Concert Review: Staind at Uproar Festival in Atlanta
The Rockstar Energy Uproar Festival rolled into Atlanta’s Aaron’s Amphitheatre Wednesday, bringing into town hard hitting muthas like Adelitas Way, Godsmack and Shinedown. It was an all-day event that began with the gravel lot transformed into a duel stage, and later moved the fun into the amphitheater for the evening’s main events. The hard core fans skipped school or called in sick to work to revel in early performances by the likes of Fozzy, Thousand Foot Krutch and P.O.D. The crowd inevitably swelled as evening fell and the headliners found their way to the stage.
Since Uproar’s audiences overlap with that of the Mayhem and Warped Tour crowds, its fair to compare these festivals side-by-side. The initial thing you notice about Uproar is that it’s more subdued than its traveling rock festivals brethren. That isn’t to say there is a dulled edge on the bands who were performing. It’s more that there are less stages and fewer bands, which on the surface seems like a knock on Uproar. Actually, it’s a positive in a lot of ways. You could have an aneurysm trying to plan your band schedule for Warped Tour. At Uproar, it was an even rotation between the three stages. As one band walked off the stage, the next band ripped into the bass. You never missed a second of the music, which is nice for checking out the up-and-coming acts.
The Las Vegas rockers Adelitas Way kicked off the evening session with style and vibrato, ramping up the anticipation for rock stalwarts Staind. Staind has seemingly been around forever. Launching 18 years ago out of Springfield, Mass, Staind has churned out seven single laden albums in the many years they have been rocking. The band is currently touring behind their 2011 self-titled release.
The band opened the evening with the new track “Eyes Wide Open.” It was one of a trio of songs off their self-titled release that made the cut for the hour-long set list. You could tell the audience was pumped to see one of hard rocks staples. The crowd sang along, pumped their fists in the air and wouldn’t be caught sitting down for anything.
Lead singer Aaron Lewis introduced a few of the songs with random musings. He called “Outside” largely an accident when it was birthed in 1999. He jokingly introduced “It’s Been a While” as a new song. Uh yeah, maybe it was ten years ago. He said he’d been listening to a lot of Cindi Lauper and playing with puppy dogs when he wrote the heavy anthem “Paper Wings.” Never let it be said that Staind are soft. Lewis might just boil your pet bunny rabbit if you did.
Staind ended the evening on a rather tranquil note with the ballad “Something to Remind You.” I even noticed a couple slow dancing in the aisle. It’s a pretty deep and introspective number to leave the audience with, and I’d have rather seen it used as a change of pace number midway through the set, ending with something a bit more bombastic. I mean, Godsmack is waiting in the wings.
Staind didn’t play the most inspired show of the day, yet it was a solid performance. Beyond the violent head banging of guitarist Mike Mushok, the group was rather reserved. At this stage of their career, they aren’t building an audience. They’ve long since paid their dues and got the t-shirt to prove it. At this point, they are maintaining the respect of the fans they’ve assembled over the years. They trotted out the singles, worked the emotions of the crowd and gave you what you’d expect from a band who hadn’t been worn down by the years.
Check back with us later this evening as we wrap our Uproar Festival coverage with a look at Godsmack’s set.
Staind Uproar Festival Atlanta Setlist : September 12, 2012
Eyes Wide Open
It’s Been a While
Something to Remind You