3 Doors Down Lights Up MGM Northfield's Main Stage
August 4th, 2019
Mississippi-founded 3 Doors Down played to an incredibly enthusiastic crowd at the MGM Northfield's Center Stage venue last night. Led by frontman Brad Arnold, the venerable '90s rockers led the audience through their collection of hits and a few deeper cuts from the outfit's twenty-plus year catalog of tunes and memories.
Taking the stage first was Northeast Ohio crew Ottawa. Showcasing a little George Michael and Michael Stipe-style showmanship, frontman Dale DeLong led his quartet through a handful of covers and original compositions to get the crowd warmed up. Their musicianship is solid; look for them to break out of the Cleveland bar and bar mitzvah scene over the next few years.
Closing in on the 9:00 hour 3 Doors Down took to the stage, bathed in darkness. Frontman Brad Arnold, the only original member of the quintet, strutted out all smiles and donning a low-slung baseball cap, reminiscent of much of today's "Bro" country scene. His eyeballs bathed in shadow, Arnold and company launched into a seventeen tune, ninety-minute set that had the nearly-sold out crowd on its feet.
Opening with "Duck and Run," from 2000's huge release The Better Life, the outfit really had everything pumped up to eleven. Seguing into a later single, they offered "Time Of My life" to bring the festivities squarely into the 21st century.
While the band has undergone some notorious personnel changes over the years and has managed to stay together despite some tragedies, their popularity waned in the first decade of this century. They've released six studio albums since 2000 and, based on the reaction of last night's crowd, they're still as fresh and relevant as they were almost twenty years ago.
Most of the offerings were from The Better Life and their 2002 sophomore effort, and perhaps best-received album, Away From the Sun. The middle part of the set gave us the bulk of the "lesser Known" cuts, primarily from Away From the Sun; a spritely rendition of "Let Me Go," off of 2005's Seventeen Days, was a mid-set highlight.
As the night wound down, Arnold gave a heartfelt thank you to the troops, pointed to an American flag on the left side of the stage, and gave a shout out to any first responders and active military personnel in the crowd.
Ending the set with the band's first mega-hit "Kryptonite," the stage was awash in green spots and gels.
Returning for a raucous encore, they played "Here Without You" and "When I'm Gone," reinforcing that, yes, the '90s did produce some great guitar-driven music.
Photos and Review by Brian M. Lumley