Right, this is going to be a difficult review to write, I still haven’t established exactly what went wrong for me this time.

I was so looking forward to seeing 3 Doors Down again, especially as last year’s gig at the Roundhouse was so utterly amazing.
I decided to write this report as a comparison between the two gigs, they were after all more or less identical, and hopefully it won’t be too confusing for you all.

As I said I was really looking forward to the 3DD gig, took half a day of work to make sure I’ll be right at the front. I arrived at the Hammersmith Apollo at around 2pm, about 8 fans are already waiting….oh yes, and familiar faces too. It is lovely to get greeted with a smile, a hug and a “I saw you at the Roundhouse last year”…… 🙂
I take my place next to Tom, they come from “up north” (anything outside London is up north by the way, unless of course it’s down south!), it is their first 3DD gig and they are very excited, specially as Seether is the support band. I must say, that is quite a treat. Last year The Crave supported, a band from Brighton which I also really like, I must catch another gig of theirs! At the Roundhouse gig we also got chatting to Rikki from the Skinny Machines who came to see the concert, they of course are going from strength to strength, just finishing their European tour featuring Jim Stapley.
One of the girls runs backwards and forwards from the queue to the stage door, hoping to get a glimpse I guess, at some point I decide to go and see what is happening, there is also a German girl and a guy called Jim hanging around. Jim also recognises me from last year and he tells me that he has some seafood for Brad as he runs a seafood place in Cromer and chatted with Brad about it at some point, so he brought some along. The German girl seems quite negative, she tells us that 3 DD haven’t been very fan-friendly on this tour, she obviously saw a few of their gigs.
I go back to join Tom and the others, the sun has come round the building meanwhile, so it is pleasant to sit and wait. Another girl, Babs, is finishing some assignments….lol, might as well, plenty of time. She is here to secure a place for her son who is at University and not finished till later. Neil is joining me a bit later too, free parking isn’t till 4pm at Perivale.
I have to say the atmosphere isn’t quite as buzzing as it was last year at the roundhouse, even little Miss Overexcited was quite calm today. Omar arrives with his wife, last year he was invited onto stage to play a song with 3DD after having bought a VIP tickets (£80ish) and attending the sound check.  I said Hi and ask after the baby, they have had a baby boy meanwhile, and even these two diehard fans don’t seem to enthusiastic today, when I ask Omar if he was doing the sound check with them today, he told us he had ask but was told not today :-(. Neil had arrived meanwhile and the security guards started to assemble the barriers for the queue, I do like to be right at the front, waiting may be boring, but it’s so worth it in the end. We get chatting to a young Polish man behind us and a German guy in front. I have to say the Polish guy is lovely and really funny, the German? Hmmm, I got a bit irritated as he seems to belittle every band I mention and only the ones he likes are great! I said it before, we are all allowed to like who we want without being made to feel your taste is rubbish! So please you people out there, just accept that there is loads of different music out there, and just because you don’t like a particular type of music doesn’t make it wrong! OK? While we are waiting in the queue Matt’s Dad comes out to speak to the girl’s right at the front that is sweet! The German girl was asked to come in for the sound check, when she came back she said that she just stood there and nobody said anything.

At last, it’s time to go inside, as usual I go stage right and find a space near enough to the centre. We shouldn’t need to wait too long today, there are two support bands, tAKiDA will be up first, a new one for me!
I must say tAKiDA does not disappoint,  I like Robert Pettersson’s voice a lot, I will, no, I must buy their album! Not being familiar with these boys at all I have to refer to the set list I managed to get to list what songs were played, it started with “Heaven stay” “never alone” and “evil eye” to finish, just to mention a few, 6 were played all together! The Band made brilliant use of all of the stage, moving from one side to the other, working the crowd….Sweden does produce some amazing bands, I wish I had bought the t-shirt, the burning heart design is brilliant….come back to the UK soon please, very soon!

