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Staind, Seether, & Papa Roach live!

| December 10, 2008 | 0 Comments

Staind, Seether, Papa Roach, State Of Shock
The Venue/Horseshoe Casino, Hammond, IN
Saturday, December 6, 2008

staind

This was IE‘s maiden voyage to The Venue, a new, er, venue inside the newly renovated Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Indiana — just a hop, skip, and jump from downtown Chicago. The casino re-opened this summer after a $500-million facelift which included a state-of-the-art, 3,300-capacity theater — kind of a cross between Metro and the suburban Rosemont Theatre. This night was purported to have been sold out, yet there was plenty of breathing room at the back of the main floor (unlike a sold-out Metro).

The show was opened by an unexpected fourth band, State Of Shock from Canada, who did the melodic alterna-metal thing just fine, but lacked a certain edge. Next, Papa Roach once again gave up an intense, sweaty, generous show (their last with this Staind tour). Even when the sound mix is lackluster (all mid-range on this night), they rise above and entertain. Frontman Jacoby Shaddix delivered full-tilt to his audience, tearing his heart open and sewing it shut

Papa Roach once again gave up an intense, sweaty, generous show (their last with this Staind tour). Even when the sound mix is lackluster (all mid-range on this night), they rise above and entertain. Frontman Jacoby Shaddix delivered full-tilt to his audience, tearing his heart open and sewing it shut. The stage isn’t enough playground for Shaddix; during “Getting Away With Murder” he dropped down into the crowd and took a walk, stopping to sing with fans before heading back toward the stage, but instead climbed the criss-cross scaffolding in front of the P.A., and finished the song there. (“I don’t know how the hell I’m going to get down,” he said before monkey-swinging back.) Two new songs slated for a new record in ’09 were split: “Hollywood Whore” is a timely and apropos ode to the likes of Paris Hilton and others, whose signature blistering PR guitar and infectious chorus makes it a winner; “Lifeline,” on the other hand, lacked bite.

Seether, the South Africa-born band who began their U.S. ascent in ’02, have had oodles of radio play the past year for Finding Beauty In Negative Spaces as well as accessible cuts from their last couple or records. Sure, songs like “Breakdown,” “Rise Above This,” and “Remedy” contain the rock-radio formula, but what you don’t hear on the radio is the bolder, darker tunes that garner them comparisons to grunge fathers Nirvana or Alice In Chains. In contrast to Papa Roach, their sound was crisp and enveloping, elevating songs like “No Jesus Christ” and “Eyes Of The Devil” above any preconceived notions showgoers may have arrived with. Shaddix joined frontman Shaun Morgan for the brooding ballad “Broken,” then Staind’s Aaron Lewis joined in a rendition of AIC’s “Nutshell.” Near the end of their set, the mood was lightened when some male strippers appeared onstage — a birthday gift to Morgan from his fellow tourmates.

If you asked headliners Staind, they might admit this wasn’t one of their favorite shows. The crowd at this otherwise civilized venue became increasingly less than civilized, making it as difficult for Staind to play as it was for respectable fans to watch and listen. By the third song, cups were flying through the air. Lewis sat on a stool and started the crowd-pleaser ballad “Epiphany,” when a beer came hurtling toward the stage that stopped short and doused a woman. Lewis stopped mid-song to address the event — with a few expletives and a threat to leave — before resuming. Staind’s calling card is the anthemic ballad, in which there is quiet behind Lewis’ vocals that, when done live, makes it easy to hear the crowd sing along, which was especially loud and therefore especially annoying on this night. Since visually there isn’t much going on with Staind live . . . perhaps they’re a “headphones-only” band. Either way, the bill seemed upside-down, as the previous two bands satisfied well above the headliner.

Penelope Biver

Category: Live Reviews, Weekly

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