Concert Review: Seether, Three Days Grace, Breaking Benjamin

Title

Tuesday April 1, 2008 my girlfriend Molly and I went to University Park, Pa. to see Seether, Three Days Grace, and Breaking Benjamin at the Bryce Jordan Center. As a whole, the show was phenomenal and an absolute must see if the tour comes to a venue near you.

It would be impossible and absolutely ludicrous to compare these power-house bands to each other. Therefore each band will be reviewed separately, followed by the review of the venue.

Seether:

Seether hit the stage hard and strong. Their setlist couldn’t have been better selected (MAYBE better arranged, but not likely). The light show was well fit, but the lack of pyrotechnics left me wanting just a little, especially during Remedy. However, they brought out Breaking Ben’s Mark James and Three Days Grace’s Barry Stock to rock the stage with them; which, at least for the novelty, made up for it. Seether played professionally and even got the audience involved in a few of their songs. A great show overall, and fantastic showmanship.

Three Days Grace:

I was most looking forward to seeing these guys play. Their lights and pyros were off the wall, as you can see here:

Three Days Grace - Riot

(Sorry about the quality, I left my memory card in my PC and had to use my 1.3MP phone to snag it.)

Unfortunately, Adam Gontier was too involved in a very bland crowd. If I heard “Come on PENN STATE!!!” one more time, I think I would have flogged to moron in front of me. Which I wanted to do anyway. Seriously, I got so tired of the constant Pep-rallying that I left to have a cigarette. To top it all off, the band committed the ultimate rock sin as far as I am concerned. After all their hard work (at this point I was still digging it) revving up the crowd, they slowed things down and went acoustic. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good acoustic track and can really appreciate the artistry behind it. My problem was that they waited until after that track to play the hard-hitting, room-smashing hit Riot. I can only assume that this was a request by the venue to prevent an actual riot during the song, but still…<sigh> One more gripe: I paid (actually the tickets were a gift) to hear Three Days Grace sing, not Penn State. EVERY SINGLE song was turned over to the audience at some point. That’s fine for a few songs, but not all of them. In all I was disappointed with TDG’s performance. I would definitely go see them again, and am looking forward to doing just that. I just hope that next time is more Grace and less crowd.

Breaking Benjamin:

The home town band. Ben hails from Wilkes-Barre, PA. Just 20 minutes from my home growing up. Technically they were the headlining band for this show; and they made it very obvious. WOW! I was actually only recently introduced to Breaking Benjamin, and I liked a lot of their work. I was so unprepared for their live performance. These guys didn’t just take the stage, they fucking suppressed it! Talk about showmanship! Two-thirds through their performance, Ben Burnley invited two friends to come out on stage and perform a song while he went into the crowd to hand out an entire case of water. I’ve been to plenty of shows and know how hot it gets in the pit. It’s always appreciated when a band tosses a few bottles of water out. And usually that’s all it is; four or five bottles. Literally, two cases of water were passed out! One by lead singer Ben himself. I was impressed. Lights and pyros were well complimenting to the performance and the band’s hard work really paid off. My only gripe about the show was the sound. Somebody fucked up; the vocals were so drowned by the instruments it was hard to hear anything. Otherwise, BANGING! Breaking Benjamin, you will have me in your crowd again!

The Venue:

Penn State’s Bryce Jordan Center is a massive complex. Floor seating, balcony, and pit. Large enough to accommodate most bands with concession stands that serve everything from slushys and sodas to popcorn and burgers. Plenty of merchandise stands, security that was easy to get along with and not overbearing, and enough bathrooms that even the girls didn’t have to wait too long. However, seats were sold that never should have been. I saw more than a few people sitting in seats that were directly in line with the stage edge. Usually not a huge deal, you can still see everything. But they put up a large black curtain along the side of the stage. Why would you do that to people? As a smoker (though, not for much longer) I need to say thank you for providing two gates that I can smoke at. Two gates that were right next to each other so that if I was sitting on the other side of the arena I would have had to walk all the way around to the front of the building and miss more of the show then was necessary. But my biggest issue; NO BEER! For Christ’s SAKE! It’s a fucking rock concert! NO BEER? Are you serious? I understand that it’s a college campus and there were underage kids there (Very underage. I saw one girl that couldn’t be older then 9. Good parenting! People, get a fucking baby-sitter!) but I’m a big boy. Yes, you avoid some trouble. And yes, your venue is in the middle of fucking nowhere so 85% of the crowd traveled there. But come on! I’m just glad I had a few while sitting in traffic!

Bottom Line:

Loved the show, hated the venue. Glad it was inside though.

Pictures of the show after the jump.

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2 Responses to “Concert Review: Seether, Three Days Grace, Breaking Benjamin”

  1. All the concerts were just like that in all parts except three days grace was better where I was. It must have sucked to cart 2 packs of water bottles per concert around the country and for your info they played rooster by alice in chains before riot at all there concerts so whatever

  2. Thanks for the comment! And definitely thank you for the info. I didn’t realize that 3DG always did that. This was my first time seeing them. Although I feel much less special now.

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