Gig Review: Staind, Garage, Glasgow, 6th October 2011

Kicking off their first headlining UK tour in support of their new self-titled album, Staind rolled into Glasgow with only one thing on their mind and that was the music. Speaking to frontman Aaron Lewis before the band took to the stage, he mentioned how smaller UK club tours allow the band to drop all of the stage set up and focus on what is important and by doing so he knows he has to step up his game, not that he didn’t before he wants me to make sure you know.

The band wasted no time as they kicked into ‘Spleen’ from their 1999 album ‘Dysfunction’ and instantly picked up the room with their rip roaring intensity. Flowing straight on they performed the only two songs from ‘Chapter V’ with ‘Falling’ and ‘Right Here’ where they connected with the crowd.

‘Eyes Wide Open’ was the first of five new songs to be played tonight and it received a positive reaction from the crowd, as did all of the new material. The anger and power which has been piled into the new songs was felt throughout the crowd as they started to move from their stationary positions and show the band they were not singing robots.

A mixture of fans favourites including ‘Fade’ and ‘Crawl’ followed before the band lowered the tempo with ‘So Far Away’. It was during ‘So Far Away’ that the band could feel the true appreciation for their music here in Glasgow as Aaron stood back from the mic and allowed the crowd to carry the song forward while all they could so was stand and smile.

Alternating between new songs and classics is how the band went on to finish their set with some great bursts of raw power and emotion before bringing it to a stunning conclusion. ‘Throw It All Away’ followed on from ‘Just Go’ as they looked to make people move. ‘For You’ and ‘Paper Wings’ soared before they took it back to the ‘Break The Cycle’ classic ‘Outside’. ‘Not Again’ (the first single from ‘Staind’) exploded straight out of the barrel which allowed Mike Mushok to step forward to unleash his blistering solo. This was my first ever Staind show and I was surprised at Mike’s performance. In interviews he always comes across as a very laid back individual but on stage he bounces around and is full of energy like a teenager. My slight worry when I saw him unleash was that he may strike a few wrong notes or just go out of tune because at some stages he can go wild, but he didn’t let anything sacrifice his sound as he gave a perfect passionate performance and it was great to watch as he stood out from the rest of the band. Aaron’s vocals and guitar playing were spot on as you would expect and no amount of cigarettes has ruined his voice just yet and Johnny April helped every song along with his bass and backing vocals. New full time drummer (no longer regarded as their touring drummer) Sal Giancarelli made you forget Jon Wysocki was even a member of Staind as he is on perfect form. I suppose being Jon’s drum tech helped the transition flow very easily and as Aaron put it before the gig, he can’t tell the difference between them because Sal is that good at what he does.

Staind’s biggest single ‘It’s Been Awhile’ continued the set before they ended for their encore on their breakout single ‘Mudshovel’. Aaron and Mike would return to the stage for the encore to perform ‘Something To Remind You,’ the closing track to ‘Staind’. The crowd’s reaction said it all to this song as they just stood mesmerised by this beautiful and deep song. There was no need for anything else after this song as Aaron and Mike just walked off the stage to a rapturous applause for an incredible ending.

For a band who have achieved so much over their career, they seem to be stuck in the UK for moving forward, a point that Aaron joked early on in their set about regarding the fact they can’t seem to move on from the 700 capacity Garage. Their set proved that while so many bands lose their way, sell out and give in to the industry that they are still able to write timeless classics and captivate an audience unlike many other hard rock bands today who just don’t have that special edge to them.

Without the backdrop, the unique stage set up, lights and everything that you would see from their performance in the US, tonight was as Aaron put it “all about the music” and they made sure that they gave their all on the opening night of their UK tour.

Rating – 9


All photographs are taken by Vagelis Georgariou. Visit his website here


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Michael is the owner and creator of EspyRock. He is your general all round geek; sports fan; TV show fanatic. You can find him sharing his thoughts on his personal Twitter account. Contact Michael on Twitter or via Email.

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