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3 Doors Down, Pop Evil – Bristol Academy, 02 November 2016 http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/98/87/db/3-doors-down-7-1485432746.jpg Hot

Added by James Gaden     January 26, 2017    
 
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3 Doors Down really are a revelation the way they just keep doing what they do.

3 DOORS DOWN, POP EVIL
Bristol: Academy – 02 November 2016

Having been a huge fan of Pop Evil for many years I was wholeheartedly convinced that I'd never see them live, such is the ambivalence to their particular brand of Rock music in my home country. The UK remains out of bounds to many American bands just as it did back in the eighties when Britain was seemingly unaware of bands like Journey and their ilk. What has changed in recent times however, is the increase in the number of bands that has gained traction in this country with music fans fed up with being force-fed manufactured tripe from reality TV. There has recently been something of a backlash, with Rock fans willing to go out of their way to watch quality Modern Rock live. Planet Rock must take credit for bringing new bands to the fore, along with magazines such as our own Fireworks. Black Stone Cherry, Alter Bridge, Airbourne and Theory Of A Deadman all enjoy success in Britain despite a total lack of TV or radio coverage and album sales and three band bills seems to be where it's at.

Step forward Pop Evil, whose dabbling with Rock and Funk make them somewhat unique. Never in all my years of attending concerts – and that goes way back to the eighties – have I seen a support band get such a reception. Vocalist Leigh Kakaty worked his audience and, after the initial apathy, he had them eating out of the palm of his hand. They raced through an entertaining set where the band combined past glories, like '100 In A 55', 'Bosses Daughter' and 'Last Man Standing', with the more up to date offerings, such as 'Trenches', 'Deal With The Devil', 'Behind Closed Doors' and 'Torn To Pieces' (from the memorable 'Onyx'). The latest album ('Up') has divided opinion with its back to basics approach and groove-orientated sound, but the live translation of songs like 'Ways To Get High', 'Footsteps' and the rabble rousing encore 'Take It All' showed what the band are aiming for. It was all high quality and one of the best performances from a support band that I've seen. On this evidence, the only way for Pop Evil really is up.

3 Doors Down haven't played in the UK for four years and tonight's performance was, in effect, their comeback gig. Ravaged in recent times by the death of former guitarist Matt Roberts and the arrest and subsequent imprisonment of bassist Todd Harrell – he's now on permanent hiatus – for vehicular homicide, the band has come back with a new(ish) sound and two new members. 3 Doors Down get accused of being boring live, but Chet Roberts (the band's former guitar tech) and new bassist Justin Biltonen have added some much needed vitality to the bands live set.

Many acts fail spectacularly to replicate their recorded sound live due to studio trickery that papers over the cracks; 3 Doors Down aren't one of those bands. Indeed, their live sound is perhaps as close as you will ever get to the studio recordings and that's testament to their musicianship. Vocalist Brad Arnold never does anything spectacular, he just sings it like he can; in tune and filled with Southern emotion. Tonight was no different and it was business as usual. The set-list had been freshened up with the addition of new songs from 'Us And Them', plus there were the addition of songs that hadn't been in the set for a while.

A stirring version of 'Believer' was promoted from encore to a higher placing in the running order, whilst Arnold's ode to Britain 'Landing In London' made a welcome and apt appearance. Old favourites were seamlessly included as 'Kryponite' closed the main set-proper and Arnold's taught emotional delivery of 'Away From The Sun' was (and always is) a joy to behold. The slightly lighter material culled from 'Us And The Night' was given more of an aggressive edge live and songs like the bouncy 'In The Dark' or the strangely 'The Better Life'-sounding 'Still Alive' were given the necessary "oomph" required. The Acoustic Rock interlude of 'Pieces Of Me' illustrated that the band had lost nothing, from the chiming guitar of Chris Henderson's through to the crisp percussive touch of Greg Upchurch, the band were as good musically as they had ever been. Just to prove the point, we were treated to four encore songs, including a spine-chilling rendition of 'Here Without You' – sang word perfect by everyone of the two thousand strong audience – plus the final song 'When I'm Gone', a complete reversal from its position of set opener on the 'Away From The Sun' tour some thirteen years ago.

