This show brings an end to my “Summer of 90s” shows. You could say it started with Weezer, Soundgarden twice, Stone Temple Pilots and another bastion of alternative rock: Candlebox. This was my second time seeing the boys play, and my third seeing Kevin Martin. The show itself was fun — but we were duped before it all started.
When given the chance to see a “festival”-style show in a hotel on a Sunday night, my normal reaction would be no, but, with some convincing I said yes. The whole deal started around 2:30 and went until 11, a lie, and I didn’t know any of the other bands playing. This was just as well since my buddy and I grilled and hung out at Strangebrew to kill some time. We got to the show a little early to see a few of other bands and I’m glad we missed the majority of them. It astounds me still that people are still so devoted to the genre of ‘loud rock’, which is metal with training wheels, and how many bands still want to be Godsmack. That said, many of the bands beforehand were sanitized versions of Alice in Chains/Godsmack/Disturbed and so on. Ten years ago I would have loved this but in 2011, I was bored.
When Candlebox took the stage it was a breath of fresh air. Opening with “Bitches Brewin” and plowing through album and fan favorites, you could see these guys sticking to their roots. Candlebox has some slow burning tunes “Changes”, “Stand” and straightforward songs meant to rock “Arrow”,”You” along with some ballad type songs, “Cover Me” and of course “Far Behind”. When they played a slower song, you expected it since it flows with everything else. When the other groups played slower tunes, they sounded far out of place compared to their other material.
It was good to see a band in their element strutting on stage and the assembled crowd made them feel welcome. My biggest complaint was they could have played much longer if their set started 20 minutes earlier but I’m glad I had a detour beforehand. Well, time to lay low for a few months and recharge my batteries.