It has been quiet sometime since we have heard from Staind, but they are back with Live: It’s Been A While on Friday, May 7, 2021 via Yap’em / Alchemy Recordings. One of the most successful and dominate Alternative Metal acts to early 2000s, Staind has released seven studio albums and eight Top 10 singles, selling over 15 million albums worldwide. Taking time away, after a five-year hiatus, the band reunited back in 2019 for some festival performances, but also a very memorable show at at Foxwoods Casino in Mashantucket, CT. What is considered a hometown reunion show, the band rightfully opted to document the performance, and that is what makes up this new live album.
Featuring fifteen songs that add up to about seventy minutes of live music, fans are offered some of Staind’s greatest songs in one great package. Additionally, being the band has been a way for some time now, you can really feel the excitement in the audience. An intangible energy felt within any great live performance, this particular show opens with “Eyes Wide Open” and is followed by “Paper Jesus.” Two of the rougher songs of the collection, with shouted vocals and distorted guitar riffs, let’s not forget “Crawl” during the middle point of the show.
Meanwhile Staind also perform the hit “Outside” in which the audience finishes it off by singing the last line and then gives a tremendous applause. That in mind, it does feel like the audience cheers loudest for the slow songs, such as “Outside,” but also “It’s Been A While” and “Fade.”
Nonetheless, Staind compile a great mix from their deep discography that keeps a balance between rougher and more mellow pieces. With this approach the audience has enough time to catch their breath, however, any Staind fan knows all their songs carry a heaviness with the story they tell. All in all the live album is a success and everyone is happy that Staind is performing again. What could be the first step in a busy schedule for the band, unfortunately the pandemic that hit in 2020 slowed things down. However, Staind is keeping the wheels rolling because this album album was accompanied by The Return Of Staind: A Two Part Global Streaming Series; which included a streaming event on May 8th where the band performed 2001’s Break The Cycle in its entirety, exactly 20 years after the album’s release.
With hopes there is much more to come from Staind, Cryptic Rock gives their welcomed live album 3.5 out of 5 stars.