Have Guitar, Will Travel - Aaron Lewis at 4th and B
8.28.7 Chris Dier
I have been struggling long and hard with this review. I so want it to be bright, enthralling even. I want people to read it and be jealous. But the longer I wait to write it, and the longer I mull over the image of Aaron Lewis on stage with nothing but his acoustic guitar, the less impressed I become.
I had high hopes for this "Have Guitar, Will Travel" tour. I had watched my Staind Unplugged DVD several times. I had downloaded the entirety of my Staind collection onto my iPod including a few bootlegged live cuts from previous dates on this, "Have Guitar, Will Travel," tour. I was singing the crap out of Epiphany and Fade in my car on the way to 4 th and B. I was really looking forward to a more intimate concert with one of today's more emotional songwriters. But what I got instead was a lethargic canary whistling out whatever song he could to get a cracker.
I would think that Aaron Lewis would sing Aaron Lewis songs at an Aaron Lewis gig. After all those are the songs he is known and loved for. Apparently my thinking was flawed. I didn't miss the descriptors that said, " Lewis will perform Staind hits along with his favorite obscure cover tunes," or the reviews that claimed, "no set list." I just didn't realize that was code for, "I'm going to cover what ever the audience shouts out and if I don't know the song I'll just mumble some unintelligible nonsense between puffs until they move onto a song I know."
I mean shit, if I wanted to hear, "Black," Eddie Vedder does a much better version. If I wanted to hear, "Nutshell," Layne Staley did a pretty damn good job of it. If I wanted to hear, "The Rainbow Connection," I'd watch Sesame Street, because Kermit the Frog fucking rocks that song. If I wanted to hear drunken adults singing "In Your Eyes" while holding an imaginary boom-box over their head or playing air guitar from a prone position in aisle 2, I would. alright, that was fucking entertainment.
My point is, I wanted to hear some despondent, troubled, inconsolable Aaron Lewis shit. I wanted to hear longing, and hurt, something only a heavy prescription of Prozac could numb. I wanted to be moved but all I could muster was a yawn.