3 Doors Down really are a revelation the way they just keep doing what they do. Perhaps the band aren't at the peak of their powers any more, but they put most other Rock bands to shame with their musicianship and connection with the fans. Ironically, they're more popular now than they've ever been in the UK, I sincerely hope that they don't wait another four years before returning to these shores.

Mike Newdeck

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  • SeaDog57 : just an observation. I just got Issue 89 at the Bookstore and when i looked at the spine of the magazine it says "Fireworks Issue 85 Winter Jan - Mar 2019" Was this a misprint? The rest of the Magazine is Issue 89. Was just wondering did anyone else notice this?
  • Berny : Apologies! Magazine can now be accessed from your download section. Best wishes, B.
  • Berny : @Martykelly: We're sorry
  • Martykelly : Just purchased issue 89 hoping its going to be in my download soon.
  • Johns Band : Will "Watch & Listen" music videos make a comeback. Just order H.E.A.T. "Live In London" CD.
  • Berny : @the trapps: Apologies for the delay in processing your order. The magazine is now available in your downloads section.
  • the trapps : waiting for the issue 89 which we purchased to be in our downloads section ???
  • Berny : @tomandpam: Many thanks for your purchase. The download instructions were sent yesterday, please contact me at «email» should you haven't received the email.
  • tomandpam : I paid for a download on issue 89 and didn't receive the download. Please let me know when I can get it. Thanks
  • Berny : @zom414: Fireworks Magazine #89 will be available at selected UK based newsagents on December 16th. The digital version can already be purchased in our Download Store.
  • zom414 : When's the next mag due for release?
  • Berny : @el nowy: Apologies for the delay in processing your order. Pls. check your mail!
  • el nowy : Hi, how long does it take for my download license to be available? I purchased it 3 days ago. Thanks!
  • Rocktopia Te : @l.thijs: Apologies for the delay, your digital copy can now be downloaded from your "My Downloads" section.
  • l.thijs : Hi Fireworks Magazine. I made a purchase on 10 nov and I paid by Paypall. I bought the #85 fireworks mag download for GBP3,50. But I didn,t receive anything. Please can you find out what's going on?
  • kazooba : I have digital versions of every issue from 27 thru 88, any way I can get issues 1 - 26 with cd's digitally?
  • Berny : @SeaDog57: The links are in the Fireworks menu. Have you tried scrolling down? Maybe your screen size is too small...
  • SeaDog57 : Berny; there are only links up to Fireworks 86. Which is kinda strange because i already downloaded CD 87 but i'm looking for the link to CD 88...Chris
  • Rocktopia Te : @Johns Band: Can you please contact us here: «email»
  • Johns Band : Fireworks Magazine 88 did not arrive by post. paid by PayPal. Any Suggestion.
  • Berny : @bpomper: Can you pls. contact the Rocktopia team here: «email»
  • bpomper : i found the problem..old email i can not access.i have tried to change it by editing my info but it wont allow. any suggestions
  • Berny : @bpomper: A reply was sent yesterday, We recommend checking your spam/junk mail to see if our message was filtered there. The magazine was already sent to your shipping address. Please let me know if you do not receive it within the next couple of days. Thanks for your patience!
  • bpomper : Thanks didnt of that. I still have not heard about fireworks 88 was it sent out. Thankyou
  • Rocktopia Te : @bpomper: For security reasons, we removed your previous message. Please do not post your private e - mail address. Many thanks for your understanding.
  • bpomper : Thanks for the reply. I see download but can you confirm that hardcopy was or is sent ou .thanks.the email i used is inder the contact me info of the website
  • Berny : @bpomper: Apologies for your troubles. Where did you send the email to? We haven't received anything. I will send you a longer reply via mail. Also, you can download the free CD from the "Fireworks" menu on top, but the CD links are only shown if you are logged in.
  • bpomper : 3rd email inquiring about my purchase of fireworks #88. i purchased on the 2oth of sept and today is the 24 with no response...paypal has taken the payment. should i have a down load of the cd for mu usa magazine. Looking forward to an answer
  • bpomper : hello i purchased fireworks #88 through paypal on9/23 and have not recieved an email from rocktopia. purchase is for a hard copy of the mag. should i have cd download instructions.when should i expect it
  • Berny : @Johns Band: I've just sent you an e - mail. Best regards, B.

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