If you’ve never been to Boston, you should stop on by.. only to visit though, not to live there. Nestled in that whole New England area is a city that sleeps at 12:30am and loves the Red Sox and rock music. We recently had a chance to visit the new House Of Blues on Lansdowne Street (replacing music clubs Avalon and Axis awww). Walking in, you notice something. Boston is only filled with white people, and not the prettiest ones either. This is a blue collar town who was here to see “SHINEDOWN!” This would not bode well for openers from New Zealand, Like A Storm. Dressed like understudies for 30 Seconds To Mars, the band sounds a lot better than it looks. The 90s alternative rock side of me digs the hooks but the 2010 me remembers that the 90s are now two decades old. Though the show was at a quarter capacity for these guys, it was merely 600 people waiting in line to buy a beer. There might’ve been a better turn out for Like A Storm had the venue not been telling people that the show started 20 minutes after the band’s set (we’re not kidding). Also, Like A Storm didn’t seem like a good fit for this somewhat cock rock lineup. They’d be better off with 30STM and Seether than these bands. Anyways, before the band wrapped up their mini six song set, they covered Alice in Chain’s “Man In The Box.” Listen up, Like A Storm. If you can’t sing it, you should leave it alone. I tell my friends the same thing when we’re playing the song on Rock Band or Guitar Hero.
Next up was Skillet. I even ran into some Skillet fans that drove three hours to see the band. That’s dedication (or stupidity?) holmes. I have to be honest here. I only took some photos, stared at the female guitarist, and took a beer and bathroom break. Thank you Skillet. For what they do (and I’m not sure what it is), Skillet was.. tolerable yet forgettable.
Then, the return of Puddle of Mudd. Puddle of Mudd’s one of those alternative rock bands that became popular during nu-metal about a decade ago. Hailed as Fred Durst’s proteges, POM really haven’t released a solid album since their debut Come Clean in 2001. Fortunately for the band, they have created a few hit singles about love and hate (oh, isn’t their new album called Volume 4: Songs In The Key Of Love And Hate) that had everyone at the House Of Blues going nuts. Frontman Wes Scantlin recognizes that his band isn’t as popular as it used to be but he still enjoys performing live and playing what people want to hear. Opening with the “smack your ass” song Control, Puddle of Mudd’s set was a nice retro singalong that included hits like “Blurry”, “Drift And Die”, the underappreciated “Psycho” and “She Hates Me” which included a segue into “Summer Lovin'” from the movie Grease and Steve Miller Band’s “The Joker”. Did everyone come here to see Puddle of Mudd tonight? No, but they did love the band’s set.
And finally, one of the top three rock bands in America, Shinedown took the stage. When you’re in Boston aka “the east coast representation of Middle America”, you’ll notice that Bud Light is a premium beer, and that Shinedown is the best band in the world. The preacher of the evening was Shinedown frontman Brent Smith (whose clothes were way too tight btw). It’s hard to avoid liking Shinedown. They have some songs that rock out pretty hard like “Sound Of Madness” and “Devour”, they have ballads like “If You Only Knew” and they cover Lynyrd Skynyrd (“Simple Man”). There’s a certain cheese factor to Shinedown like Nickelback (who they’ll be on tour with in April). They’re a hard rock band that makes melodic music and isn’t crappy metal and too religious. You’ll never admit to anyone you know that you like them.. unless you’re in Shinedown’s church.. at the House of Blues in Boston.