P.O.D. / Blindside / Lacuna Coil / Hazen ST. May 4th, 2004


Jan 3, 2005


The Bottom Line High-energy, wonderful concert. Flawless: end of story.

I've always believed that experiencing a concert is the most beautiful thing in the universe. Then again, I'm only 17 years old - so I'm sure many would disagree with me. However, I've frequently attended concerts for several years. There's no natural high like it, I must say. So, when I hear that my two absolute favorite bands, Swedish rockers Blindside and California-based P.O.D. (one I might be just a smidge - or okay, maybe a lot - more partial to: I'll let YOU do the guessing) were going to tour together...and not only tour together, but do a show merely an hour away from my city...you can imagine how excited I was. Excited actually is a reeeally weak word to describe such an emotion. After begging my mom for several weeks to hurry up and buy tickets (factor in screaming and crying fits - hey, I'm passionate about these guys, don't laugh), THREE DAYS before the concert, Mom finally said "So, it's not sold out already, is it?"

*PULLS OUT HAIR ONE STRAND AT A TIME*

I didn't know whether to be mad or jubilant and jittery with joy, but I quickly realized that this was a very good thing. So, conveniently, I go to http://www.kdge.com's website and hey! 102.1 The Edge will be giving tickets to the show away at Guitar Center in Plano, Texas. Never had I been to Guitar Center, but I seemed to know exactly how to get there as I told my dad exactly which street to turn on. Things were so much easier than I expected: apparently, nobody else in the area even KNEW tickets would be given away, so I literally just walked up to a DJ from the radio station and said "Look...I heard you were giving away tickets to the P.O.D. show, and I will literally do anything for them." He just smiled and said "Anything, huh? Hmm...so, just ask me really nicely." Like the fool I am for P.O.D. and Blindside, I got on my knees and said "I love your radio station. Really. And it would make my life if I just see this concert." Without a second thought, he handed me four tickets. After jumping up and down for five consecutive minutes (hey, I used to be a hardcore teenybopper; I still have these weird tendencies with bands I love), I thanked the guys from 102.1, they took my picture, and WOO! I HAD THE TICKETS.

So, May 4th, 2004 arrives....

...and can I just tell you how agonizingly long that day of school seemed to pass by? And it's not even like I was in college at this time, I was still in high school. There were precisely three weeks of high school left, so I was already plagued with senioritis, and now add all the excitement of the concert that night...yeah, I was a mess. After school let out, I listened to all of my P.O.D. and Blindside CDs (yet that was kind of typical) and my mom, brother and I headed off to Nokia Live in Grand Prairie, TX. My friends, to make a long story short, DO NOT share the same tastes in music as I do, so the crowd was small. But who cares? I get into my own little zone at concerts anyway. So, I'd never been to Nokia Live. I was in awe of its adorable-ness upon pulling up! It's just a great-looking place. Not that big, of course, but that makes things even better 'cause the concert's more intimate that way. Ahhh.

Oh! I might want to add that we arrived at the show four hours early. Um, so I heard there was a meet-and-greet of P.O.D. AND Blindside going on before the show. So we were literally one of the first cars in the parking lot. I was turned down for the meet-and-greet "Your name had to be on a certain list," the lady told me in such a condescending, evil voice...okay, okay, so she was friendly enough, but @*)$*@)$*@. I wanted to meet my two favorite bands. I walked away, dejected, and we just sat in the car until doors opened for the concert. "I feel so alive..." Well, my greedy self didn't feel so alive at the moment. "But cheer up," my mom told me, "at least you'll see the concert."

At this time, I had NO IDEA who Lacuna Coil was (but, boy do I love them now!) and NO IDEA who Hazen ST. was (that's probably a good thing - they absolutely BLEW). So I was simply looking forward to my boys Blindside and P.O.D. YESSSS...

I walk into the venue, soaking everything into my long-term memory. To this day, it still amazes me how I can remember every FREAKING detail of that day, but not remember a d@mn detail of my History final exam. You know that quote "you only choose to remember what interests you"? Yeah, so it's probably true. Um, we check out the 'merch tables', full of shirts, CDs, etc. etc of the performing bands. I see this amazing looking Blindside shirt that's $20, but of course my jobless self was broke, so I give Mom that spoiled-teenager-IWANTTHISREALLYBAD-look. Upon realization that the booth didn't accept the credit card she currently was carrying, turns out I didn't get my Blindside shirt after all (note: but I ordered it online a couple weeks ago, so now I have it...wee!).

