3 Doors Down has been one of the most successful rock bands of the new millennium. Reaching far beyond the boundaries of the hard rock genre, their multi-platinum career has touched the hearts of so many with thoughtful and memorable lyrics and melodies. Always fond of performing their song stripped down in acoustic format, the band decided to launch the unique and intimate Songs From the Basement tour in 2014. With their fresh line-up led by vocalist Brad Arnold, guitarist Chris Henderson, guitarist Chet Roberts, bassist Justin Biltonen, and drummer Greg Upchurch, the band brought their act to The Space at Westbury, NY on Tuesday July 29th.
With fans of all ages and backgrounds making sure to arrive early, they stopped to check out exclusive 3 Doors Down tour merchandise before entering the mood lighted floor of The Space for opening act Amy LaVere. Based out of Memphis, TN, LaVere is a multitalented entertainer whose career started in a list of films, such as 2005’s Walk the Line, and four studio albums including her most recent Runaway’s Diary. Taking to the stage accompanied by guitarist Will Sexton, LaVere stood tall with her upright bass and played soulfully through a brief five song set. With a sound clearly derived from blues, jazz, and rockabilly LaVere interjected honest and humorous lyrics to the performance which had more than a few spectators curious to hear more. The lounge vibe of her music was surely a wonderful table setter for the rest of the evening and fans of relaxing yet eclectic music should definitely check out LaVere.
Taking a brief intermission, everyone anxiously awaited 3 Doors Down’s arrival on stage. Many traveled from far distances for their first 3 Doors Down concert just to see the band perform some of their favorite tunes in this unplugged setting. Setup with a stools, a warm carpeted floor, couch, and living room furniture, the atmosphere was so intimate and personal it was like being right in one’s own home. In fact, one lucky couple sat upon the couch on stage for perhaps one of the best VIP ticket packages ever offered to fans. Walking out casually one-by-one each member took their place and the excitement from the room began to overflow.
Arnold stood center stage ready to sing his heart out as he began with “Father’s Son”. With acoustic rhythm, lead guitar, bass, and drums the sound filled The Space as it captivated the audience. Moving along with hits “Let Me Be Myself” and “Be Like That”, the songs seemed almost perfect for an acoustic set with warm harmony sung by Arnold and string strumming guitar work of Henderson and Roberts. Taking a moment to address the audience Arnold, as humble as ever, looked out beneath his baseball cap and expressed the difficulties of being away from home and went into the beautiful tune “Landing in London”. Originally recorded with the legendary Bob Seger, Arnold dug deep inside and put on a gut-wrenching rendition of the song which gave you a deeper glimpse into his soul.
Moving along they performed a cover of Garth Brook’s “The Dance” and rocked a catchy new track called “Believe it”. Complemented by strong backing vocals and the spectacular guitar solos of Roberts, it was easy to see the band has found a bright new star to follow-up 2011’s Time of My Life. Continuing to converse with the room on a personal level Arnold conveyed the next song is about fighting personal demons and trustingly opened his heart to say this was in fact his first time sober on stage in the past decade. Invoking a positive reception from everyone, Arnold smiled pridefully and went into a memorable performance of new song “Pieces of Me”. Picking up the pace a bit, they then offered up another new song by the name of ” I Don’t Wanna” which had a tempo that reminded the listener of a Latino style beat and had everyone grooving about floor.
Having already been taken on a journey into the world of the band through naked unfiltered instrumentation the audience interest did not fade as “Away From the Sun” followed with everyone singing along to “Not My Time”. Keeping spirits high and the blood flowing, the bass of Biltonen appeared to rattle the floor through the inspiring “Duck and Run”. It was at this point 3 Doors Down unleashed their mega-hits off The Better Life (2000) with everyone singing loudly through “Loser” and “Kryponite”. Waving good night and thanking the audience the band walked off stage but no one was ready to bid farewell as a chant of “3 Doors Down” filled the air begging for an encore. Immersed in cheers the room went dead silent at the strike of a note and the encore began with a unforgettable cover of Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters”. Expressing their enthusiasm for everything the band had to offer, another cheer of “this rocks” broke out before the closing song “Here Without You”.
Whether it be electrified powerful hard rock guitars or stripped down organic acoustic guitars 3 Doors Down puts on one heck of a show. Their storied catalog of unmistakable tunes along with their ability to let the music breathe in a laid-back setting is truly magical. Do not miss the chance to see the Songs From the Basement tour. It is a concert experience which will leave an impression that lasts a lifetime.