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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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  • Maniac said:

    I’m now out $25 on a Candlebox ticket when they’re in town next month.

    Thank you for that Darius. j/k

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  • kurdoa said:

    Candlebox is a GREAT live band and have albums full of good to great music.

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  • dust to dust said:

    I was commenting on the Judas Priest article when I saw this pleasant surprise. Truer words have never been spoken. I was dragged to a Candlebox show in 07. Dragged. Gun to my head dragged. I thought they were 1-hit wonders etc. Wrong wrong wrong. Blew my brains out these guys did. One of the best live shows of all times. Few are better live than Candlebox. Go to the show. Go to the show. Worth every cent. And I still have there records but I’ll go spend my money on a ticket every time.

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  • J NL said:

    Hi, Im from the Netherlands and I think Candlebox is the best . I saw them live in the Milkyway (Melkweg) in Amsterdam September ’95 . They were so fantastic, they even sang the last song (Blossom) for me! I cant wait untill theyre coming back to the Netherlands. Untill then I listen to their music every day The review here made me very happy :))

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  • Carla said:

    There aren’t words that could express how similar my Candlebox experience was to Darius’.

    “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.”

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  • ALL KNOWING FORCE: Andrew Bilach said:

    I’m inspired by all the positive feedback on this article. I had about the same experience Darius did when I first saw Candlebox. It’s wild to think that a lot of others did too. I always say, you have to get out and see these so-called “one hit wonder” bands. You’ll walk out of a Candlebox show in amazement. I stand behind this article’s words from experience.

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  • Roller NJ said:

    Great review. Such enthusiasm. Wish I was there.

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  • 1942 said:

    I went to see Seven Mary Three a few years back and had to go to a state fair to do so. One of my friends was ridiculing me not so much because of the band but because I always wanted to see them and paid to go to a state fair just to do that. He ended up coming with me and agreeing at the end of the night it was one of the best shows he’s seen. These bands from the 90s are masters of their crafts. I challenge any rock act of the last 5 years to hold a candle to a bank like Seven Mary Three. As crazy as it sounds I don’t think anyone can.

    Candlebox is next on my bucket list.

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  • Master Killer said:

    My band jams Candlebox’s stuff to this day in practice. Stoked to see there killing it live. Thx Darius for this killer review.

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  • Sugars said:

    I’m going to see them live tomorrow night in NYC. It will be my 1st time and I’m stoked.

    I wrote this in another post but I listened to American Standard – the Seven Mary Three CD with Cumbersome on it – for like the 1st time in 15 years. It’s such a great record. “Post-grunge” never really got it’s due. There are so many albums like Candlebox and the Paw mentioned in Buried Trasures, and 7M3 that really need to see the light of day again.

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  • ALL KNOWING FORCE: Andrew Bilach said:

    I’m impressed there are two posts in this thread from two separate people touting Seven Mary Three. I never thought I’d see that on All Knowing Force.

    I’m a big fan of American Standard. I listen to it quite frequently, even to this day.

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  • Z said:

    I went to the show a The Chance solely based on this review. My ass got off the couch on a Sunday night and was not disappointed.

    I suggest any and all go check these guys out. It’s 1994 in 2012 but none of it seems nostalgic. Loved it.

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  • mugsy said:

    Andrew, weren’t these the guys you said played that weird show at Tramps?

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  • ALL KNOWING FORCE: Andrew Bilach said:

    Andrew, weren’t these the guys you said played that weird show at Tramps?

    I saw a lot of bands play weird shows at Tramps. The only band mentioned in this thread that I saw play there was Seven Mary Three. They were touring on their second album. They had just come down from playing Roseland on American Standard. They opened the Tramps show with two slow, gloomy ballads. It was awkward because it went on for ten minutes and the entire crowd was looking at each other confused.

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