"'Lit up' and let down - Buckcherry without Avenged Sevenfold." - Concert review.

By Bob Zerull

The I wireless Center in Moline, IL was supposed to be "Lit Up" by Buckcherry and Avenged Sevenfold Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2008. Avenged Sevenfold had to drop out because vocalist M. Shadows had to rest his voice. It was up to Buckcherry to make the show worth the $33 plus Ticketmaster charges; since partial refunds were not offered (full refunds were offered).



The Last Vegas from Chicago opened the evening. I have never heard of this band before, but they reminded me of a very young, very raw Aerosmith. Singer Chad Cherry vaguely resembled a young Steven Tyler and even moved around the stage like Tyler.

The only thing missing? Scarves and the lips.

Las Vegas from Chicago played for a half-hour to an empty arena. That did not seem to bother the band as they played down and dirty rock-n-roll with the attitude and swagger of a headliner.

Next, Saving Abel took the stage. To connect with the audience, bassist Eric Taylor played the first song wearing a local hockey jersey.

"Holy Shit, Saving fucking Abel," I heard one patron of the mostly teenaged crowd say.

Saving Abel played a few of their most popular songs, including "18 days," which the band dedicated to men and women overseas serving our country. "Remember who that song is for," vocalist Jared Weeks said. Later on he dedicated the band’s hit song "Addicted" to the ladies, after he accidentally dedicated the previous song to the ladies, claiming he was just kidding the first time.

Saving Abel is clearly a band about to break it big. They are one or two big hits away from being the next Three Doors Down or Nickelback.

Then, Shinedown hit the stage and they opened their set with "Devour" and immediately the first and last mosh pit of the night started. No offense to Shinedown or the City of Moline, but that was the most pathetic mosh pit I’d ever seen.

Shinedown’s songs are arena friendly as the crowd sang along with vocalist Brent Smith, who resembles a younger more coherent Ozzy Osbourne. Smith went on to compare the music industry to reality TV and let us know that we the fans get to "decide who stays and who goes home."

Smith said he's tired of being asked how he feels now that "rock music is dead." "Everyone in this room looks very much alive to me!" he chanted.

And the audience cheered in agreement.

Shinedown performed other hits including "45" and "Fly from the Inside."



By the time Buckcherry took the stage, the floor and lower bowl were near capacity. The opening acts lived up to their end of the deal, but it was up to Buckcherry to fill the void.

Buckcherry opened the show with "Dirty Mind." The crowd was not all that familiar with the song, but by the third song everyone was ready to go.

Front man Josh Todd, who resembles Tommy Lee and Steven Tyler, addressed the crowd stating that "the 16th of September was a very special day." That’s when Buckcherry’s new album "Black Butterfly" hit the shelves.

Early in the set, they ripped into "Lit Up" which was the band’s first hit and signature closing number. Todd addressed the crowd between nearly every song talking about trying cocaine and how "America is too uptight about sex."

There were a couple of fist fights that broke out in the crowd. Conveniently these fights took place during Buckcherry’s hit ballads, "Everything" and "I’m Sorry."

Just as the show seemed to get going Todd told the crowd that they had one more song. This immediately killed the mood. I don’t know if it was because of the fights that broke out or what, but the set seemed to be coming to an early end.

The closing number was "Crazy Bitch" and Todd tried to involve the crowd by saying, "I look at her between the eyes and I say what?"

Nothing.

Todd was expecting, "You’re crazy but I like the way you fuck me." Once that initial riff kicked in, the crowd was right back into it, jumping harder than they had all night. As soon as they finished the song the lights stayed off and the stage stayed dimly lit for the encore.

The result?

The song was a ballad off of the new album that nobody had heard. That ended up being the last song they played.

The Buckcherry’s set was just over an hour, instead of making up for the absence of Avenged Sevenfold by playing a longer set. I’m not sure why there wasn’t a partial refund for everyone that showed up. If there had been, this review would have been more positive.

And if it were up to the fans to decide who stayed and who went home, let’s just say it was the fans who went home – early.



BYLINE:

Bob Zerull is a frequent movie and concert goer who talks about his ventures to arenas and theaters more than any person should be allowed to do. Now, he puts them down on paper.

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