Both Celebrating Iconic Anniversaries (Album & Longevity) For Their Respective Bands
Jeff Walker, Entertainment Writer
Grunge and post grunge collided at Credit One Stadium Friday (Sept 1st) night as 90's Seattle rockers Candlebox and early 2000's Mississippi alternative rockers 3 Doors Down brought all their hits and more to 7000 plus fans in Charleston. Out in support of the 20th anniversary of 'Away From the Sun' and tour of the same name, combined the two bands have more than a dozen chart hits, providing concert goers over two and a half hours of solid rock n' roll.
Behind the raw intensity of lead singer Kevin Martin, Candlebox set the tone for the evening, drawing from an extensive arsenal of songs covering seven albums. Diehard fans appreciated album cuts such as 'Vexatious', 'Supernova', 'Cellphone Jesus', and 'Riptide', with Martin and the boys saving their most recognizable hits near the end of their 12 song set.
Martin mostly took fans back to the mid 90's but did throw in their most recent single 'What Do You Need' from their latest album 'The Long Goodbye'. 'Cover Me', 'You', and an extended rendition of 'Far Behind' got the crowd primed for the marquee act.
Three decades into a solid hard rock career Candlebox still know how kick ass, with Martin's 54 year old falsetto voice still in tact, much to the delight of his fans. Martin gave a sincere shout out to armed forces personnel which met with thunderous applause, especially since Charleston is steeped in military history.
3 Doors Down picked up right where the openers left off, jump starting their 90 minute set with 'Pop Song' a bonus track off the namesake album's tour. Over the course of their 16 song set, founding member and lead vocalist Brad Arnold as well as long time (1998) rhythm guitarist Chris Henderson sent up almost every track from the 4x platinum selling release.
Chronicling almost the entire playlist in order from the album, the salute included their four pop and mainstream rock chart hits 'When I'm Gone', the title track, 'The Road I'm On', and 'Here Without You'. Much like Martin, Arnold's voice has a distinctive edge to it. His chameleon persona combined with his emotive stage delivery adds an extra measure to their songs.
Arnold indicated early on that he wouldn't talk much between numbers, rather letting the songs speak for themselves. However, six or seven songs deep he took a few minutes to offer up redemptive words from his renewed faith, adding love and trust are the greatest values anyone can attain, and those come from a relationship with Jesus Christ. In a Christian community entrenched in the Bible Belt his words of encouragement garnered his most welcome applause.
The third segment of their show embraced three songs from their debut album 'The Better Life' including 'Duck & Run' and 'Loser'. After a short exit the band returned for a two song encore, kicking off the finale with 'Landing in London' off their 2005 release 'Seventeen Days'.
Arnold once again thanked fans for coming out, baiting them that he had one song left, one they might be familiar with, ending with 3 Doors Down's most successful chart single. 'Kryptonite' an across the board hit topped the Modern Rock Tracks as well the Mainstream Top 40 charts, reaching number four on the Adult Top 40 chart, and number three on the Billboard Hot 100. With the glow of green lights as a backdrop the final number had almost the entire crowd singing in unison with the glow of cellphones flickering like fireflies under a moonlit night.
While several post grunge bands still remain, only a select few such as Nickelback, Creed, Shinedown, and Matchbox Twenty command the same respect as they did 20 years ago. 3 Doors Down much to the credit of Arnold's unique vocal range and stylings deserve to be in that same grouping.
Candlebox and 3 Doors Down exist on great songs and even greater musicianship. Pairing these two bands together on a summer tour is freakin' genius. Even in an open air professional tennis stadium like Credit One both bands blew the roof off the place. If you enjoy in your face hard rock at locomotive speed than the 'Away From the Sun' tour will not disappoint.