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Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Um, hello???

So I got an email from everyone's favourite label, Roadrunner, advising me of a special one-off gig Staind were playing for charity at the Hard Rock Cafe in London. As a super special Roadrunner subscriber, I got £3 off each ticket. £30 for me and Hot Chick, only 200 tickets, intimate gig, why the hell not?
I've got about four Staind albums but I've not given them much of a listen apart from Break The Cycle, the one that really brought them into the limelight. It's got the acoustic version of Outside, where Fred "Nuwwano wayawunna hate me" Durst adds his, um, vocal, plus It's Been A While.
So in we went, all on the guest list, got our wrist bands, queued for the bar. It was at this point I felt that we had accidentally gone to a frat party. We were surrounded my massive shaven headed Americans with arms the size of melons. Now don't get me wrong, my bald self tips the scales at 14-stone but I spent so much time flexing that I left the gig with cramp in 95% of my body.

So 2 beers, a double voddy lemonade and £15 later, there we are a mere 10-feet or so from the stage. We'd been there for a good 90 minutes and then they arrived. The band we'd all been waiting for. The band that are used to playing venues ten times the size of the Hard Rock. The music kicked in and my God, they were tight. Aaron Lewis's vocal were note perfect, the guitars were entwined in harmony, the bass levels and acoustics were ideal. But they fucking sucked.

When you go to see a band you want to feel like they want to be there. Staind didn't. Lewis must have said about 4 words to the crowd in between off-mic complaints to the poor sound man about his guitar levels. He had about as must energy as a arthritic donkey on a hot day, and the fact that the sound tech behind him was looking bored the whole night kinda summed up my feelings. Now don't get me wrong, the singalongs were amazing and it was great to see Outside live - the crowd were as one, it was truly moving. However, when the same thing happened during Stone Sour's Bother, Corey Taylor was moved, thanked the crowd, and had a wee chat with us. Aaron Lewis just looked grumpy and in need of a cheeseburger.

To summarise, the band were amazing. The performance was a stimulating as a morning-after-a-few-beers dump.

Oh well - DragonForce, Turisas and Disturbed in a couple of weeks. Bring it on...

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