Something wasn't right. In a sea of pinkies and index
fingers giving the of sign of the beast, lighters were
aloft and there was clapping. Fair enough, you might
think. However, clapping in anticipation of the upcoming
chorus? Surely not, this wasn't a Bon Jovi concert after
all. But yes, during "Outside", one of Staind's more
contemplative songs, the heaving audience in Londons
Astoria clapped and sang along to their tune of adolescent
As Stainds album debuted at number one and friends (and
tonight, also members of the audience) PAPA ROACH won
two awards at the Kerrang Awards, did we need any more
visible sign that rock had finally gone mainstream?
Perhaps not.Ten years after Nirvana released "Nevermind",
and Grunge's decidedly spottier and cockier younger
brother, Nu-Metal has gripped the nations teens with
a cultural grasp that in theory at least, echoes the
loosely anarchic war-cries of punk. In practice, however
its relation to its older sibling is by way of inverted
commas.Thus one of the exponents of the genre, Staind
sought to take the punctuation out of their music and
lay it bare on the stage.
There is no doubt that Staind are a tight live band.
Tonight, in between gurning his face, bassist Johnny
April played off Jon Wysocki's drums with vigour, while
guitarist Mike Mushok's moody fret work played well
off Aaron Lewis' earnest vocals. While this proved an
occasionally powerful combination (like on album opener,
"Open Your Eyes", "Fade" and "For You"), there was not
enough respite from the 'rebellion by numbers' songs.These
songs were plentiful as the set proceeded, and peaked
with the ghoulishly dumb "Ephiphany". While creating
the appropriate bawl of fire, there was something missing.
Certainly the lack of respite from the surburban kid
whine was missing. But maybe it was the creeping suspicion
that, as the band moved into Limp Bizkit-lite stage
poses nu-metal, like Grunge had reached its saturation
point, and much of the new music is just a rehash of
the old. A creation by the Dr.Frankenstein of record
company bosses. In this world kids rebellion had been
sponsored by Starbucks.
"Teenage angst has paid off well, now I'm bored and
old" Kurt Cobain once wryly observed. Seven years on
from his passing there's still truth in his words.
see also: http://www.staind.com