3 Doors Down

support Omoreka
author PP date 04/11/08 venue KB Hallen, Copenhagen, DEN

It's relaxing to take a break from all the scene-obsessed underground rock, metal and punk gigs that seem to have become my norm these days, and attend a concert by a band situated right in the middle of the mainstream rock world that, for its part, contributed to my eventual 'enlightenment' about rock music in general. Waiting for our photographer Jill to arrive, I have plenty of time to scout out what kind of crowd we're dealing with tonight, and to my relief, I find not a single multi-colored hair-do, face characterized by piercings or tattoos, nor anything else out of the ordinary; it seems that 3 Doors Down attracts just the kind of crowd I thought they would: the average, casual music listener who doesn't look any different from a normal person you'd meet on the street or at work. That's also why band shirts are heavily outnumbered by Quicksilver and other famous brands tonight, but hey, that's exactly what I was looking for from this gig.

Omoreka

Since 3 Doors Down are touring by themselves, each night on their tour has a different opening act, usually a local one, and tonight the chance fell on the multinational indie/rock band Omoreka, who (as far as I could deduct anyway) originate from Seattle, although at least one member of the band is originally from Copenhagen. This is their first ever show in Denmark, and to the best of their ability, they try and make it count. They start off with ballads, with vocalist Omoreka's soft voice blending into their quiet, poppy melodies. Perhaps a little too much, because the beginning of their set is quite boring, with not a single person from the 1,500 strong crowd moving or singing along. But as soon as they play some of their more rock-oriented songs, their set suddenly becomes alive and I begin to understand exactly what this band is aiming for with their sound: to combine the elements of Seattle grunge rock with the cosmopolitan pop-oriented Copenhagen music scenes, creating a fine mid point between the two. It doesn't seem that the rest of the crowd has had the same realization as myself, because they continue to stand still despite Omoreka's best efforts. Nonetheless, I found them offering a very interesting mash on the two music scenes.

3 Doors Down

Directly following Omoreka's set, the hall begins filling up with people, and despite a few hundred seats being covered up, the show is sold out tonight at a capacity of something between 2,000 and 2,500 people tonight. And though the venue is renowned for its poor acoustics especially at the louder concerts, the 3 Doors Down set shows no sign of sound trouble with crystal clear sound just at the right volumes, creating a perfect starting point for tonight's set. The band kicks off with "The Champion In Me" rather unimpressively, but by the time the band starts playing the "Citizen/Soldier" melody, the crowd starts moving as well and the show is properly on. Instead of having a huge banner behind them as bands usually do, 3 Doors Down have a white-screen and a projector, where different video clips are being played to the themes of the songs. "Away From The Sun" has a giant, flaming sun getting bigger and bigger as the song progresses, and "Landing In London", in a rather cliché way, has an airplane landing at Heathrow airport, but somehow it works and adds charm to their show.

Vocalist Brad Arnold thanks the crowd about every three songs. It seems to come from the heart, considering the band has played here many times before but never this big and never sold out. The band is all smiles on their faces when the entire halls joins in singalongs for the expected songs "Here Without You" and "Kryptonite". Still, you can tell that the crowd is divided into two kinds of people: those who have come here only knowing the band's biggest singles, and those who cherish the band's debut album "The Better Life" and sophomore "Away From The Sun" much more than their later material. The tracks from the first two albums are just much more post-grunge/rock in their nature, and thus naturally attract a bigger crowd response than ballads like "Be Like That" or "Let Me Be Myself". As such, whenever the band plays a song like "Duck And Run" or "It's Not Me", both of which contain heavy (for mainstream rock) guitars and solid drum sequences, the band is easily at their best, and when the ballads come, the band looks kind of like they'd rather be doing something else. Interesting detail is how the band's drummer Upchurch looks like a proper metal head with his long black hair, and one of the guitarists is wearing a shirt that, at least from a distance, looks awfully lot like one of the As I Lay Dying t-shirt designs. During all of the heavier passages, these two go mental (in a reserved kind of way), with especially Upchurch demonstrating his heavier background from Puddle Of Mudd quite a number of times. If I were to analyze that notion further, it is probably why 3 Doors Down are able to write both heavy-hitting alternative rock tunes as well as the poppy ballads with equal success; half of the band comes from a metal background and the other half from a pop rock one.

Based on tonight's show alone, though, it seems that 3 Doors Down still have some work to do if they want to pull their fans closer in on the band. Despite the sell-out status of the show, a far too high proportion of the crowd only knew the most famous songs, and when your crowd doesn't appear engaged for the majority of your show, the atmosphere suffers, stripping the set from the renowned "oh man, that show was special to me" status that all bands should strive for.

Setlist:

1. The Champion In me

2. Citizen/Soldier

3. Away From The Sun

4. Duck And Run

5. Be Like That

6. It's Not Me

7. Landing In London

8. Kryptonite

9. Let Me Be Myself

10. Behind Those Eyes

11. Here Without You

12. Loser

--Encore--

13. Train

14. It's Not My Time

15. When I'm Gone

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