Staind has been a pinnacle in the rock n’ roll world for more than 25 years. Somehow the privilege of seeing them perform live has eluded me, that is until now. When the approval arrived allowing me to cover this show for All Music Magazine, I was more than happy to hop on the dreaded I-4 and make the 2 hour trek to the Mid Florida Credit Union Amphitheater in Tampa. The rock n’ roll gods were smiling because I encountered zero traffic delays and the rain that had been pouring down ceased just as I arrived. As I made my way to the gate I couldn’t help but notice that the parking lot was filling up fast and the tailgating parties were firing up.
Once inside I learned that we’d be photographing the show from the soundboard. Normally this wouldn’t be an issue but being prone to the occasional mental lapse, I had left my teleconverter and monopod at home. No worries, I was totally ready to adapt and overcome. The opening band was ‘68, a two-man American noise punk band hailing from Atlanta Georgia. I wasn’t familiar with ’68 and was curious to see what they were going to bring to the table. The duo took the stage clad in black suits with ties and their overall image reminded me of the Kinks. As Josh Scogin readied his guitar, Nikko Yamada took his place behind a bright blue drum kit that was positioned front and center. ’68 kicked out an energetic and spirited set. Scogin showed his appreciation by flipping over his yellow guitar to display the word “Thanks” on the backside. ’68 has been around for roughly 8 years and their most recent album, “Give One Take One” was released in March of this year.
Josh Scogin: Vocals, Guitar
Nikko Yamada: Drum
You’ll Miss Us
March Of The Pigs (Nine Inch Nails Cover}
Track 3 g
This Life Is Old, New, Borrowed And Blue
What You Feed
The Lesser Of Two Upheavals
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As Staind’s 7:45 set time grew near we began our march to the soundboard area. The crowd had grown exponentially and we had to navigate through a labyrinth of concertgoers, many of whom were waiting in enormous lines to buy merch. The band took the stage right on time and the throngs within the pit surged forward. Drummer Chad Szeliga took a seat upon the elevated riser while sporting a black hat with the words “Lions Not Sheep” scrawled across the front. The band started off the set with “Eyes Wide Open” from their 2011 self-titled album. Lead vocalist Aaron Lewis picked up a guitar for the band’s performance of their mega hit “Not Again” and the pit was rocking. Lewis wore a “Humanize The Badge” T-shirt which is a non profit organization that helps to create positive relationships between law enforcement officers and the communities they serve.
Guitarist Mike Mushok shredded the entire set and seemed to be tempting whiplash by whipping his hair like the the mane of a wild horse. Johnny April was steadfast as he worked the magic on his thundering bass. Staind covered all the bases with their hour long, 13 song set. The crowd rocked hard during “Raw” and “Crawl” and swayed to hits like “Right Here”, “So Far Away” and “It’s Been Awhile.” What better way to finish off the set than with the 1996 hit “Mudshovel?” Everyone in attendance enjoyed the show and I keep holding out hope that new music may be in the not too distant future.
Aaron Lewis – Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitar
Mike Mushok – Lead Guitar
Johnny April – Bass, Backing Vocals
Chad Szeliga – Drums
Eyes Wide Open
Open Your Eyes
So Far Away
It’s Been Awhile
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I’ve had a love for photography since I was young. Whether it was a Polaroid or a Kodak 110, I was always the kid with the camera. My love of music goes back even further. Nothing beats being at a show when those lights go down and the crowd goes nuts.