Intro (skip to Music Seen article if you’re impatient)
I was taking our dog for a walk about an hour or so ago thinking about the events of the day and my station in life when it occurred to me, “I should post this!” Well, after it just took me about a half hour to log on to this site as me (I love computers!), I decided not to share. What is life without a little mystery?! Here’s a little sample of what it’s like to be me, though. The music side of me, the side that’s safe, but opinionated (in a good way).
Since I last posted I’ve seen the Chicago band Hairbanger’s Ball twice in Bloomington and I’ve seen Skillet, Puddle of Mudd, and Shinedown in Peoria. Hairbanger’s Ball was pretty good, but not great when I saw them in January. When I saw them again last month, they were at the height of their glory. The following is a post I made on their Web site, hairbangersball.com:
Your show at Daddios on Saturday was a full-frontal musical assault! From your set opening Poison’s “Talk Dirty to Me” to Motley Crue’s “Girls, Girls, Girls” (1st set) you kept the energy flowing and the crowd jumping. Thanks for adding Journey to your set along with Claire and The Kid. Polly, with her rock-star stage presence, was awesome as usual! An added bonus this time, was arriving early and catching you guys at sound check without your wigs and get-up on. You guys never fail to deliver, but this show rocked even harder than usual! Keep rockin’!
My friend and I were in the front row at this show! We were close enough to touch the stage and bump fists with and hi-five the lead singers! Unfortunately you won’t see us under their pictures tab since we left after the first set and all the pictures were taken during the second set. Oh well.
Their next show at Daddios in Bloomington is 10 p.m. March 27.
The concert collaboration of Skillet, Puddle of Mudd, and Shinedown was a mixed bag. Let me start with the least memorable band, Puddle of Mudd. They played the two songs I like, “Blurry” and “Spaceship,” and a host of forgettable songs that kept coming back to “She Hates Me.” They seemed to go over their allotted time, but kept on playing, even returning to the stage once to play another round of “She Hates Me,” no doubt.
The headliner, Shinedown, was only slightly better. They, also, have about two songs that I really like, “If You Only Knew” and the song that I can never get enough of, “Fly From The Inside.” Some of my issues with them in concert, though, are this: They only played about half of “Fly From The Inside” while they played an extended version of “45” (which I hate) that included a rambling anti-suicide message. The lead singer didn’t realize that loud, fast, continuous music gets people going at a concert not slowed-down filler and frequent breaks in the music to give pep talks, one of which included (I kid you not), “No more yawning.”
In all, Shinedown’s strength as a band is found in their lead singer’s voice. He is, without question, one of my favorite singers. Their songwriting could use a little work as a whole, including adding more songs with a wider variety of tempos (especially faster tempos for their live performances) and they need more interesting drums (I say as a drummer). They definitely have the potential to appeal to me more with some tweaking, but I will always love them for the two songs I mentioned above.
Now I come to the best performance of the night, which also happened to be the first, Skillet. They opened their set with “Hero” with a driving beat and drummer singing backup. One of the few bands I know of with a female drummer and she was awesome! She had a flat black set with platinum cymbals that she played with agitated finesse. They soon followed up with “Monster” which, although not my favorite song, rocked live! They played with such intensity that mosh pits opened up on two different songs (the only mosh pits the whole night) and people were just crazy into it. Toward the end of their disappointingly short set (due to them being an opening band, not the headliners), they pulled one off of the album, “Collide” (2003), which happens to be the only Skillet CD I have ever owned until now. I believe they played, “Under My Skin” and it was great to hear some of their old stuff. They kept the energy high, the crowd pumped, and added interest to their set by adding electric string instruments at times.
Going in to this concert, I expected that either Skillet or Shinedown would be the show-stealers of the evening, and I was not disappointed. Skillet dominated and I hope to see them again!
My next concert will be: Winter Jam at Redbird Arena (Normal) on 6 p.m. March 27. Doors open at 5 p.m. and the show ends around 10 p.m.
Billed as “Christian music’s largest tour,” this show is a family-friendly event with a lengthy line-up of Christian artists including: Newsong, Newsboys, Third Day, Fireflight … etc. It only costs $10 at the door (no advance tickets necessary or available) and is sure to be amazing. I attended a Winter Jam in Peoria (?) a few years back and really liked it. I’m taking my son for sure. He’s 13 and needs some more concerts under his belt. Cool. See you there!