The show opened with Safety Suit, and not knowing much about them I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but these boys from Nashville came ready to perform. When the show started the arena was far from full but Safety Suit played as though it was a packed house, and lead singer Doug Brown had great chemistry on stage. One of the highlights of this set was guitarist Dave Garofalo, who owned the stage with his high energy and skill on his instrument. Safety Suit played a five-song set that closed with one of their more popular songs Something I Said. I came to this show not really knowing anything about this group but I definitely left a fan.
After a brief intermission and set change, Hoobastank was ready to follow Safety Suit and keep the energetic vibes flowing. This set was a great surprise for me because I have been a fan of their music for a while and had no idea they would be performing. Lead singer Doug Robb’s ease on stage and witty banter (encouraging the crowd to procure their album any way possible, even if it meant taking a friends copy) instantly drew me in and my focus never had a chance to wander. Hoobastank performed several songs from their new album FOR(N)EVER, including So Close, So Far and the albums anthem My Turn. I always get a bit nervous when I know I am going to hear a huge hit and favorite song live but I was not disappointed when they closed the set with The Reason, if anything Robb’s strong vocals made me like the song that much more.
The excitement was running high through the crowd at this point in anticipation of Seether taking the stage, and it continued to build throughout their set. To say the front man of a hard rock band has a quiet demeanor is an oxymoron, but that is what intrigued me about lead singer Shaun Morgan. He stood in the middle of the stage rarely moving from his mic stand and hammered out hard core lyrics like the average person having a normal conversation. His presence is almost mesmerizing because performing seems to be second nature to him while the rest of the band fills the stage with energy. Seether performed many crowd favorites such as Rise Above This and Like Suicide, but I was utterly floored when Morgan took the stage to sing an acoustic version of Broken. His voice filled every corner of the arena with perfection and literally left me speechless. This duet with Amy Lee became one of Seether’s most recognizable hits but after hearing Morgan perform it alone on stage with just a guitar, I will never want to hear it any other way. Their hard core music had the crowd on their feet dancing in the isles but it is that beautiful rendition of Broken that I took away with me.
A collective applause rolled through the stands as the lights dimmed and the sound of a train signaled the arrival of 3 Doors Down. The five guys from Mississippi, standing tall above the crowd on silver risers, lit by a red screen, opened the show with The Champion in Me and moved right into Citizen Soldier without pause. Excited fans crowded the sides of the stage and every inch of the isles as 3 Doors Down delivered hit after hit, showing off the bands staying power in today’s difficult music industry. The set list included Be Like that, Loser¸ and Away from the Sun to name a few, and the stage boasted an oversized screen playing videos and special effects that never once distracted from the performance. Lead singer Brad Arnold didn’t allow for much down time as he let each song flow into the next but his vocals were on fire and didn’t waiver throughout the night. The band’s 60 minute set was highlighted with the right energy, the right lighting and the right combination of hard rock hits and some of the crowds’ favorite ballads. These guys crammed in as many songs as their time allowed and put on a show none of us would soon forget.
It is such a cliché to say “that was a great show” but Tuesday night at Broadbent Arena was just that, a great show. Each performance built upon the last to create an exciting concert that I would consider to be one of the best I have attended in a long time. I walked away with a renewed appreciation for some old favorites and a fan of some new music. This was my first time seeing each of these artists live and hopefully it will not be my last.
By Mindy Milburn