Nov 27, 2011

Staind - Ram's Head Live

By Bob Suehs

STAIND / Egypt Central / Adelita's Way

November 27, 2011

Baltimore, Maryland

The show was totally sold out & it was interesting to see Staind playing a club show when they hadn't done smaller clubs in many the end of the show I will admit I was thinking to myself, wow, these guys are soooo much better in an intimate setting YET they had so many back to back hits that they ARE more suited in a larger venue or even an opening slot on a large arena tour!

Initially this tour was billed as Staind with Egypt Central as the opening act, BUT the billing the night of show was changed & they added Adelita's Way to the show & what I was expecting was Adelita's Way to open, followed by Egypt Central considering Adelita's Way wasn't even listed on the billing till night of the show...well, when the show kicked off the lights went down & surprise, surprise, Egypt Central were the first band to play!

Egypt Central suffered from opening band syndrome...they had lack of sound & limited stage space BUT they rocked hard & delivered a short, to the point set that included, "Kick Ass" & "You Make Me Sick" which the Baltimore crowd loved!

Adelita's Way were up next & I won't lie...they bored the shit out of me....that band is just so generic; I give them props for getting onstage & doing what they do BUT they did nothing for me personally & I saw more people hanging out at the bar & talking than really paying attention to what the band did onstage.

Most people upfront or in the pit were simply holding their spot for when Staind took the stage & Adelita's Way were not a good choice of opening band on this tour in my opinion. Egypt Central fit the bit well but Adelita's Way...not so much!

The main event was slated for just after 9:30 PM when Staind were to take the stage and before I get into my review of Staind's set I want to say something about the band.

When Staind first hit the national scene I lumped them in with the other generic acts of the time who clearly ripped off the 90's post-Seattle grunge scene. Staind & Godsmack were ripping off Alice in Chains while Seether & Puddle of Mudd were ripping off Nirvana....all 4 of those bands managed to hang around long enough to become their own "thing" & I give all 4 of those bands props for figuring out what and who they are; Staind developed their sound to incorporate singer/songwriter material, metal, hard rock, grunge, & even a little country!

Aaron Lewis looks like he could have done some time in prison with his heavily tattooed neck, hands & shaved head w/ scruffy facial hair YET he comes off as a total sweet heart on & offstage.

Mike bangs his head non stop throughout the entire show & the energy he gives off is nothing less than amazing. His guitar playing has developed over the years as well & with the new material I will say I can hear a bit o' Jerry Cantrell influence & I say that in a good way because he's adding guitar solo's which are structured & suit the new material well!

Staind has a new drummer but he's so hidden behind the drum kit that you don't even know he's back their in all honesty & you could almost put up a curtain & keep him hidden behind it while the 3 main guys play up front because Aaron & Mike are the one's who gain all the attention & if you don't believe me the proof is in the pudding with the last song of the night, which was a slow ballad & ONLY Mike & Aaron were onstage, there was no bass or drums for the encore of the night!

That leads me to also ponder, why in the HELL did they close with a slow song? "Mud Shovel" should have been the nights closer!!!!

Aaron Lewis had a zillion guitar pics all over the stage & his guitar pics were multi colored which made his amps & mic stand look unique...I saw some of his guitar picks read, "f**k Off", "Thank You" & "Stimulate This" & what I noticed was the fact that the different colored picks were different weight picks so while it looked cool that he had multi colored guitar picks it was also so he could use different colored picks for different songs.

"Country Boy" was Aaron's moment alone on stage it's where the rockers took a bathroom break or made a beer run while the die hard Staind freaks sang along as if it were Aaron at a camp fire with an acoustic!

Staind delivered a kick ass set & proved why they've managed to hang around all these year...hit after hit, solid musicianship & not an ounce of rock star attitude.

On a side note what I will admit is, looking at Aaron onstage I was vaguely reminded of the Simpsons cartoon....if you ever watch the show you might remember the older episode where Homer went crazy & was committed...he met a man who claimed to be Michael Jackson & the man who claimed to be Michael Jackson reminded me of Aaron Lewis sans all the tatts & it was also interesting to see him wearing a TESLA shirt because you might not take him as a fan of hair bands! I included the pic in this review so you can see what I'm talking about.

Staind were awesome & the show was a smash...if you missed this one you missed one of the best shows for 2011 that took place at Ram's Head Live in Baltimore, Maryland!


You Down, Over & Under, Ghost Town, Kick Ass, The Drug, Sick, White Rabbit

STAIND set list:

Spleen, Falling, Right Here, Eyes, Fade, Crawl, Failing, So Far Away, Throw It All Away, Country Boy, For You, Paper Wings, Outside, Not Again, It's Been A While, Mudshovel, Something