In a week filled with iconic rock concerts, the concert at Lockport’s Molson Canal Concert Series for Puddle of Mudd was less than stellar.
The evening opened with local band, Klear, which earlier in the summer played as an opener for Our Lady Peace at the Saturday at the Falls series put on by the Hard Rock Cafe. Lead vocalist Fred Schaffer was once again an energetic front man, enthused to be in front of another hometown crowd. The band engaged the early concert goers, and proved, once again, that they are more deserving of the national spotlight.
The highlight of the evening was Rev Theory. The band, fronted by Rich Luzzi on lead vocals and powered by guitarists Rikki Lix and Julien Jorgensen, bassist Matt McCloskey and drummer Dave Agoglia truly rocked the stage in an energetic and amazing performance, highlighting their harder rock edge.
After Rev Theory’s vigorous set, the crowd at the Canal series was amped up, waiting for Puddle of Mudd to wow them, it just never got to that point.
Puddle of Mudd took the stage got their first set of the night, playing covers of Bad Company’s “Shooting Star” and the Stevie Nicks/Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers hit “Stop Dragging My Heart Around.” The band followed those with an unremarkable rendition of AC/DC’s “TNT”, on which Puddle of Mudd front man Wes Scantlin’s vocals lacked the power of AC/DC’s Brian Johnson, and quite frankly, sounded flat.
The next cover was their own rendition of the Neil Young classic “Old Man”. I personally found this cover to be so-so. While the band put their own spin on the song, layering the guitars and bass to create more of a rock ballad than Young originally wrote, the guitars sometimes drowned out Scantlin’s singing. The first set ended by the band playing a rendition of “Space Cowboy” which was thoroughly enjoyed by the crowd, and Elton John’s “Rocket Man”, where Scantlin’s vocal abilities shined.
After a short break, the band came back and played their own songs spanning their five studio releases, shifting easily into crowd favorites such as “Control” and “Psycho.” Both of these songs had the energy and focus that the band has been known for in the past. The fans sang their hearts out along with Scantlin on “She Hates Me”, and the set ended with the hit “Blurry” on which Scantlin’s vocals came off a little tired and apathetic.
All in all, the show was a mixed bag. Openers Klear and Rev Theory were fantastic, however, concert goers and fans of Puddle of Mudd surrounding this Examiner felt that the show could have been better. “If they played more of their own stuff from their albums, instead of a whole first set of covers, I would have been really happy. That’s what I came to see,” said Andrea Sikorski of Buffalo, NY.
While I admire the dedication that Scantlin and the rest of Puddle of Mudd had to performing the songs of other artists, the attempt fell flat, and sounded more like a newly formed bar-based cover band than a popular rock band with Billboard hits under their belt. The crowd would have been a lot happier if the band’s own songs were interspersed between the covers within each of the sets. It has always been my own, personal, belief that half the job of a band playing at a concert is not only to engage the fans they already have and put on an excellent show, but also to try to win over new ones. Sure, most people know “Control” and “Blurry” from airplay on local radio stations, but playing a lesser known song might have struck a chord with more concert goers, and encouraged someone to buy another one of their albums. In that, I believe, Puddle of Mudd failed to do their job.