, speaking for myself.

 BYLINE: Bob Zerull is the Managing Editor of Zoiks! Online. He writes pop culture commentary, does interviews with bands, and reviews music and stand-up concerts. He also administers Zoiks! Online's Facebook page. Follow Bob on twitter at bzerull. Email Bob at
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Anonymous said...

Cushman rules, that's a fact! However, in the latter part of your article you blame a crowd for what? For not responding well to a band's set? Are you suggesting the good of people of Moline got together and collectively decided to withhold their affinity for Saving Abel's set? (said no one ever)

bob said...

haha, no the Quad Cities never show up to support live music, comedy or anything and it's disappointing. We support all things local, but when a rock band comes to town we don't go.