Pop-Break Live: Hinder at The Stone Pony

lisa pikaard gets stoned…

pop-break-live

hinder

imgp7228

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the super storm the decimated the Jersey shore and so much more, many things were altered, destroyed and rescheduled including the November 7 Hinder show at Wonder Bar. Lead singer, Austin Winkler, told me that he was looking forward to providing the Jersey shore residents with “A nice chill night to kind of hang and take your mind off things.” Unfortunately, due to the damage the show couldn’t go off as planned. [Read Lisa Pikaard’s interview with Austin Winkler here.]

Hinder was able to reschedule the show for this past Sunday, December 16 at a new venue, The Stone Pony. With the rescheduling, I was left with a few questions: who would be opening, is the show still going to be a bare-bones acoustic performance, how many people are going to come out to the rescheduled Sunday evening show, and how will the band sound now that it’s a few weeks into touring.

First, the lineup. Hinder managed to snag Nonpoint as its direct support. Nonpoint has not been in the area for quite some time and brought in a huge following of its own. The other opening band of the evening was Charm City Devils.

imgp7080

Charm City Devils have been on my radar for some time now but I have never been the biggest fan. By the end of the band’s set, however, I was really glad that the band was part of the show. The lead singer, John Allen, proclaimed that he had a 102 fever but performed anyway. That alone leads me to respect him; ill or not, he took the stage. He also said that for every record that is purchased at the show, the band would donate $5.00 to the Sandy Relief Fund. It took a few songs to get the crowd involved but the band’s songs, “True Love (Hell Yeah)” and “Unstoppable” seemed to win over a lot of people. Overall, while I’m still not in love with the band, I am really glad I had the opportunity to see Charm City Devils bring a bit of southern hard rock to the iconic Jersey stage.

imgp7158

Nonpoint, on the other hand, took no time sweeping up a huge portion of attendees. When I first entered The Stone Pony, I was struck by how peculiar the crowd actually was. It seemed as though there was a very obvious split; while half of the crowd looked to be about 17 years old, the average age for the rest of the crowd was about 30 years old or even older. I wasn’t sure what could cause such a divide but when Nonpoint took the stage, it was very discernible. It seemed as though Nonpoint had an army of young followers that packed the house. The band had the entire crowd won over from the very first song. I was blown away by the command the band held over everyone in the room. They even managed to pull the crowd away from the televisions in the corner that were broadcasting the fate of the NFC East on Sunday Night Football. That is quite impressive if you ask me.

The Nonpoint set was as follows:
Lights Camera Action
What a Day
Miracle
Left For You
Hands Off
That Day
Your Signs
In the Air
Bullet

imgp7296

After Nonpoint, it was time for Hinder to take the stage. At the end of the Nonpoint set, the crowd got even crazier. I thought that Nonpoint had control of the room but Hinder truly showed how hypnotizing a crowd is done. While the crowd did turn over a bit, the younger crowd to the back, the older crowd stepped forward, it didn’t matter. Everyone was rocking out. Although the initial Hinder date in Jersey was meant to be at the beginning of an acoustic, “bare bones” tour, this show was a bit modified. The band decided to play an electric set with some acoustic tracks mixed in. One of the more interesting aspects of the performance was when lead guitarist, Joe Garvey started “Better Than Me,” and “Lips of an Angel” by playing an acoustic guitar on a stand while still attached to his electric. He managed to flip back and forth between guitars through the songs. When the band decided to go electric with some acoustic mixed in, I never thought they’d literally play both on the same song!

imgp7343

The one question I always ask when I see a concert is how does the setlist flow. I have seen so many bands stay too mellow for too long, play songs that sound too similar back to back; the setlist makes or breaks a show. Hinder, I must say, put together the perfect set list. It had a great balance of old and new, fast and slow, hard rock and mellow. The greatest thing is, some of the crowd knew the old songs, some were only really familiar with the new album, Welcome to the Freakshow, but there was something for everyone in the set and no one seemed to get bored because there were too many songs they weren’t familiar with.

imgp7364

So how’d the band sound? Absolutely awesome. I had watched a few acoustic performances on youtube that Hinder did recently of the new song, “Should Have Known Better,” my personal favorite on the album and I wasn’t amazed; as a matter of fact, I was kind of let down. Live, I was utterly blown away. The album version of the song doesn’t do the live version justice. I also know that if I ever tried to perform that many high intensity songs in a row, I’d have no voice for a week so I was so impressed by the quality of the sound.

imgp7301

If you’ve never caught a Hinder show before, I highly recommend you rectify that. The show provided a great night out of quality music, a positive crowd, and a good time. If you think you don’t know enough Hinder to enjoy a full set, well you’re probably wrong. The band has had quite a few hit songs. If you’re still not sure, get the new album, listen to it, then go see the band. I may not have loved All American Nightmare but Welcome to the Freakshow is a great record and sounds even better live.

The Hinder setlist was as follows:

2 Sides of Me
Up All Night
Use Me
What Ya Gonna Do
See You In Hell
Hey Ho
Better Than Me
How Long
Should Have Known Better
Homecoming Queen
Lips of An Angel
All American Nightmare
Talk To Me
Save Me
Put That Record On
Get Stoned