Columbus, OH, Germain Amphitheater, July 23, 2005


Written and photos by: Jason Perlman

 

Staind is a band that seems to play outside of the rules. Without a metal appearance, without a singer that sounds as if gargling on gravel is a pastime and without any controversy surrounding the band, Staind still manages to win over many metal fans while still appealing to those who just like rock and roll straight forward and without neck-breaking riffs.

 

Although only playing for 10 years, Staind has quickly built a fan base and a list of songs that would rival most bands who have played for twice that long, but it took an unlikely occurrence to really break the band out of the masses. When metal stations across the country were hit with a ballad sang by Aaron Lewis and Fred Durst (of Limp Bizkit fame), a flood of overplaying and over saturation came about. In a world that was then nothing but rap-rock, Staind helped breathe some fresh air into the radio market and send it in a direction of straight up rock and roll. Although their 1999 debut Dysfunction got them good gigs with bands like Godsmack, it was Outside that put Staind in the upper echelon and provided metal maniacs with a soft side.

 

It is now 2005, and Staind is releasing Chapter V, the band's fourth record. Touring with 3 Doors Down, Staind provided the perfect compliment and with almost two years since their last Ohio stop, the near sold-out crowd was on edge waiting for the band.

 

As soon as the chords struck the humid air, the 60-minute set flew by in blazing speed, as Staind provided a perfect mix of hits and new music. Although their single from Chapter V, Right Here, is not getting a ton of airplay yet, it seemed that more than most knew the words and sang along with Lewis, just as they did with their hits So far Away and It's Been Awhile.

 

For Lewis and Staind, a rule has been broken. No gimmicks are needed, no special haircuts or the right clothes are expected and no ultimate stage pyros are generated. Staind relies on solid melodies, awesome harmonies and enough power chords to give them an edge many rock bands are lacking.

 

Lewis as a stage presence is somehow like a shadow on a sunny day. Although there is nothing special about it at first glance, once its noticed, the eyes just can't seem to be averted away. With his slow movements, his trademarked distressing demeanor and atypical vocal tone, Aaron Lewis commands the stage and moves the crowd as one would move a chess piece. And by the end of 60 minutes Staind has checkmated the near-capacity crowd.

Aaron Lewis
Aaron Lewis
Johnny April
Aaron Lewis
Mike Mushok
Johnny April