Down, Staind, Hinder and Jet Black Stare Live Review
Tinley Park, IL – July 13, 2008
by Jackie Lee King with photos by Dan Locke
A Marshal force of rock guitars set ears a blaze on a sweaty Sunday afternoon at Tinley Park's First Midwest Bank Pavilion. The four bands, Three Doors Down, Staind, Hinder and Jet Black Stare rolled rock anthems into our banging heads. This was a show that many of our American military personnel have had the privilege to see (Three Doors Down and Hinder have done USO tours), but now these bands are state side to bring their truth and justice to the homeland fans.
First on deck was an impressive debut of the band, Jet Black Stare. Riding high with the angels, of the hellion variety, these new bad asses are burning up the road with their chrome polished rock and roll. They treated fans to a small sampling of music from their brand spank you release, Ready to Roll. In addition to the title track fans banged their heads to songs, "It's Over," "Poster Princess" and a song about the lead singer's premature death, "I'm Breathing." Of course has survived several ordeals and channels that energy into his performance. Keep these guys on your radar.
Next up were the current darlings of power ballads, Hinder. They are already receiving awards for their songwriting (BMI award for "Lips of an Angel"), which they played towards the end of their set. Hinder's sound has a gun to your head sonic blast that ricochets off of Austin Winkler's (lead vocals) Steven Tyler-esque tone. Periodically Winkler's microphone stand was adorned with dozens of bras, similar to Tyler's own collection of scarves on his microphone stand. Rumor has it that most of the bras were collected from the 'topless bus tour' from the previous evening. Winkler croons and sways his way though a solid set that enticed many a female fan to make their own contribution to the microphone stand.
Then there was Staind; the highlight of the evening. A humble Aaron Lewis (vocals) unceremoniously walked on to the stage and with the first note declared musical warfare. Staind's patented wall of sound traversed the distance between band and audience. The most solemn moment of the whole show came with Lewis's solo performance of Bob Seger's "Turn The Page." It was like the calm in the middle of a tornado or a poisoned flower in bloom that you just can't help but pick. This is the essence of Staind's music; a dichotomy of catastrophe and calm; silent anger and loud depression.
Closing out the evening was Three Doors Down; captains in their own musical Army. Opening up with the catchy "Train," they took the audience on a wild ride. Three Doors Down are single-handily marching forward on the battle field of music with Hero Rock anthems like "Kryptonite," "When I'm Gone," and "Citizen Soldier." Warmongers beware; this band is out to save the world, but that doesn't mean that they don't understand internal conflicts. Songs like "Let Me Be Myself" and "It's Not My Time" speak of finding the strength to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps and to stay the course.
Three Doors Down's stage was completely stippled of band gear to allow for a large open space with a two story drum riser at the center. A steel grid video display projected several images that worked in conjunction with the bands pyrotechnic show. With the exception of the drummer, the rest of the band kept running the length of the stage taking rock poses and hi-fiving' fans along the way. When it was all over, everyone collapsed knowing a hard rocking good time was had by all.