Kicking off the first of two nights at Chicago's City Winery, Candlebox featuring lead vocalist, Kevin Martin, and guitarist, Brian Quinn, emerged to an extremely enthusiastic crowd last night. The duo brought their acoustic guitars and a plethora of stories giving a brief back story on songs and an in-depth look into their personal lives.
They wasted no time at all diving into "Sweet Summertime" and "I Want It Back". Martin spoke of calling it quits from touring after next year's 30th anniversary tour with the original line-up and talked about how he wants to enjoy the time at home with his family. After a few minutes addressing friends in the crowd, Martin talked about doing mushrooms back in 1991 and came up with the song "Change." Hearing the first few notes plucked out on their acoustic guitars and with the crowd warmed up and truly enjoying the ultra cool vibe of City Winery, the emotions were at the forefront of each concertgoer. Martin and Quinn certainly delivered an incredible version that will be hard pressed to be outdone.
"Blossom," and "He Calls Home", kept the show going with more stories and Martin made sure to let the crowd know that since this is the first of two nights, he will be changing up the set list for tomorrow nights show. The die hard fans that would be there the second night, offered up suggestions on songs they would love to hear and he seemed genuinely interested in obliging.
Getting back to interacting with the crowd and taking time to sign autographs, Kevin made sure the crowd knew about their latest release, Wolves, as they went into, "My Weakness". Martin told the story of how Candlebox originally became a band and they were put together and made the album without knowing each other, setting the stage for "Cover Me". Martin's emotional delivery and Quinn's runs up and down that fret board had the crowd eating from their hands. Continuing to engage with the audience, Martin brought up the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard trial and shared a few jokes about that situation to the delight of the crowd.
As the evening was winding down, "Sometimes", "Riptide", and "Miss You", set the stage for the monster hits "You," and "Far Behind." The time machine was in full effect and the sing-along for You had the enthusiastic crowd loving every second of an incredible acoustic version. Their signature song "Far Behind" had Martin second guessing the lyrics after a minute in and he had to stop and ask for help. A gracious fan was more than happy to oblige and passed his phone to Kevin so he could reacquaint himself with the song. As they started the song over, this mellow rendition was tugging at the heartstrings of each and everyone in attendance.
While the crowd was catching their composure, Kevin and Brian covered the U2 song One to cap off a wonderfully cool evening of some monster hits stripped down on a couple of acoustic guitars showing that great songs hold up with out the big production of a full band.
If you have ever wanted to see Candlebox I would certainly pay attention to their tour next year and if you haven't been to City Winery, you should definitely be looking at their schedule of upcoming shows and plan a memorable night out. Brian and Kevin delivered a night of music that will have all in attendance talking about it for years to come. Do yourself a favor and check these guys out when they roll through your city. YOU, pun intended, won't be disappointed!
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