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The Rock Show: Tearin' It Up With Seether, Shinedown, Flyleaf And Halestorm
Posted on Wednesday, February 15 @ 05:41:10 MST by roadrash
 ShowsOne of the biggest shows of the season, the Winterfresh SnoCore Tour came to the warm Arizona desert to thaw out and perform a?wild show. Seether, Shinedown, Flyleaf and Halestorm shook this hard partying college town to its knees. The bands brung it ... a feast of sound as one band after another kept the onslaught coming all night!

SnoCore '06: Tearin' It Up With Seether, Shinedown, Flyleaf And Halestorm
Story and photos by Janice French

Lacey Mosely - Flyleaf

On the banks of the Salt River, across from the ASU Mega Campus, sits the fabulous Marquee Theater. Tempe, AZ is a college town obsessed with music and humming with energy. Thousands of college students take to the streets daily, going to class and partaking in the vibrant, thriving nightlife. Tonight Seether, Shinedown, Flyleaf and Halestorm would shake this hard partying town to it's knees as the Winterfresh SnoCore tour promised to bring us the choicest of rock acts.

The first person showed up in line at 7:30am and the crowd began to swell by 3pm. Someone had even come clear from Alaska. Three radio stations battled for airspace out front, blaring their broadcasts in a muddy jumble of punk, rock and metal. The mob's ages ranged from late teens to thirty-somethings with a heavy dose of the college crowd.

When the doors opened, everyone was searched and we all ran for the rail. Loud, bold and down-to-the-hardcore Halestorm took the stage. Their hard rock and metal reliant songs offered a great backdrop for Lizzy Hale's deep, soulful voice. They did a good job of warming up the crowd and getting them rocking.

A huge projection on the wall displayed video of snowboarders, skiers, snowcapped mountains and text messages between sets. A text was displayed saying someone's dreads were clip-ons and the audience broke out out in laughter.

The crowd was hot when Flyleaf took the stage. Lead singer Lacey Mosley is just a little bitty chick, but from her comes a powerful, booming voice that belts out and thrashes with the best of them, smacking you in the face with thundering attitude.

Shaun Morgan - Seether

The band started into "I'm So Sick," an alternative metal song with hints of punk. The crowd recognized the first deep bass chords and started to roar. People were head banging hard to this song, which signaled a turning point as the level of excitement in the room started to escalate. Flyleaf's set ended with "Cassie," a song about the Columbine massacre. It began with the frantic drumming of James Culpepper and was joined by Lacey. Her voice portrayed the panic and fear of the situation as Cassie is asked "Do you believe in God/Written on the bullet/Say yes to pull the trigger..." The audience responded by swaying with emotional intensity as they sang the words with her. When Flyleaf was done the crowd cheered and pounded their metal horns in the air.

Then it was time for a set change and the Seether banner was unfurled at the back of the stage. Three chairs were brought out and the band took their seats. The crowd was to witness a rare treat from Seether ... an almost all acoustic set. It was awesome as I watched Pat Callahan and Shaun Morgan pick the simple strings of their acoustic guitars, the place where many of their songs are born.

Would acoustic guitars work in the place of their usual electric ones? The question was answered with "Burrito," one of their harder tunes. Dale Stewart started with a slightly toned down Bass, it worked well as Shaun and Pat's strings kicked in. Shaun sang "I try to hide myself/Give this to someone else..." his voice was clear and deep with a rumbling undertone. It was the voice the crowd loved as they roared in response. The intricate string work during this song was jaw dropping. It's clear that this was not just off the cuff. They rearranged many of the songs' instrumentals and changed some of the vocals, showing expertise, creativity and skill. Seether produced an incredible piece of work with "Burrito" crafting an acoustic sound that seemed to reach out to the crowd on a personal level. All eyes were now locked on the stage.

An intricate, tumbling single guitar riff was the introduction to "Driven Under." People held up lighters and gave flame light to the rocking crowd as Shaun sang "You know I'm faking/ when I tell you I love you..." The song was slow and low, it started out gently, then increased in power and intensity as Shaun's vox plaintively declared "Then she told me she had a gun..." as the crowd sang with him. The floor of the pit started to churn and people were passed forward over the heads of the audience.

Dale Stewart - Seether

A low, undulating intro signaled "Diseased" and the audience screamed. This dark, moody song rocked along at a slow pace. Suddenly multicolored lights flashed and we were hit in the face with anger as Shaun bellowed an emotional outburst.

"PUSH/If you still need my pain..."

Pat Callahan - Seether

Heads were banging and the lights turned to stark white as the mixed feelings in a bad relationship were brought to the crowd.

"Come sit close to me/I will never belong to you again..."

Pat Callahan's drums drove this song as it broke out heavy. Dale gently banged his head, concentrating on his newfound instrumental role, blending his metal bass with Pat's and Shaun's acoustic energy. The mosh pit was whirling as the song ended. The crowd was roaring.

"Truth" exemplifies what I love about Seether ... they've found the key to balance, varied pace and changing intensity in a song. It has smoldering instrumental riffs and vocal bridges, heartfelt roars and meaningful introspective lyrics that confess the bad as well as the good. Seether is fearless when writing a song and it paid off by touching the listeners with feelings they can identify with. The lights were pure white as the intricate intro to "Truth" settled in. Dale, Shaun and Pat sat with their guitars on their laps and absorbed themselves into their instruments.

