(Midland Horseshoe Arena - Midland, TX - Nov. 28, 12008)
I've never been a big fan of a 4 band lineup. It always seems like the opening band just pops out long enough to get warmed up and then they're off stage just as quickly as they came out. Plus, you never seem to get to hear enough of the two middle bands to fully appreciate them either. Of course then by the time the headliner comes out, you've just about had all the rock concert you can handle, especially the the headliner doesn't maintain the intensity the guest bands stir up.
State of Shock came out first and put on a really nice show. They had great chemistry together and the lead singer did a great job of milking the crowd. They played some new songs and of course "Money Honey", but surprisingly absent was their most recent hit "Best I Ever Had." While the female bass player struggled to get her bass guitar to be heard and spent most of her time on the floor fiddling with patch cables, their set was still a lot of fun and they sounded great, even minus the bass guitar. As usual, the set was over too soon and we were left wanting more from this talented Canadian quintet.
Next up was the crowning moment of the entire show. That's right, Papa Roach blew the roof off, and this is coming from someone who's a much bigger Staind and Seether fan than a Papa Roach fan. There was no one on stage the entire night that could hold a candle to the sheer raw intensity and fun that Jacoby and company pulled off. Not only did they play their two new songs, "Hollywood Whore" and "Lifeline," both of which were outstanding, but Jacoby still found time to run around up in the stands and interact directly with the fans. As usual, the musicianship was spot on perfect, and they made the most of the short time they had onstage. They ended their set with the trademark "Last Resort" track to resounding applause from the crowd.
Seether came out with a thud and it never really picked up. Let me start by saying that Seether is my absolute favorite rock band. I bought tickets to this concert mainly because of them so no one in the crowd was more disappointed in their performance than I was. I don't know if Shaun and company were just high off their asses or what, but the entire performance left many people in the crowd dumbfounded. They kept making these guitar squealing sounds in between songs that honestly made me cover my ears a time or two they were so annoying. The playing was also erratic and at times it was difficult to even figure out what song they were playing until they were well into it already. "Needles" lacked its usual intensity and had it not been for decent renditions of "Fake It" and "Remedy" the entire set would have been an utter disaster. At least they ended things on a solid note.
Capping things off was Staind! who were as solid as you'd expect them to be. They had a nice light show going and they played with the same precision people have come to expect of them. Their guitar player still displayed his uptempo style of playing in which he spends the majority of his time bent over, and the other three guys hardly move, which makes their ADHD guitar player stand out even more. They played all the hits you'd expect and even managed to throw in an obscure track here and there. If you've never seen Staind! live in concert, you don't know what you're missing!
When it was all said and done you couldn't help but leave the concert wondering how Papa Roach always manages to steal the show yet never seem to make it to headlining. I have a feeling these guys will be headlining before too long and that will be a show I definitely won't miss. Seether still remains my favorite band, but I certainly won't look forward to another one of their shows with the same level of anticipation again after the debacle they put on tonight. If you get a chance to catch this lineup out on the road, it would be hard for me not to recommend it to you. Papa Roach alone is worth the trouble, and in all honesty you'll likely be just as impressed with State of Shock and Staind as well. Just be sure you bring the earplugs for the Seether set. Don't say I didn't warn you. : )