Next up are Seether, now I have heard them before, not too long ago a young lady I love a lot sang “fake it” to me and my friends, accompanied by her Dad on the guitar and vocals. I promised her to take loads of photos and record the songs. Neil has got the job to record while I take photos….lol! We will of course listen to them at the same time, we are clever like that!!
Shane Morgan seems to have his own little place on stage, surrounded by speakers, actually he never moves from that spot. Seether are playing 9 songs all together, starting with “Gasoline” and finishing with “Fake it” and “Remedy”, the crowd loves it and is with them from the first song. Dale Stewart was a little more active, he sat on a barstool for the song “Broken” though, and beautiful song I have to say! There was one difference, something I have not experienced with any other band, in between songs they played a kind of interlude, I’m not sure if I liked it or not. No chance for a set list there aren’t any :-(, but I did manage to get a plectrum!

And then it is 3 Doors Down, like last year the stage is empty, just the microphones and a couple of set lists. Brad, Matt, Todd, Chris and Greg come onto stage, no big fuss, so no big hello from the audience! It’s a strange vibe, it just isn’t working for me, from the word go I feel deflated. The first 5 songs are exactly the same as on last year’s set list, same show, I bet they even said the same things and smiled in the same places. Looking up and down the frontrow and behind us I don’t think it’s just Neil and I that can’t conjure up too much enthusiasm. They took “landing in London” out and replaced it with “Citizen/Soldier” and “Heaven”, that film that was shown before “when you’re young” was a touch boring…..and I missed the genuine smiles. Somewhere in between songs a couple was ask onto stage, the man got down on one knee and popped the question! Again, lovely idea but it all felt surreal to me.
The Phil Collins cover of “another day in Paradise” with Shaun Morgan was pretty good, the hugs afterwards seem genuine. The crowd surfing was repeated, just like last year, but done with much less energy….! 😦 
Introducing the last song “when I’m gone” was done with the exact same words it seems….shame, it really didn’t excite me at all or makes me want to book more tickets. 3 Doors Down, you have so many albums and so many amazing songs, could you really not come up with a more exciting  show? Were you tired of performing? It seemed very much like you just couldn’t be bothered! And it looks as though other reviews picked up the same vibes.
Shame, I would have loved to keep that magic I felt last year when I saw you for the first time! Mind you, the venue was perfect, the sound, the lights, the security guards…..were perfect! So no blaming the venue!
Oh, one more question: This VIP thing is purely to make more money isn’t it?
I can get the idea of 2 or 3 VIP spaces with special treats, but the amount of people who must have spent big money to do what? See the sound check? Get in first? That separates the financially better off and us mere mortal fans (possible saving up for ages to afford the ticket, time off work, travel) and stripped us from any chance to get to the centre front after hours of waiting. Oh, and we won’t mention the extra charge for the honour to be a fan club member (which enables you to buy VIP tickets), I feel something is very very wrong! Luckily for me there are plenty of amazing bands out there who are more than willing to go out of their way for their fans! Let’s face it; Artists need their fans/supporters to be able to be who they are.
3 Doors Down, I’m sorry but I do really feel let downL, my friend Neil who didn’t really know 3DD went along full of enthusiasm, but left totally disenchanted. He loved Seether and tAKiDA, but 3 Doors Down this possible fan wasn’t won over I’m afraid, he came to see you last year which made him come along this time again……but I don’t think he will bother with future gigs!


About FrontRowStef

Following months of putting in the necessary hours of research, I have been bullied into writing a blog about my gig experiences! I can’t claim in-depth technical musical knowledge, or a massive CD collection, but, I know what I like and what doesn’t sound good in a live setting. I’m not intending to write great reviews about bands, but more of stuff that happen to me while out and about. Like when a dear friend of mine pointed out that it looks like I’m putting my towel down when I hit the barriers at the front and claim my spot with my jacket draped over the railings. What does he mean? Is it because I’m German? Enough introductions, you will get to know me sooner or later! Oh and apparently I’m going to be referred to as Front Row Stef, simply because that is my rightful place!

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