"If I gave you the truth would it keep you alive?" Shaun sang with his eyes almost closed. The crowd loudly buzzed with him the words, "Now I'm convinced on the inside/that something's wrong with me..." By the time both Shaun and the audience screamed "I'm beaten down again..." they seemed as one as they rocked forward and back in unison to the rhythm. Pat played some hot lead guitar and a roar spontaneously exploded from the crowd. Shaun shook his head to John's heavy drum beat. The mosh was in delirium and two or three people at a time were lifted above the crowd and passed forward. I've never seen the Marquee this full or this insane.

Shaun played the acoustic intro to "Fine Again," which he dedicated to the memory of Dimebag Darrell. The crowd got deep into this song. I was blown away by the connection this audience had with the four guys on stage. Breaking from the CD's conclusion to the song, Shaun held the last note and took it cleanly and soulfully through a long impressive vocal run. The crowd response was overwhelming. He smiled and said "Thank you."

John Humphrey - Seether

The first notes of "The Gift" were struck and the crowd went mad. Dale and Pat concentrated intently as Shaun's dark vox were released. Pure red and blue lights cast hard shadows across the stage then changed to bright blue during the chorus, "I'm right on the wrong side of it all..." This song about seeking comfort after defeat was stark in nature; we have all been there and done that. Shaun's vocals were clear, expressive and strong. He leaned his head back and confessed, "I'm so ashamed of defeat/And I'm out of reason to believe in me..." The acoustic mix was beautiful. Near the end of the song the words, "I'm so afraid of the gift you give me..." started a vocal assent in volume and power until Shaun mournfully cried, "I'm so ashamed of this/I am so ashamed of me..."

Multicolored lights flashed and whirled as "Remedy" took us over. This wild song turned the pit into an animal house as people were spun about in the air, jumped up and down, head banged, hollered and slammed their bodies into one another. The energy was intense. When it was over Shaun stood up and lightly bowed ... and the band left the stage.

Now it was time for Shinedown to take the stage. Brent Smith, the band's front man, was driven by music and it was evident in his performance. With passion and high energy, Shinedown charged onto the stage. They swaggered about. Jasin Todd banged his whole body as he played his guitar and Brent charged towards the crowd, stopped then screamed "Fuck You" at them and the audience shouted "Fuck you" back. They shouted back and forth, each time the audience got louder until insanity broke loose.

Brent encouraged the crowd to clap their hands over their heads during the intro to "I Dare You." His soaring vocals were well controlled, powerful and commanding, delivered with attitude in the glow of red and green lights. Brad Stewart played his bass while working the stage, he stood on speakers with his dreads flying as he rocked and every time he came near the crowd they screamed. The high energy of their performance was caught up by the packed house.

Brent Smith - Shinedown

".45" began under heavy pink and purple lights a lone guitar riff preceded Brent's words "Send away for a priceless gift/One not subtle/One not on the list..." This lonely song is about thoughts of suicide and its not subtle at all but bold and melodic. The lights changed to deep red as the song progressed, Jasin played an intense riff while Brad and Brent strutted, head banged and teased the crowd. The mosh pit was out of control. The power from the stage was electric. The audience sang the chorus loudly with him. The air was thick with hands held high and the cheers were deafening.

Jasin sat on the edge of the stage as he played the rambling intro to Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Simple Man." It started slow and easy and the crowd held up their lighters. They were solemn and visibly moved ... all the while rocking hard to the beat. Brent poured water on himself and the people crushed against the rail. It seemed like the whole stage was wet. The smell of sweat and steam filled the air as the audience continued to churn, mosh and crowd surf. Barry Kerch kicked in with slamming, heavy drums. Brent arched his back and shouted upward ending the piece in a powerful vocal run.

Before it was over, Brent thanked all the bands, especially Seether, whom he called his friends and his brothers. The final song of the night was "Save Me," a piece is about hitting bottom with addiction. Barry put out a steady knocking beat as Brent sang "I got a candle/And I've got a spoon..." Brent, bathed in red light, walked up to the edge of the stage and glared, the crowd roared. Brent leaned into Jasin as he sang. Jasin got on his knees and powered out a riff. Brad stood on the speakers to the left of the stage as strobe lights flashed. The crowd was in an absolute frenzy. Brent walked down into pit and stood on the barricade rail as he sang "Somebody save me/Please don't erase me..." All arms were in the air. Brent jumped down and left the stage ... the show was over.

Once in a while a concert becomes something very special and unforgettable. This year's Winterfresh SnoCore Tour was just such an event. An astounding band line up, high energy and straight forward presentation made this one of the best concerts I have ever seen.



 01flyleaf.jpg (168432 bytes) 01Seether.jpg (181535 bytes) 01SnoCore.jpg (161495 bytes) 02halestorm.jpg (183314 bytes) 02Shinedown.jpg (139135 bytes)
01Lizzy.jpg (126393 bytes) 01Shinedown.jpg (138729 bytes) 02flyleaf.jpg (99185 bytes) 02Seether.jpg (128650 bytes) 03halestorm.jpg (103244 bytes)
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  05Seether.jpg (198550 bytes) 06Seether.jpg (207993 bytes) 07Seether.jpg (165526 bytes)  

Marquee Theater
Tempe, AZ


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