December 15, 2005

Concert Review: Staind w/ POD, Taproot, and Flyleaf 12/11/05

I first saw Staind way back in 1999. They hadn't yet released an album, nationally anyway, and they were opening for an up and coming act touring behind their debut release, that band was Limp Bizkit. On top of that, they were part of a 2 for 1 replacement for double-booked opening act Incubus. The other half of that opener swap was another up and comer, Cold. Anyway, Staind proved to be pretty good, heavy, emotional, and certainly got the crowd going. I guess I should talk about this show, but before getting to Staind's portion of the show, we do have some opening acts to check out.

As I start this review, let me say that I hate it when the show start is misrepresented. This is the second time this year it has happened at this particular venue, the first was Gigantour, which caused me to miss the first act, Bobaflex. This time it caused me to miss Flyleaf. The show was advertised to start at 7:30, I arrived at 7:15 and got inside pretty quick, just in time to see the next act start. I had no idea I had missed anyone, until Taproot urged the crows to give it up for them, when was the last time an act requested that for a band that wasn't there? I place the blame squarely on the shoulders of the venue for this oversight.

Taproot took to the stage at 7:30. They started off a little soft, but I think that was due to a mix that wasn't quite balanced. It got better as the set wore on, and the middling crowd started to warm up to them. I can not claim to be a big fan of them, nor am I terribly knowledgeable about their music, but they definitely have the skill. They are proficient and play radio friendly rock, that has more substance than your typical radio act. They played for about 30 minutes, with most of the songs coming from their latest release, Blue Sky Research. Among the tracks were "I Will Not Fall for You," "Violent Seas," and a personal favorite, "Calling." They also played "Smile" from the first album. In something I don't see to often, their singer left the stage, and sang his way all the way out to the middle of the floor, where he proceeded to get a small pit started. Overall, their performance was strong, despite a weak start.

Following them was my main reason for wanting to be at this show, POD. Granted, I haven't been listening to them much lately, but I like their sound, I like the positive message, and I like the Latin influence on their nu-metal stylings. They came out, and the growing crowd greeted them in enthusiastic fashion. They had a set in the vicinity of 40 minutes, with songs primarily from their hit album, Satellite, with forays to their debut album and a step forward to their new album. They included songs such as "Boom," "Youth of the Nation," "Satellite," "Southtown," and new track "Goodbye for Now." Their performance was high energy from start to finish, but wasn't nearly as tight as Taproot had been. They played fast and loose, not sloppy, mind you. Their set came to a close with their biggest hit "Alive." I would definitely see these guys again.

Now was the time for the band that most of the people were there to see, Staind. Like I mentioned earlier, I have seen these guys before, and they have changed over the years, some better and some for worse. First the good, they have grown together as a band, and their live performance displays that. Staind is as tight as they come, a well oiled machine, you could say. As for the bad, it is all my opinion, but their music is falling under the burden of their supposed angst. Some acts can use their angst to their advantage and thrive, yet Staind seems to suffer trying to carry the burden. The music is so down and morose that it does not lend itself to a very active crowd, and considering how relatively quiet this one was, it didn't help. There were only a few moments where the crowd started to act up, usually when they went back to their earlier material. Throughout the show, the crowd kept begging for "Mudshovel," which they held off for the end, giving the end of show a much needed burst of energy. One of the best moments was when Aaron played a guitar formerly owned by the late Dimebag Darrell, it was a great moment seeing him holding that guitar. Then there were the mellow singalongs for "Outside" and "Its Been Awhile." In the end, Staind puts on a good show, but I don't find myself really caring for much of the material.

Here is an approximate set list for them, I know the final four are correct, not sure about the rest:
So Far Away
Right Here Waiting
Blow Away
Everything Changes
King of All Excuses
For You
Its Been Awhile
Paper Jesus


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