To generalize, in going to shows, many kids today keep to big venues and their usual rosters of five or more bands. But in the music scene, the route most bands take before they can headline (or financially afford to join) those 1,000+ capacity venues is through gigs at tiny venues. Even with regular rotation on radio and Mtv, Seether passed over several opening slot offers on those big tours. They instead decided to work the grassroots scene, playing a headlining tour through small clubs and bars.
One of the bars that Seether came to was Mulcahy's on Long Island. Located virtually beneath a Long Island Rail Road station, Mulcahy's usually garners a good social crowd on Friday and Saturday nights. When live bands roll through, they are often of the cover variety but at times larger names have graced the small stage across from a pair of rather large bars (there are actually three within the building). The large area that contains the dance floor, stage and the largest bar remain hidden behind a false wall until just before the show (or until the drinking crowd gets large enough to justify opening the space).
After missing WASP and Mushroomhead when they made a tour stop in the Wantagh bar, I jumped on the opportunity to see the South African post-grunge band Seether.
Playing in front of a small but loyal crowd, Seether played most of the tracks off of their debut disc Disclaimer. For those that have not heard them before, the band's music is a hard rock mix of metal, grunge and angst. Somewhere, some females really did a job on this quartet, and luckily for music fans, the band was successful in capturing their hurt emotions within their songs.
Despite not being all that animated, the over 18 crowd (actually most looked over 21) was into the music. Nodding along as they held their overpriced drinks, many seemed familiar with the material. There was no moshing or crowd surfing, a change from the band's performances last summer on Ozzfest. While the band was a part of last year's festival, they met and befriended the late Dave Williams, the lead singer from Drowning Pool. In a touching moment on this night, Seether dedicated “Fine Again” to the memory of the energetic frontman.
Shaun, Seether's lead singer and rhythm guitarist, has drawn many comparisons to the late Kurt Cobian. Seeing him live, they were proven appropriate. From the long, grungy hair that seems to permanently cover his face to his minimalist stage presence to his vocal style, the similarities are striking. And, to top things off, the band through in a cover of the recently released Nirvana 'lost song', “You Know You're Right“. It was shockingly accurate. The pacing, the guitar distortions, the vocal wailing/moaning: Seether had it down pat.
doubleDrive was the opening band and played a selection of tracks off of Blue In The Face, their upcoming Roadrunner Records debut. Their southern hard-rock sound fits firmly among groups like Tantric (without the beautiful guitar work), SOiL (just not as loud) and Three Doors Down (not nearly as pop-oriented/catchy). That isn't to say that doubleDrive is bad, it just gives a perspective of where they are at. They played a long set for an opener (at least a half hour), and managed to gain the interest of the sparse, early crowd.
This tour had included Trapt (“Headstrong“) as the middle band, but on this night they didn't play and no explanation was given to the crowd. Its possible that they decided not to do an area show just four days before doing a bigger radio show with Finch and Evanescence. However, they were not on the advertised bill so there were only a handful of disappointed fans.