Thursday, June 9, 2011

Seether/ My Darkest Days/ Red Jumpsuit Apparatus [review]

Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Buster's Billiards & Backroom

Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

Red Jumpsuit Apparatus  opened the show with a less than stellar performance. Even their most recognizable hit, "Face Down", was a disappointment with singer Ronnie Winter giving disappointing performance vocally.

More interesting than the show was my analysis of wardrobe. The drummer must have know about Lexington's love for 'jorts' because he was rocking a pair. Well, rocking implies that they looked good on him, and they most certainly did not. Let's just say he was attempting to wear them. I understand, drumming gets hot, with all the physical activity and such, but some people just aren't meant to go shirtless on stage. And the way he was licking his drumsticks was uncomfortable, and just unsanitary...and really just freaked me out, to be honest. Overall, the performance was pretty unenjoyable and not something I ever plan to take part of again. 

My Darkest Days

My Darkest Days swept in and saved the show from the downward spiral that RJA had sent the night into. Playing what are sure to be hits from their self-titled album, the band blew the audience away with one of the best live shows I have seen from a new band in a very, very long time. When I initially heard "Porn Star Dancing" on the radio, I admit I was not a fan, especially when I heard about their Chad Kroeger connection. Here's another Nickelback, I assumed, with songs about strippers and general debauchary that seem to be the theme of a majority of Kroeger's lyrics. I listened to their other songs online, though, and realized I was right about the Nickelback similarity, but in a completely different way. MDD has that radio-friendly, catchy-as-hell quality that will likely boost them to a level of popularity close to that of their Canadian brethren.

        Playing songs like "Move Your Body" and "Set It On Fire" led the crowd to do both of those things, in a almost uncontrollably way. People were moving to the beat, swaying hips and nodding heads, and all the friction from the movement and heat radiating off the bodies really made it feel like the room was truly in flames.
MDD had some of the greatest crowd interaction I've seen, ever, and are now on the list of best live bands I've seen, just because of the simple little things they did to draw the audience in. They were there to entertain the people and gain new fans, and it was literally almost impossible not to fall in love with them and their music. It's rare these days to find a band that not only has high-quality musicians who can actually sing and play live, but who also can put on a kick-ass concert that showcases their well written and just all around really good songs. It's hard not to get a little jaded or complacent with the bands out today who all sound similar and play a set that is just another unmemorable 45 minutes of your life. My Darkest Days re-energized me and my love for live shows, reminding me that there actually are new bands out there that are worth getting behind. They gained at least one new fan that night, but I'd say there are a lot more than me that crossed over to the MDD side.      


Seether has a live show is the antithesis of My Darkest Days. Gone from the stage was the fun, party atmosphere, conversations with the crowd, and leading of chants and those sometimes distracting frills. For Seether, the show was truly all about the music.

"Country Song"

They kicked off their set with "Fur Cue", the first song from their latest album, Holding On to Stings Better Left to Fray. Though the song hadn't even been released at the time of the show, it was a perfect start to their set. More familiar songs, like "Needles" and "Fine Again" came next, and the latter song had the walls of Buster's echoing not just with the sound from the band but from almost every member of the audience singing the words. It was one of those moments that gives you chills and makes your heart flutter a little. It took my mind back to what Brent Smith always says at the beginning of a Shinedown show, that while that particular concert is happening, nothing else in the world matters. It's just you, the music, and the other people in the room. That night, everyone in the sold-out crowd was truly connected by the words of the song and the sounds of the instruments. It was a moment that can only happen at a concert, a piece of time when, even if you've come to the concert completely alone, you find that you are still intertwined with a room full of people you don't even know. It's an amazing feeling, and one of the best parts of a live show. Seether is a master at this type of production. 

If you're at a Seether show, then you know you're going to hear the song "Broken". As a way of mixing up what has to be one of the millionth times the boys have played the song, they turned it into 'Uncle Dalington's Story Hour' named after guitarist Dale Stewart, where a table was rolled out, complete with red tablecloth, fine leather-bound books, and lit candles. It was a fun change to hearing the song, and it was obvious that the band was enjoying themselves.

I had heard talk of the illusive Seether cover of Nirvana and just how much Shaun Morgan could sound just like Kurt Cobain. Not until that night at Buster's, though, did i have the privilege of hearing it for myself. When the first notes of "Heart Shaped Box" rang out, the audience came alive like a shock had simultaneously rang through everyone. The similarity in the vocals was uncanny. It's probably the closest to hearing Nirvana live I'll ever get, unless I see the Foo Fighters and they do a cover, but the voice still won't be that similar. It was a serious moment for me, and an awesome one at that.

"Heart Shaped Box" 

Later the band jammed into "Fake It," with an extended intro that had such a strong and fun groove the even Morgan and Stewart couldn't resist having fun with it. They broke into grins that covered their entire faces. It was proof that they absolutely love what they are doing.

Seether isn't a band that's going to talk a lot to the audience and really try to pump them up like My Darkest Days. For Morgan and the boys, it's all about the music and their fans appreciate that. They have mind-blowing musical talent, and even though they aren't leading the crowd to wave their hands in the air or to simultaneously jump up and down, the show is still intense and amazing. They are an unforgettable band to watch play live, and a must- see if you are a rock fan. Buster's was a perfect venue for them, with the smaller size making the audience feel close and a really connected to the band.

Aside from the rocky start, it was yet another great evening of rock at the best place to see live music in Lexington. 

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