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Candlebox Concert Review – 4/4/2012 – 12th & Porter – Nashville, TN

7 April 2012 15 Comments

by: Darius

Candlebox. I knew the songs that everyone and their mother knows: “Cover Me,” “You,” and the omnipresent “Far Behind.” All songs released in 1993 off the band’s self-titled debut. Personally speaking, they were songs that I’ve listened for so long but they never really quite connected, meaning I was never prompted to go buy the record or seek their tour dates. I’m just being honest here: I always liked Candlebox but was never a true fan.

Recently, I’ve gotten into the show Eastbound and Down on HBO. It’s a hilarious half hour of comedy every week starring a redneck minor league pitcher named Kenny Powers in Myrtle Beach, SC who thinks he’s heading back to the majors, even though he’s overweight, uses drugs and loses his “team leader” status to a Russian with a horrible haircut. Anyway, in a recent episode Kenny was doing drugs with his best friend and teammate Shane. Shane died from an overdose right there in Kenny’s living room.

This might not seem funny to those that don’t watch the show but what was truly hilarious was Kenny crashing his funeral later that week with a boombox. His song of choice for this mournful occasion? “Far Behind” by Candlebox.

Check out the scene here:

Shortly after watching this episode I started thinking a lot about Candlebox. I’m not sure they ever got a fair shake, despite their hits getting constant airplay throughout the years. They were always lumped in with adult alternative/post-grunge bands like Matchbox 20 and Goo Goo Dolls. After revisiting the catalog, I can say with good reason that the comparisons seem arbitrary and unmerited. For one thing, those aforementioned bands always annoyed me when their songs were endlessly played. But Candlebox? Not at all. I’ll blast their hits shamelessly with the windows down. It’s all good.

I’m blessed with fortuitous timing because just a few weeks after that Eastbound and Down episode and my subsequent newfound appreciation for Candlebox, the band held their record release party just a couple of miles away from my place at a small venue called 12th & Porter in Nashville, TN. The new album is titled Love Stories and Other Musings, and is available now. I decided to go to the show. It was a Wednesday night, I didn’t have anything going on and a rock show during the middle of the week sounded like a good plan.

12th & Porter is a fantastic club. I’ve been to several in Nashville so far and this one is my favorite. It’s very small with a capacity of somewhere between 350 and 500 people, has terrific acoustics and ample bar space. Plus, it’s in downtown in a decent area where I don’t have to worry about my car being parked outside. Finally, it’s across the street from a BBQ restaurant. That’s all I need man.

As for the show, Candlebox did not meet my expectations. They completely blew them away. I was in awe by how good they were. I haven’t seen a rock show this great in at least six months. The band was tight, they worked the crowd and sounded terrific. They simply dominated that room, which was packed to the gills. They were sick. I just can’t put it any other way.

Kevin Martin is an exceptional frontman. You can tell he takes care of his voice. He belted the high notes and was all over the room. Literally. My favorite part of the show was during “Far Behind,” which obviously received the biggest reaction from the crowd. Kevin left the stage and climbed on top of the bar to sing the final chorus. He nearly had his hand clipped from the ceiling fan spinning just a foot above him. It was a very cool moment.

I walked out of that show very excited. Candlebox converted me from a casual listener to a true fan. They are a great band. Sometimes the best shows are the ones in which you have no expectations. Walking into 12th & Porter, I was looking forward to making a connection to a band that I’ve heard on the radio for two decades. Walking out of there, I felt extremely lucky to have been in attendance, especially considering the intimate environment. I can’t wait to see them again!

Go see Candlebox. Tour dates are on their website and while you’re there, purchase their new record Love Stories and other Musings. This is a great band and if you’re like me and have never given them your proper attention, now would be a great time to start.

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