AND THEN...I SEEN IT.

"What's it?" Only the best thing ever. The BEST THING EVER. It's this booth, an FYE booth (you know, that For Your Entertainment store). It's selling Blindside and Lacuna Coil CDs. So that might sound boring, but THE SIGN ON THE BOOTH made my heart skip about fifty thousand beats: it said "Blindside 11:00". What? 11:00? I ask the kind little woman at the booth, "Um...Blindside will be...here? at 11:00?" She has this look in her eyes that she's about to burst into raucous laughter at any moment. "Yes. They'll be here. Signing autographs and meeting fans, at 11:00 right when the show ends. You need to buy one of their CDs to be able to be in the line." I quickly inform my mom about this in a rushed, excited voice, and she says "But Sheila, you already have all their CDs."

AHHHHHH!

"Mom! Buy me another one please. This is my only chance to meet them. Pretend it's my...Christmas present or something. Early Christmas present."

So it wasn't my early Christmas present, but my great mom got me another copy of Silence to get autographed.

I had one more thing to be excited about as my mom, Cameron and I walked to our seats. Our seats were pretty far from the stage, but something really amazing happened: barely anyone showed up! What could this possibly imply? WE COULD MOVE UP! You know, Nokia Live is just as gorgeous on the inside as it is on the outside. It almost looks like a movie theater - one of the really fancy ones. The stage is beautiful, the walls are neon, the seats are adorable. The security guards are the nicest people I've ever met EVER. I just wanted to move into this place!

Crappy music played on the speakers before the concert started. But at the time I really couldn't care less. Finally, everything dimmed....

LACUNA COIL

Italian six-piece rock band Lacuna Coil hit the stage. I'd never heard their music - and now I consider them one of my absolute favorite bands. They played an acoustic instrumental of "Aeon" to launch the show, and it went right into the addictive, breathtakingly melodic "Swamped". "When you're taaaaaught through feelings!" Wow. Vocalists Cristina Scabbia and Andy Ferro were so impressive! They complemented one another so well, and put on quite a show. Bassist Marco Coti Zelati is an absolute musical genius. You know, it kinda sucked because the crowd was pretty awful to them: not just the fact that nobody was getting into their music (that's kind of forgivable, since well, barely anyone knew who they were) - but they were calling them mean names...and that just sucks. Wrong, dude. Lacuna Coil was extremely energetic, and they kept trying to get the crowd into their songs. Heck, I was pretty into them. Their synchronized headbanging is kind of funny at first, but it's actually pretty cool looking. Cristina Scabbia just has such a strong, resonating voice, and she can sound JUST AS GOOD LIVE, while she's thrashing and headbanging around, as she does on CDs. Flaaaawless. The highlight of the set was "Entwined" - although it's not their best song, Cristina and Andy's stage presence almost made you feel like they were in love with one another (although they aren't dating; I'm not trying to start any rumors here) because of those melodies. "And you take me over, over again..." What a sweet song.

Lacuna Coil's full setlist was:
"Aeon" (intro)
"Swamped"
"Self Deception"
"Entwined"
"Tight Rope"
"Humane"
"Heaven's A Lie"
"Daylight Dancer"

HAZEN ST.

Well, the only positive thing I can say about the self assessed "rap-rock" Hazen St. was that they made me laugh at times because of how stupid their music sounded. Sitting through their set was torture, as they told the audience "Flip off the people you hate! Come on...just...think about 'em!" So it was kind of amusing, but it blew. No further comments.

