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Added by Central Electronic Brain     December 16, 2015    
 
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Hinder - O2 Academy, Birmingham (UK) - 12th September 2015

With a new album out and a new vocalist, I was somewhat apprehensive about seeing Hinder play live again. Could the new singer Marshall Dutton cut the mustard live? What would he sound like compared to departed vocalist Austin Winkler who some have labelled "Mr Hinder" What songs would they play? And would they include those that the fans consider essential? Let's answer those questions.

Dutton sounded superb, there's no question about that whatsoever. He sang in tune, he was crystal clear and his banter with the crowd was both heart-warming and ideally suited to the small venue. After the opener 'Use Me' what was clear was that Dutton could sing. Did he sound better than Winkler? Yes, he probably did; what he lacked in uniqueness he more than made up for with ability. I'd like to mention the rest of the band who aided Dutton with some of the best live backing vocals that I've heard; take a bow bassist Mike Rodden in particular.

When it came to the set-list, this is where I have a bone to pick with the band; it simply wasn't up to scratch. Yes we had rousing versions of 'Homecoming Queen', 'What Ya Gonna Do', '2 Sides', 'All American Nightmare', 'Up All Night' and 'How Long'. Hell we even got 'Better Than Me' and 'Get Stoned' as encores. But where were all the other songs that just cried out to be played? 'Put That Record On', 'Bliss', 'Nothing Good About Goodbye', 'Loaded And Alone', 'Heaven Sent' or even 'Hey Ho' were all omitted, surprising in itself but made even more surprising by the inclusion of the Stone Temple Pilots song 'Wicked Garden'. This simply seemed like a wasted opportunity by the band whilst providing the opportunity for the majority of the audience to go to the bar or empty their bladder. I can't think why these songs were omitted. Could Dutton not sing them? I hardly think so given his brilliant performance. Did the band get fed up with playing the other songs and so plumped for some others? I really don't know.

It has to be said that although this was as good a live performance as you are likely to see, it was one that remains tainted somewhat by their choice of songs and a wasted opportunity to turn a good live show into a truly great one.

Mike Newdeck

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