Columbus, OH, Newport Music Hall, July 18, 2006

 

Written and photos by: Jason Perlman

 

As the stage cleared of almost every bit of equipment, the lights go out and after a 45-minute set change, Candlebox took the stage in front of the near 500 fans at the Newport Music Hall. As the blue lights came up, the band was poised to play a 90-minute set that was filled with a lot of music and very little talk. Nearly a decade has passed since the original line-up of Candlebox has toured, but singer Kevin Martin still comes with his signature voice and the fans in attendance were more than willing to give Martin a break during many songs and sing in his place.

 

Perhaps the time away from touring and the daily grind gave Candlebox a rekindling of the rock and roll flame as the band came out setting the stage afire with a myriad of songs from their not-so-extensive library. And although that may seem like a pot shot, it is in actuality a compliment in disguise as the band can tour, headline and put out a Greatest Hits record with a catalogue on only a few records. But those records contained great songs, not just a few radio hits, and that concept of recording a full album of material rather than fill in the space between singles has given Candlebox the strength and fan base to reunite and tour in 2006.

When Far Behind hit the airwaves 1994, Candlebox's glossy sound mixed with Martin's powerful, grungy yet still cultured vocals lent a new sound to the Seattle grunge scene, and quickly led the band to success: both in terms of tours and record sales. With 4 million records sold and tours with Metallica and Rush, Candlebox seemed poised to be the next mega rock band. But just four years later, the band "ran its course" according to Martin and members took their turn offering up different projects.

Although the reunion of the band may not have been neither the most anticipated nor most talked about of this year, Candlebox may have the best chance at a second life. Aside from Martin's vocals still being as strong as ever, the band played tight together, and although there was little banter on stage between members, it seemed whatever bygones the band had are now bygone.

 

It would seem that Candlebox is taking a lesson from Anthrax and other reunited bands, and that is to tour first, see both the reaction of the fans and the band as a whole, and then decide whether or not to put out new music. From a concertgoer's point of view, there is little doubt that the band has what it takes to start anew in the new millennium. Whether it was playing their most popular hits such as Far Behind, rocked out with I'd Die For You or slowed it down with Cover Me, Candlebox performed as hungry and energetic as they did in '94 as the new breakthrough band.

As for the stage show itself, Candlebox brought nothing along with them except instruments and talent, leaving props, risers and lights far behind. Although those elements would have added an extra ingredient to the show and allowed for the fans to actually get a good look at the band, it wasn't necessary for the band to perform and entertain the audience. Candlebox is a performing band and that is what they did, period. It would seem a vast majority of those in attendance would want Candlebox to continue on and write new music, but only time will tell what the band will do. Until then, there is the live show and the new, old record, The Best of Candlebox.

Kevin Martin
Peter Klett
Kevin Martin
Peter Klett
Bardi Martin
Kevin Martin