BLINDSIDE

My dear, precious Swedish favorites. Christian Lindskog, Tomas Naslund, Marcus Dahlstrom, and Simon Grenehed, how I adore the four of you. It's almost pathetic. Christian's clear, passionate, unique, amazing voice. I'm in love with it. Have been for nearly three years now. So, yeah, I was more than a little excited. There they walk out, immediately launching into About A Burning Fire album opener "Eye Of The Storm". The crowd went nuts, and I must say that Blindside is THE most energetic onstage band I've ever seen. All of them jump around and do kicks (well, except Marcus, but he drums so that's just a bit understandable) all while sounding ppppperfect. I was screaming every lyric along louder than anyone else around me, and I got this GREAT dirty look from this chick in front of me. I gleefully told her where to go and continued screaming. Nobody's about to ruin my concert experience just because they don't know who the freaking band is. Bahahah...so, I just loved Blindside more than ever, really...they were so considerate and great to the audience. Christian said, "So, Dallas, are you guys in a good mood tonight?" only to receive yells and "WOOO"s galore. After performing their 2002 single "Pitiful" and the soaring "Follow You Down" from their latest release About A Burning Fire, Christian simply laughed and said, "Wow, I guess you guys are in a good mood tonight." I adore that guy, really, I do. "Shekina", although it's one of my favorite Blindside songs, isn't my absolute favorite on About A Burning Fire. BUT...that song IN CONCERT is the most beautiful thing I have ever heard in my life, end of story. It will tear up even the toughest eyes. The song is just so moving and BEAUTIFUL. The female vocalist who does the "see deeees" throughout the song obviously wasn't at the concert, so Christian substituted them with these great "ohhhh" whispers, and I thought I'd died and gone to Heaven. It was the most gorgeous, melodic thing I'd ever heard in my life, and Simon's guitar skills never fail to blow me off the face of this universe. SPECTACULAR. After performing the hyper, catchy song "Swallow", Christian spoke about unfortunate children who had AIDS in Africa and other countries. As some of you might know, Blindside works with World Vision to help these children, spend time with them, etc. "Put your hand over your heart," Christian told the audience. "Count seven beats. Some child has just gotten AIDS. These kids...they're real kids. Please think about this and sponsor a child at the World Vision table outside. We'll be out there after the show." It really annoyed me that some people were idiotic and insensitive enough to scream out "NOBODY CARES, PLAY SOME F'ING MUSIC". At this point, my massive respect for Blindside must have octupled. I just admire them so much...after Christian's little speech, the band launched into their final song for the night, "About A Burning Fire". And what a closing song it was. Comprised of mainly piercing screams, the band was more energetic than ever: "I THOUGHT ABOUT YOUR LO-O-O-OVE!" Christian proclaimed before fading into a near mumble, "your love...your love." The crowd was cheering so loud, those guys put on THE BEST performance of the night. Wonderful.

Blindside's full setlist was:
"Eye of the Storm"
"Pitiful"
"Follow You Down"
"Caught a Glimpse"
"All of Us"
"Shekina"
"Sleepwalking"
"Cute Boring Love"
"Swallow"
"About a Burning Fire"

P.O.D.
I love P.O.D. for so many reasons. Not only are Sonny Sandoval, Traa Daniels, Jason Truby, and Noah "Wuv" Bernardo extraordinarily talented, they're so down-to-earth. I love that so much. Another reason: they care about their fans. True story. While most bands (some of which I've unfortunately had the displeasure of meeting) are complete idiots to *gasp* THE PEOPLE WHO MAKE THEM WHO THEY ARE, P.O.D. are always great. I'd love to meet them someday, and it seems like all the Warrior community has except me. :( Ahh well. So, the wait between Blindside and P.O.D.'s set seemed eternal. Seriously, it was painful! I was so excited. Finally, a great dance-able (yet rock-infused at the same time) beat came on, and guitarist Jason Truby, bassist Traa Daniels, and drummer Wuv Bernardo were just rocking out, doing this cool little instrumental. WHERE'S SONNY? Screams erupted as the dreadlocked, charismatic lead singer swung his super-long hair out of his face and casually walked on the stage. Sonny once said "I walk around, and I just don't know what all the fuss is about." That quote might sound lame coming from any other celebrity, but Sonny's as down-to-earth as they come. WOO, the band launches right into their hit from Satellite, "Boom". It was a perfect opener because it really injected energy into the crowd and everyone was singing along. They were definitely the LOUDEST band to perform, wow, my ears were ringing (but that's a gooood thing). "BOOM, here comes the BOOM," Sonny yelled. In the past, I've noted that on live performances, Sonny didn't sound all too wonderful. But wow! I read that while recording Payable On Death, the band's most recent album, he'd done some vocal training. It paid off, because his voice at this concert was WITHOUT A FLAW, my friend. I loved it! Quite impressive, and speaking of impressive, Jason Truby filled former guitarist Marcos Curiel's shoes and then some, and I must say I wasn't expecting that. His stage presence was out of this world! Great stuff. Good job, Truby. "Sleeping Awake" was another highlight of P.O.D.'s set; the crowd went completely haywire, myself included. Man, my throat felt so awful after this show: I was screaming like I didn't even know I could shriek before, every word, every line, every ad-lib. Sonny continually asked the audience how they're doing, and his trademark lines seemed to be "You guys are AWESOME, Dallas" and "Watch out in the pit there, don't let anybody get hurt", along with "Careful with the women and children." He must have said each of those things 100 times. I adore the dude, he's just sincere and real; one doesn't exactly find that in a lot of bands in 2004. During the anthemic "Youth Of The Nation", Sonny brought some little kids up on the stage and they got to sing with him. I was THISCLOSE to pretending I was 5 years old and walking up there, but truthfully, I'm probably scared of the mosh pit or something like that. Yeah, and I doubt they woulda left me up there anyway...*grumble grumble*. Anyway, that was a cute little moment with "YOTN". I was highly surprised - IN A GOOD WAY - that the band performed "Lie Down" from The Fundamental Elements of Southtown. Sonny climbed up on the side of the stage and after howling, "LIE DOWNNNNN!" he LEAPED down into the crowd and everything was just amazing. In fact, Sonny crowd-surfed more than anyone I've ever seen. He must have jumped into the crowd at least twice during each song, no exaggeration. Gotta love crowd interaction, so more points for P.O.D.! When they were nearly done performing "Space", my mother, Cameron and I left to go out to the booth to get in line for meeting Blindside. It's okay, because I only missed a couple of songs, and I could still hear them LOUD AND CLEAR from right outside the venue at the meet-and-greet-booth.

