After a tumultuous two weeks centered around the sudden-then-immediate split from drummer, Jay Coughlin, Dread Engine took to The Stage at Bethel Road Pub, last Saturday, greater than the sum of its parts. On a night where many bands would have been forced to cancel, the band arrived knowing they could not do it alone. They needed help, and they got it from all angles.
Walking into the pub, you could feel the pressure in the air. Perhaps it was the Coughlin-cloud hanging over the event. Perhaps it was the ninety-plus degree heat and humidity. Either way, trepidation made its way throughout the whole club. As the opening acts played through their sets, and Dread Engine began to arrange their stage, trepidation turned to excitement. It was as if the engineers knew the band would need their help. They have watched Dread Engine lift hearts and spirits on numerous occasions. Tonight, it was their honor to return the favor.
As fans rushed to the front of the stage, the band kicked off with their opening song, “Apex Predator". The engineers threw up their horns, head-banged, and sang along to every note; filling the void left by the departed drummer, all the way through the closing number, "Depersonalize". Their support and dedication was nothing short of awe-inspiring, and it did not go unnoticed. “The fans and the public have shown great love to us,” said singer, Sam Stockdale, speaking after the show.
Coughlin was initially slated to play out the remaining show schedule with the band. However, new developments forced the band to part ways immediately, and in-full. “Jay simply didn’t work out”, said Stockdale, “and we did not feel comfortable playing the remaining shows with him.” Dread Engine has no plans to cancel any local shows. Stockdale did say there were show cancellations in Coughlin’s hometown of Boston, as well other shows in the New England region. The band has identified a new drummer. However, they remain mum on the details.
Coughlin’s traditional spot on The Stage’s drum riser was occupied by Rick Kaercher's mixing station. Kaercher played the drum tracks from their new album, Deception by Design, while the band played live. Something that proved to be a team effort between Bethel Road Pub and the band. “We have to give credit to the sound man, [Ryan Cull]”, Kaercher said. “He was amazing tonight.” Stockdale echoed similar sentiments.
The band has always done its best to live the motto: many parts, one engine. On a night without a key part, with so much attention on who was not there, and with the potential for much to go wrong, it was the fans who carried the band’s hearts to a new level.