P.O.D.'s full setlist was:
"Boom"
"Will You"
"Set It Off"
"Wildfire"
"Satellite"
"Sleeping Awake"
"Freedom Fighters"
"Without Jah, Nothin'"
"Execute the Sounds"
"Youth of the Nation"
"Lie Down"
"Revolution"
"Southtown"
"Waiting on Today"
"Space"
"Alive"
"Asthma" (encore)
"The Messenjah" (encore)

MEETING BLINDSIDE
After waiting anxiously for fifteen minutes or so, Blindside walked out, single-file and as unassumingly as can be - without any security guards or anything, and it's funny because none of the surrounding people even seemed to notice who they were. One girl even was telling her friend, "Blindside really sucked" while passing RIGHT BY Christian Lindskog. If he noticed, he didn't show it. There were maybe three people ahead of me in line and five people behind me, so yeah, it was a pretty low-key M&G, I'd say. They were sitting in this order: Marcus, Tomas, Christian, Simon. "You guys are so awesome," I told Marcus, and he just smiled and said "Thanks. Glad that you liked the show," in his cool Swedish accent. Tomas was super-talkative: "HEY sweetheart, how are you? Thank you for coming out!" All I had to say was, "Tomas, you are the best bassist ever." So you know how meet-and-greets have a table dividing you from the band? When I got up to Christian, I defied that table. Right as he looked up and smiled at me, I walked behind the table (as Marcus and Tomas watched me curiously) and just sat down right by Christian. "Hello," he said. "Christian, are you aware of the fact that you have the most beautiful voice ever?" I asked him simply. "Thank you," he said. "You guys did awesome," I stuttered. "Thanks, I really appreciate it," was his soft-spoken reply. At this time, I actually said, "You know your...your song Roads?" He laughed and said "...yes..." and I said, "Ah, listen to it 20 times a day. It's so perfect. You guys and P.O.D. are just the best, no comparison...your music means so much to me" At this point, he just leaned over and gave me a hug then held my hand for a few seconds and said, "Really, thanks. I appreciate your comments." I took a pic with him and Simon, and yeah, as teenybopperish as this entire paragraph probably sounded, I'm pretty passionate about music. Blindside's music particularly, their lyrics in all of their albums, have actually done stuff for me. Music is a really powerful thing, so they're just a blessing; I didn't know music could affect and move people in such a way until encountering Blindside and P.O.D.

THE CONCERT WAS UNFORGETTABLE...

I'll never forget May 4th, 2004. If you ever see that P.O.D. , Blindside, or Lacuna Coil (or hey! all three if they ever decide to tour together again) are coming to a city near you, and you decide not to go, you just missed out on something amazing. All bands put on such an emotional, energetic, great show. Best concert ever.

CHECK OUT THESE GREAT BANDS' CDS

P.O.D.:

The Fundamental Elements of Southtown - 1999
Satellite - 2001
Payable on Death - 2003


BLINDSIDE:

Blindside - 1997
A Thought Crushed My Mind - 2000
Silence - 2002
About A Burning Fire - 2004


LACUNA COIL:

Lacuna Coil EP - 1998
Unleashed Memories - 2001
Comalies - 2002

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